The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will host its annual research symposium entitled “Application of Gas Chromatography/Combustion/Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GCC IRMS) to Doping Control,” Aug. 21-23, 2003 in Los Angeles, USADA Senior Managing Director Larry Bowers announced Wednesday.
GCC IRMS is an analytical technique able to differentiate the origin of a variety of molecules based on their content of a non-radioactive isotope. The technique has been used to detect adulteration of wine, oil and even to detect whether orange juice is natural or made from concentrate. The first useful application to doping control was development of a technique in 1994 to detect testosterone misuse. In 2003, some sports federations consider GCC IRMS the definitive technique for detecting use of testosterone.
“Techniques that can directly detect the use of substances normally found in the body, but present in abnormal amounts, need to be moved to the forefront,” said Bowers. “Currently, there is a significant body of science that documents that this technique (GCCIRMS) could be a breakthrough in doping control, but the laboratory and testing community needs to determine how and when this technique can best be used.”
The purpose of the anti-doping symposium is to discuss the science behind detection of testosterone and other endogenous steroids with GCC IRMS, the potential for developing a uniform testing scheme and to develop a research agenda and timeline to make the science or legal aspects of testing more efficient. Attendees include external scientific experts, IOC-accredited laboratory scientists and scientists from national and international organizations.
USADA is the independent anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States, and is responsible for managing the testing and adjudication process for U.S. Olympic, Pan Am and Paralympic athletes. USADA is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.