U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

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Directed Research

The broad range of anti-doping research activities previously undertaken by USADA have been assumed by the Partnership for Clean Competition (“PCC”). Member organizations, including USADA, are able to provide input into research decisions of the PCC, both through participation on the PCC’s Governing Board and Scientific Advisory Board. The PCC’s 2020 annual research budget will exceed $5.2 million. Subsequent to the formation of PCC, USADA’s annual research budget has been reduced to $500,000.

As a general rule, research ideas coming to or initiated by USADA will be presented to PCC for funding first. Projects that are not funded by PCC (or WADA) can still be funded by USADA out of its research budget, depending on the priority of the project to its program. As exceptions to this general rule, USADA will consider funding research projects directly out of our budget in the following situations:

  • Research that is important to USADA’s national and international stature and reputation (e.g., USADA’s annual research symposium).
  • Research that involves a confidential USADA testing issue (e.g., the research done by UCLA to identify and characterize the designer steroid THG before UCLA reported negative results on any of the samples from the 2004 USA Track and Field National Championships).
  • Research done to improve methods used by the UCLA and Salt Lake laboratories which specifically relates to the analysis of USADA samples (e.g., developing a test for insulin. Note that USADA is the only PCC partner whose rules prohibit administration of insulin without a TUE. There is currently no test for exogenous insulin.).
  • Research that has proprietary potential (e.g., the blood testing kit that USADA is developing).
  • Research that is necessary to support a cutting-edge USADA testing program (e.g., research related to USADA’s current longitudinal pilot program involving the top athletes from sports in our high risk pool).
  • Research where bridge or seed funds are needed between larger grants from PCC or WADA (e.g., bridge funding to allow Dr. Brenna to complete the work that he has been doing for USADA to develop IRMS testing that is both faster and more sensitive than the method currently in use).
  • Research that is needed by USADA urgently and which cannot wait for the PCC grant process (e.g., the synthesis of a reference standard for THG or the THG metabolism testing which USADA had done in a baboon).
  • Special circumstances involving the UCLA and Salt Lake laboratories where USADA is a more appropriate source of funding than PCC. (For example, there may be research areas that are very important to USADA but are far down on PCC’s priority list.)

Learn more about USADA’s Scientific Research

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