The World Anti-Doping Agency has revealed that it will begin testing for drugs that are sold on the black market before they are approved for medical use by the pharmaceutical industry. WADA’s executive committee met in Montreal last weekend and decided to add a section entitled “non-approved substances” to its existing list of banned substances. The extended list will come into effect from January 1 2011.
“The intention is to look at things that are on the black market before they’ve been launched by the pharmaceutical industry,” WADA director general David Howman told the Associated Press news agency.
This new measure from WADA is essentially an effort to fight doping with substances that are still under clinical development. “While substances are in the research and development stage, sometimes they do get out there,” Howman said. “We just want to make sure that there is some way that they can be covered because we are alert to the fact that they're picked up."
The creation of this “non-approved” substances list stems from the early use of CERA, the third-generation version of the blood-boosting drug EPO, which came to prominence after Riccardo Riccò, Stefan Schumacher, Bernhard Kohl and Leonardo Piepoli tested positive for the substance at the 2008 Tour de France. “It came on the market in May or June 2008, but then we found out that it was on the black market as far back as 2005," Howman said.
WADA’s list also includes veterinary substances that have been used for medicinal purposes in humans in the past. "This is about looking to the future,” Howman explained. “There wasn't a loophole that has been exposed. This is more a hole without the loop."