Biological passport

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Not to be confused with a biometric passport.

An athlete biological passport is an individual, electronic record for professional athletes, in which profiles of biological markers of doping and results of doping tests are collated over a period of time. Doping violations can be detected by noting variances from an athlete’s established levels outside permissible limits, rather than testing for and identifying illegal substances.[1]

Although the terminology athlete passport is recent, the use of biological markers of doping has a long history in anti-doping. Maybe the first marker of doping, that tries to detect a prohibited substance not based on its presence in urine or blood, but through the induced deviations in biological parameters, is the so-called testosterone over epitestosterone ratio (T/E). The T/E has been used by sports authorities since the beginning of the 1980s to detect anabolic steroids in urine samples. A decade later, in 1997, markers of blood doping were introduced by some international federations, such as the Union Cycliste Internationale and the Federation Internationale de Ski, to deter the abuse of recombinant erythropoietin that was undetectable by direct means at that time. It is only in 2002 that the paradigm to use biological markers of doping took the terminology athlete passport. The merits of this testing paradigm were exposed in the scientific literature [2] and the terminology adopted by the World Anti-Doping agency.[3]

Many believe[who?] that the athlete passport provides an excellent alternative to ensure fairness in elite sports. While a new drug test must be developed and validated for each new drug, the main advantage of the athlete passport is that it is based on the stability of the physiology of the human being. New drugs are produced at an unprecedented pace today and there is often a lag of several years between the availability of a new drug and the application of an effective detection method. On the contrary, the physiology of the human being remains the same through several generations and all biomarkers developed today in the athlete passport will remain valid for at least several decades. For example, the blood module of the passport is already sensitive today to any new future form of recombinant erythropoietin, as well as to any form of gene doping that will enhance oxygen transfer to the muscles. Also, while a negative drug test does not necessarily mean that the athlete did not dope, the athlete can present his/her passport at the beginning of a competition to attest that he/she will compete in his/her natural, unaltered condition.

The athlete passport has received a lot of attention when its blood module was established at the beginning of the 2008 racing season by the Union Cycliste Internationale.[4] In May 2008 the UCI revealed that 23 riders were under suspicion of doping following the first phase of blood tests conducted under the new biological passport.[5] The blood module of the athlete passport aims to detect any form of blood doping, the steroid module any form of doping with anabolic steroid and the endocrine module any modification of the growth hormone/IGF-1 axis. Each of these modules are however at different steps of development, validation and application in sports.

Athlete biological passport testing[edit]

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the athlete biological passport is administered to establish whether an athlete is manipulating his/her physiological variables without detecting a particular substance or method. The biological passport uses the standardized approach of urine sampling to determine steroid abuse. The objective of this testing is to identify athletes in a haematological module and a steroidal module.

The haematological module tests for certain markers in the body that identify the enhancement of oxygen transport. The specific markers the module tests for include haematocrit, haemoglobin, red blood cell count, percentage of reticulocytes, reticulocytes count, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean red cell distribution width, and immature reticulocyte fraction.

The steroidal module collects information on markers for steroid doping and aims to identify endogenous anabolic androgenic steroids. The specific markers the module tests for include testosterone, epitestosterone, the testosterone/epitestosterone ratio, androsterone, and etiocholanolone.[6]

The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released the 2014 Prohibited Substances list and it will take effect on 1 January. In the new list, the agency modified the definitions of exogenous and endogenous steroids being tested for in the steroidal module of the biological passport.[7]

Whereabouts rules[edit]

Under the new rules, registered riders have provide the UCI daily information about their location and provide a one-hour window for possible testing. They have to submit a form every quarter saying where they will be every day of the next quarter and they must notify the UCI if they change their whereabouts on any day. This means the whereabouts information provided in the whereabouts filings is accurate and sufficient in detail to enable any relevant Anti-Doping Organization to locate him for Testing on any given day in that period of time.[8] This is the most invasive testing programme in the history of any sport, however this is justified by the UCI as all other past reigimes set in place to ensure all drug cheats have been caught have ended in failure.

