Given the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is hosting its 19th Annual Science Symposium through five virtual video sessions held weekly between September 25 and October 23, 2020. With the virtual format, USADA will be able to welcome an unprecedented number of invited participants from anti-doping organizations, laboratories, and research centers around the world.
The Virtual Series will address 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 have had to quickly adapt in 2020, the symposium will encourage reflection on how to learn from the current crisis to improve collaboration, build on existing scientific and program excellence, and develop resilience and novel solutions in the face of new global realities.
Lasting two and a half hours each, the five sessions will cover the following topics and be recorded and available on-demand for registered participants who can’t attend the live session.
- September 25: Protecting Athletes and the Integrity of Sport During A Public Health Crisis
- October 2: Evolution of the Prohibited List and Monitoring Novel Performance – Enhancing Substances and Methods
- October 9: Reinventing Sample Collection
- October 16: Adoption of New Matrices and Analyses
- October 23: Emerging from Crisis: Successes and Continued Challenges
“Continuing the long history of the USADA Symposium in bringing global experts together to build scientific knowledge, share expertise, and develop novel solutions to the ongoing fight against doping is critical, especially during the pandemic,” said Dr. Matthew Fedoruk, USADA’s Chief Science Officer. “We look forward to engaging more participants than ever before in a virtual setting and continuing to drive forward athlete-friendly solutions to improve doping detection and deterrence.”
The Virtual Series will feature more than 20 expert speakers, with several experts delivering specialized presentations during each session. Athletes will also be among the presenters to provide perspective on how anti-doping science and protocols impact the athlete experience. As always, the symposium will offer opportunities for discussion and solution-oriented collaboration throughout.
Presentation 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.
About the Symposium
The USADA Symposium on Anti-Doping Science has a long tradition of bringing together external experts, anti-doping laboratories, and scientific and medical experts from anti-doping organizations to discuss a timely and relevant scientific issue. The goal of the Symposium is to enrich the scientific expertise within the global anti-doping community, identify where the challenges lie, and develop ideas and solutions that can be built upon after the Symposium to advance anti-doping science that helps protect clean athletes and maximizes both detection and deterrence strategies. The USADA Symposium began in 2001 and has been held in a variety of cities within the United States and internationally every year.
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