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Science Symposium

Since 2002, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has hosted the Annual USADA Symposium on Anti-Doping Science, aimed at bringing together anti-doping experts from around the world, including guests from more than 30 countries, to inform and shape meaningful anti-doping research programs for the future.

The attendees consist of WADA-accredited laboratories, anti-doping organizations, International Federations of the Olympic Movement, and scientific experts in the field of interest for each particular Symposium. A limited number of attendees are invited to attend the Symposium in order to provide a forum for exchanging scientific information.

The Symposium enables our attendees to stay up-to-date with the latest research and scientific developments in anti-doping and provides a unique opportunity to meet with peers and colleagues in their field.

Every year, the Symposium focuses on a key topic relevant to anti-doping science at that time. Read below for information regarding each Symposium.

Revisiting Oxygen Transport Manipulation and Blood Doping Detection: Who’s Winning?

22nd Annual USADA Symposium on Anti-Doping Science
September 29-October 1, 2023 in Paris, France

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Ahead of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the first Games to be held in Paris in 100 years, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) continued its tradition of international scientific collaboration by hosting the 22nd Annual USADA Symposium on Anti-Doping Science in cooperation with Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD), the French National Anti-Doping Organization in the French capital, Paris.

Blood doping and the use of substances to manipulate oxygen transport remain the most highly effective doping and recovery agents for endurance athletes (performance) and continue to present vexing detection challenges. Despite significant scientific advances since the turn of the century, a direct method of autologous blood transfusion remains elusive. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry continues to develop novel agents affecting the erythropoietic pathway which have the potential to be abused in sport.

The Symposium, entitled “Revisiting Oxygen Transport Manipulation and Blood Doping Detection: Who’s Winning?” focused on existing and new scientific knowledge to understand complex mechanisms of oxygen transport and regulatory systems, and developing innovative techniques to monitor and detect manipulation by blood doping substances and methods. We investigated and discussed how blood doping has evolved and the new challenges faced in less conventional “blood-doping” sports.

Explore Past Symposia

Colorado Springs, CO - 2022

The Elite Athlete: Differentiating Extraordinarily Normal from Abnormally Extraordinary

Scottsdale, Arizona - 2021

Synergizing Anti-Doping Science and Investigations to Protect Athletes and Clean Sport

Virtual - 2020

Redefining Normal:
Disruption, Challenges, and Opportunities for Anti-Doping Science in a Global Crisis

Tokyo, Japan - 2019

Emerging Drugs and Technologies

Chicago, Illinois - 2018

Biomarker Discovery & Application to Doping Detection & Deterrence

Orlando, Florida - 2017

Pharmacokinetics and Detection Windows: Interpretation of Long Term Metabolism and Excretion

Bellevue, Washington - 2016

Recovery, Repair, and Regeneration: From Steroids to Stem Cells

Lansdowne, Virginia - 2015

Designing an Effective Deterrence Program

Phoenix, Arizona - 2014

Stimulation of Erythropoiesis and O2 Utilization

Indianapolis, Indiana - 2013

Inside the Individual:  Refining the Measurement of Biological Variation

Atlanta, Georgia - 2012

Deterring Athletes from Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs

London, England - 2011

Detection of Growth Factors

Lansdowne, Virginia - 2010

Emerging Technologies

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 2009

Detection of Enhancement of O2 Transport: Seven Years of Progress

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2008

Mitochondria to Proteins: New Challenges for Anti-Doping Science

Dallas, Texas - 2007

Oxygen Transport and Energy Production

Lausanne, Switzerland - 2006

Intra-Individual Reference Ranges

Chicago, Illinois - 2005

Muscle Development & Recovery: Implications for Doping Control

Dallas, Texas - 2004

Detection of Human Growth Hormone Abuse in Sport

Los Angeles, California - 2003

Application of Gas Chromatography – Combustion – Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry to Doping Control

Atlanta, Georgia - 2002

Oxygen Transport Enhancing Agents and Methods

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MATTHEW FEDORUK, USADA Chief Science Officer: Science is really the foundation of anti-doping. As science advances, we need to incorporate technological changes that we then use in order to be more effective, more sensitive, more specific at detecting those doping substances.

DANIEL EICHNER, SMTRL Lab President: There’s been a lot of really good improvements in the last 20 years in anti-doping science and techniques. We try to set up a system where it’s much easier and convenient and cheaper to get these collections anywhere in the world.

MATTHEW FEDORUK: We are moving to more athlete-friendly ways of collecting samples.

ABBY RAYMOND, Team USA Weightlifting Athlete: DBS collections have improved my experience as an athlete because they are super easy, they are efficient, and completely painless.

MATTHEW FEDORUK: Athletes, by feeling confident, they can go on the field of play and know that the winners and being on the podium and the results that they see are the direct result of excellent anti-doping science, and all the research that goes into making sure samples are analyzed for all the substances and all the threats that are out there.