The Partnership for Clean Competition (PCC) – which aims to ensure integrity in sport by supporting high-quality, high-impact, novel research – announced today that it has awarded $1.3 million in grant funding since its inception. The announcement comes after the PCC awarded funding to four new research projects.
The PCC is an innovative research collaborative founded by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Football League (NFL), whose focus is to raise funds and make targeted grants in support of non- partisan and independent scientific research.
The PCC considers research that has a high likelihood of developing new methods and products that will advance the anti-doping field and ensure integrity in sport. The first PCC grant recipient, announced in May of 2009, was Dr. J. Thomas Brenna of Cornell University for his research project entitled “The Characterization of the Human Urinary Steroidome.”
The four new grant awards will cover a range of doping issues in sport. Recipients include Dr. Michael Collins of the National Measurement Institute of Australia, Dr. Doug Rollins and Dr. Jonathan Danaceau of the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, Dr. Fred Schaufele of the University of California San Francisco, and Dr. Diana Wilkins from the University of Utah.
“The PCC is impressed by the novel approaches undertaken by the four new grant recipients in improving testing techniques,” said PCC Board of Governors Member and CEO of USADA Travis Tygart. “We believe these research projects exemplify the funding objectives of the organization and have potential to improve anti-doping testing approaches.”
“Stable isotope ratio analysis of illicit testosterone preparations”
The objective of Dr. Collins’s research is to improve the certainty of the interpretation of a urine test result for the presence of synthetic testosterone. By analyzing confiscated illegal synthetic testosterone, Dr. Collins will explore the chemical character of these testosterone products and examine their differences from natural biological testosterone.
“The National Measurement Institute of Australia is appreciative of the support provided by the Partnership for Clean Competition to improve the confidence in the interpretation of testosterone doping violations in world sport,” said Dr Collins.
“We are conscious of the need to stay ahead of the game in terms of how drug cheats may attempt to circumvent current analytical methodologies. This research will provide intelligence to the anti- doping community on the viability of distinguishing synthetic testosterone from a bottle and natural testosterone from the body.”
Dr. Rollins and Dr. Danaceau from SMRTL:
“Longitudinal evaluation of urinary endogenous steroid concentrations”
Dr. Rollins’ and Dr. Danaceau’s research project aims to statistically evaluate differences in the biological variation in the urinary excretion of endogenous steroids of individual athletes. The research will compare urine tests obtained over time from the same non-doping individuals to provide comprehensive urinary steroid excretion patterns and ratios of steroid concentrations in order to establish individual variation of the endogenous steroid patterns.
Dr. Rollins and Dr. Danaceau said, “If SMRTL’s research is successful, the individual urinary endogenous steroid excretion patterns over time will provide a basis for focusing testing programs on those few athletes with truly aberrant results.”
“Detection of novel androgenic anabolic activities in urine and serum, a novel approach to detecting steroids based on the androgen receptor”
Dr. Schaufele’s research offers an innovative approach to detecting any steroid, including designer steroids. The androgen receptor, a protein expressed on the surface of target cells for natural steroids, is the essential interaction to the biological and pharmacological activity of steroids. The research aims to detect the interaction between the prohibited steroid and the receptor through modern cell biology techniques.
Dr. Schaufele said, “We are pleased and excited to work with the Partnership for Clean Competition to develop an entirely new paradigm that will detect minute amounts of all testosterone-like, ‘anabolic’, agents of known or unknown chemical structure. Our goal is to attack the pipeline of performance enhancing drugs by providing an effective, cheap and rapid method that immediately alerts us to the presence of previously unknown anabolic drugs emerging within the athletic community. The development and implementation of a broad, effective detection regime will level the playing field for fair competition by all athletes.”
“An investigation of the comparability of oral and urine steroid profiles”
Dr. Wilkins’ research will aim to determine whether oral fluids can be used to test for endogenous steroid concentrations and their ratios. Through her pilot study, Dr. Wilkins aims to determine the effectiveness of detecting performance-enhancing drugs through less invasive and easier collection of specimens.
“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Partnership for Clean Competition on this new project,” Wilkins said. “Outcomes from this research will assist in determining whether oral fluid represents a viable, non-invasive biological matrix to measure and monitor the endogenous steroid profile in elite athletes, with the primary goal of encouraging a level playing field across all of sport.“
The next deadline for PCC pre-applications is March 1, 2010. Applications will be reviewed by the PCC’s SAB, which consists of internationally-recognized experts. The Board of Governors, comprised of representatives from the USOC, USADA, MLB and NFL, considers the SAB recommendations and makes final determination on grant recipients
To apply for PCC funding, please visit the PCC website at www.cleancompetition.org.
Also participating and contributing financially to the PCC are the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL) and the PGA TOUR.
USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.
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