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REDEFINING NORMAL: DISRUPTION, CHALLENGES, AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR ANTI-DOPING SCIENCE IN A GLOBAL CRISIS

2020 Virtual Science Symposium attendees group images.

Given the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) hosted its 19th Annual Science Symposium through five virtual video sessions held weekly between September 25 and October 23, 2020. With the virtual format, USADA was able to welcome an unprecedented number of invited participants from anti-doping organizations, laboratories, and research centers around the world.

The Virtual Series addressed the wide-ranging effects of the pandemic and the resulting global crisis, from which sport is not immune, with the theme “Redefining Normal: Disruption, Challenges, and Opportunities for Anti-Doping Science in a Global Crisis.” As anti-doping testing programs and laboratories had to quickly adapt in 2020, the symposium encouraged reflection on how to learn from the crisis to improve collaboration, build on existing scientific and program excellence, and develop resilience and novel solutions in the face of new global realities.

PRESENTION AND PRESENTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Developing effective COVID-19 countermeasures and their impact on public health and sport with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a Stanford physician and economist and co-author of several seroprevalence studies on COVID-19.
  • The evolution of the Prohibited List with Dr. Audrey Kinahan, the Chair of the WADA List Expert Group and an Ireland-based pharmacist.
  • Hearing the athlete perspective on the Prohibited List with James Hudson, who is a Performance Nutritionist for Gloucester Rugby, a former UKAD Athlete Commission member, and a former top-level rugby union player.
  • Detecting growth hormone in DBS with Dr. Geoff Miller, a past PCC Research Fellow who is currently conducting high-quality cutting-edge research at the WADA-accredited Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory in Utah.
  • Developing more sensitive detection methods using the power of artificial intelligence with Dr. Corinne Buisson, who is team leader of the WADA-accredited Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD Anti-Doping Laboratory) in Paris, France, and recipient of multiple research grants and scientific publications.

Learn more about the annual USADA Science Symposium.