USADA launches pilot program

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has begun a new program to incorporate a new strategy into its campaign to ensure athletes are clean in advance of the Beijing Olympics, it was reported Saturday. The program has not been officially announced by the anti-doping agency, but was brought to the attention of the press by athletes at a US Olympic Committee news conference in Chicago.

Dubbed "Project Believe", the program is a voluntary battery of tests performed on the blood and urine of the 12 participating athletes throughout the year, and is similar to the 'biological passports' introduced by the UCI this year. The Associated Press received confirmation from USADA CEO Travis Tygart that a longitudinal testing program is being developed, but said a formal announcement would be forthcoming. The tests are in addition to normal anti-doping controls.

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