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WADA asks for retrospective human growth hormone testing

Patrik Sinkewitz (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli)

Patrik Sinkewitz (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) (Image credit: Sirotti)

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has reiterated its stance that national anti-doping bodies should resume testing for human growth hormone (hGH), and has asked that they begin retrospective tests, as it updates it’s guidelines on testing.

"WADA has taken the opportunity to remind anti-doping organizations (ADOs) that had previously stored blood serum samples for future hGH analysis that they should now proceed with retrospective analysis using the hGH Isoform Differential Immunoassays test," a statement read on the body’s website.

"In addition, ADOs that have conducted minimal blood testing have been asked to consider expanding their programs to reflect the risk of hGH abuse by their athletes."

Testing for hGH was suspended in March 2013 when the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the decision to ban cross-country skiier, as it was unhappy with its decision limits. WADA has now revised the guidelines and changed the threshold from 1.81 to 1.84 and 1.68 to 1.91 for the men. For the women, the two limits have been set at 1.63 and 1.59. According to the website a new test to detect hGH is also in development.

In 2011, Patrick Sinkewitz became the first rider to be banned for the use of human growth hormone, when he tested positive at the GP di Lugano in February of that year. Until Sinkewitz’s ban, the presence of a test for hGH was unknown. No riders have since tested positive for the substance, however a number of riders have admitted using it, such as the riders involved in the USADA investigation of Lance Armstrong.

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