Scientist’s new method could catch more drugs cheats From St Helens Star 18 września, 2011

The news comes days after British doctor Mark Bonar was secretly filmed by The Sunday Times describing how he prescribed banned performance enhancing drugs to 150 elite sportsmen.

While Prof Pitsiladis refused to be drawn on exact figures, he said that 39 per cent was a likely percentage in some sports.

Sport has been hit by a number of high profile cases in recent years with Lance Armstrong in cycling, Justin Gatling in athletics and Maria Sharapova in tennis.

But it is feared thousands more household names have got away with similar offences due to ineffective testing.

Prof Pitsiladis’s method of testing differs from what is used at the moment and he is confident his test would have caught Armstrong, among others.

Instead of looking for traces of illegal drugs in urine and blood samples, he is studying RNA or Ribonucleic acid which together with DNA and proteins is essential for all forms of life.

He has discovered drugs can leave a tell tale signature in RNA which is visible for many months and even years after the athlete has doped.

He said: „At present testers can detect a droplet in the size of an Olympic swimming pool.

„So although the tests are incredibly sophisticated, the drugs have already left the body so there is no trace. cheap nfl jerseys
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Cheap Fake NFL Jerseys from China Wholesale But I can detect the drug after it has left the system and that is how we will catch the cheats.

„There is no point looking for the drugs, we need to look at what is left behind.”

However, Prof Pitsiladis is yet to finish his research and is appealing for funding so he can complete the work.

He added: „There’s simply not enough funding for anti doping and because there is no funding the top scientists are not attracted to it.

„At the moment in this country there is just me looking into this. That needs to change and there has to be support.

„But I’m confident with the funding we can eradicate doping and change sport for ever.”


Lance Armstrong, yellow jersey, had his Tour de France titles stripped after being found guilty of doping

BACK in 2006, professor Yannis Pitsiladis was studying some of the world’s greatest athletes to discover what it was that made them so special.

He travelled the world carrying out tests, collecting DNA samples and working in labs.

But during his research he was approached by journalists who told him his athletes were cheats that they had doped.

He said: „It was really worrying, I didn’t know what to make of it so I flew straight to Monaco to meet with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

„I looked at my findings and was asked if they were doping or not. I couldn’t tell and I soon realised the tests and technology I was using to tell why people were so great were the same used to see if athletes are doping.”

The university’s professor of sport and exercise science, said: „I’ve got two children and I want to take them to watch sport and I want them to play.

„But I want sport to be fair. From the lowest to the highest level, the essence of sport should remain whereby the best athlete or the best team wins.

„There is no place for cheating, no place for doping.

„We all want to see incredible performances. We all want to see world records broken and I think that is possible through sports science. We have to give athletes another option to doping.”

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