From 1 July 2012, ASADA will incorporate the Athlete Biological Passport into its testing program.
What is the Athlete Biological Passport?
The Athlete Biological Passport is an electronic record of an athlete's biological values that is developed over time from multiple collections of blood samples.
The Athlete Biological Passport differs from traditional detection methods by looking for the effects of blood doping rather than detecting the prohibited substances or methods used. The advantage of this approach is that the biological effects of a performance-enhancing agent are commonly present and detectable for a longer period than the agent itself.
Athlete Biological Passport testing will be focused on the collection of blood samples and run in conjunction with ASADA’s traditional urine and blood testing program.
Programs incorporating an ABP have been successfully implemented internationally. A number of cases relying on the ABP have successfully been run through the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Why is ASADA introducing this program?
ASADA views the ABP as a complementary tool to traditional testing which will take Australia’s anti-doping efforts to the cutting-edge of the worldwide battle against doping.
What are the implications for athletes?
Athlete Biological Passport testing requires strict adherence to protocols for the collection, transport and analysis of blood samples.
Athletes who are tested under Athlete Biological Passport conditions will be required to wait two hours after training or competition before the blood is drawn.
The Athlete Biological Passport has been implemented by anti-doping organisations over the world. Australia’s introduction of this testing will move us all closer to a level playing field by allowing for the global monitoring of athletes.
Why do athletes have to wait two hours to give a blood sample?
Testing under Athlete Biological Passport conditions comply with an international standard and ensure a consistent approach to collection, transport and analysis of Athlete Biological Passport samples wherever an athlete is across the world.
The basis for the two hour waiting time is to allow an athlete’s heart rate, blood pressure and importantly blood distribution, to reach a consistent and steady baseline level or equilibrium before blood is drawn.
The values recorded from this testing are therefore taken in a consistent manner to ensure appropriate baselines are reached and allow for monitoring of biological values.
ASADA makes efforts to test athletes under Athlete Biological Passport conditions away from training or competition, however, to ensure the integrity and maximise the unpredictability of their testing program, this testing can occur at any time.
For further information please refer to the ASADA website or contact them on 13 000 ASADA (27232).
What can athletes do in the two hour waiting period?
Athletes should discuss with their Doping Control Officers about the nature of the activity an athlete can do in the two hour period. Athletes will need to be supervised by a DCO, chaperone, or both over this time.
Physical activity should be kept to a minimum, however, normal daily activities can be carried out which do not significantly raise heart rate levels. These may include:
o gentle walking in shops
o basic house work
o basic gardening
o slow and gradual walking up stairs
o bringing in shopping or picking up babies or toddlers
o hanging out or taking in clothes from a clothesline.
Will all athletes be subjected to Athlete Biological Passport testing?
ASADA’s Athlete Biological Passport testing will be focused on Australia’s elite athletes; however, all athletes in ASADA’s testing jurisdiction should be aware they can be selected for ABP testing.
Why do athletes have to do a questionnaire when undergoing blood testing?
The questionnaire provides ASADA with important information for their blood testing program and will only take about ten minutes to complete.
The questionnaire will be used in both Athlete Biological passport testing and ASADA’s traditional blood collection program.
The questionnaire covers the nature of the training or competition the athlete has undertaken prior to the test, recent exposure they may have had to altitude or simulated altitude (altitude tent, mask, etc.), and if any blood donation or loss was experienced in the weeks prior to the test.
The information collected in this questionnaire is considered the athlete’s personal information and treated as outlined in the Athlete Privacy Information Notice.
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