Researchers at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium (KUL) have cast doubt on the EPO-detecting urine test currently in use by the UCI. The researchers say that the test in potentially unreliable because it traces too many types of protein, leading to the risk of a false positive. After a race it is possible for athlete to excrete some of the proteins detected by the test, causing a positive result without the use of EPO.
World-Anti-Doping Agency researchers in Germany are working on an improved version of the test.
The KUL researchers looked into the test at the request of Belgian triathlete Rutger Beke who tested positive for EPO at a race in Knokke last year. Beke denied having used EPO and an investigation by the KUL researchers found he was producing the proteins detected by the test. His suspension is expected to be dropped next week.