The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s three-day Fourth Annual USADA Symposium on Anti-Doping Science entitled “Muscle Development and Recovery: Implications for Doping Control” concluded Monday, Sept.12, following an extensive examination of the most recent discoveries about control of muscle growth and recovery and the potential for abuse by athletes.
“In order for the anti-doping movement to maintain an even playing field in sport, it was important for us to interact with the experts in the field of molecular biology,” said Dr. Larry Bowers, USADA’s senior managing director. “While anabolic steroids remain a concern, advances in the field of muscle growth and repair have the potential to lend themselves to another source of performance-enhancement. The exchange of ideas begun at this Symposium will guide the research and development of anti-doping methods over the next five years.”
The Symposium assembled more than 80 of the world’s foremost experts in muscle growth and anti-doping science, including Dr. Priscilla Clarkson of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Dr. James Dalton of Ohio State University; Dr. Thomas Hawke of York University (Toronto, Ontario); Dr. Elizabeth McNally of the University of Chicago; and Dr. Alexandra McPherron of the National Institutes of Heath (NIH), among others.
Other topics of discussion included the possibility that various techniques used for growing muscle in muscle-loss diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, will serve as effective doping methods and the findings from therapeutic gene insertion clinical trials that suggest gene doping is not an immediate threat.
Held annually, the USADA Symposium on Anti-Doping Science is designed to enable the medical and science communities to gather and discuss the science behind doping with the potential for developing a uniform testing scheme, and research agenda and timeline to make the science or legal aspects of testing more efficient.
USADA is a nonprofit, non-governmental independent agency dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs. USADA is also responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement.
USADA allocates $2 million annually toward the study of prohibited substances, the development of tests, and other research that impacts anti-doping science. For a copy of the research grant guidelines and application, visit the official USADA Web site at www.usantidoping.org.