Cyclists sanctioned on the basis of their biological passport[edit]

The biological passport programme has allowed the Union Cycliste Internationale to sanction riders for committing an anti-doping rule violation. Riders have also been targeted with further doping controls based on their biological passport.

Name Country Event Date of infraction/
Start of disqualification
Sanction Sanction
announced
Ineligibility ending Reference(s)
Igor Astarloa  Spain Road racing 2 years ineligibility [9]
Carlos Barredo  Spain Road racing 2 years ineligibility [10]
Leonardo Bertagnolli  Italy Road racing 2 years and 10 months ineligibility [11]
Pietro Caucchioli  Italy Road racing 2 years ineligibility [12]
Francesco De Bonis  Italy Road racing 2 years ineligibility [13]
Leif Hoste  Belgium Road racing 2 years ineligibility [14]
Denis Menchov  Russia Road racing 2 years ineligibility [15]
Franco Pellizotti  Italy Road racing 2 years ineligibility [12]
Sérgio Ribeiro  Portugal Road racing 12 years ineligibility (second offence) [16]
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke  United Kingdom Road racing 2 years ineligibility [17]
Tadej Valjavec  Slovenia Road racing 2 years ineligibility [18]
  • Antonio Colom tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control in April 2009, after having been targeted under the biological passport programme. He received a two-year sanction.[19]
  • Thomas Dekker tested positive for EPO in a retroactive test carried out on a urine sample taken in December 2007. Dekker's hematological profile led the UCI to review the EPO analyses for urine samples conducted since the introduction of the biological passport programme.[20]
  • Ricardo Serrano received a two-year sanction after being caught under the UCI's biological passport programme. Evidence against Serrano was based on an abnormal haematological profile and two laboratory reports indicating the detection of CERA in two of his blood samples.[21]

Athletics[edit]

The International Association of Athletics Federations introduced their Athletes Biological Passport programme in 2009, and they announced the first sanction under the passport in May 2012.[22][23] The Portuguese marathon runner Hélder Ornelas became the first track and field athlete who got suspended for doping based on the biological passport.[22][23] He received a four year suspension in May 2012.[24]

Track and field athletes sanctioned on the basis of their biological passport[edit]

Name Country Event Date of infraction/
Start of disqualification
Sanction Sanction
announced
Ineligibility ending Reference(s)
Inga Abitova  Russia Marathon 10 October 2009 2 years ineligibility 7 November 2012 10 October 2014 [24]
Anna Alminova  Russia 1500 m 16 February 2009 2 years and 6 months ineligibility 30 July 2014 15 May 2014 [25]
Yelena Arzhakova  Russia 800 m, 1500 m 12 July 2011 2 years ineligibility 30 April 2013 28 January 2015 [24]
Alemitu Bekele  Turkey 5000 m 17 August 2009 2 years and 9 months ineligibility 16 January 2013 2 January 2015 [24]
Petr Bogatyrev  Russia Race walking 12 July 2011 2 years ineligibility 15 October 2015 [24]
Stanislav Emelyanov  Russia Race walking 26 July 2010 2 years ineligibility 28 July 2014 14 December 2014 [26]
Meryem Erdoğan  Turkey Long-distance running 27 July 2010 2 years ineligibility 25 July 2012 14 February 2014 [23][27]
Abderrahim Goumri  Morocco Marathon 22 April 2009 4 years ineligibility 25 July 2012 14 March 2016[a] [23][27]
Yelizaveta Grechishnikova  Russia 5000 m 18 August 2009 2 years ineligibility 25 October 2013 15 October 2015 [24]
Halima Hachlaf  Morocco 800 m 14 October 2013 4 years ineligibility 24 April 2014 18 December 2017 [24]
Ekaterina Ishova (née Gorbunova)  Russia 1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m 12. July 2011 2 years ineligibility 25 October 2013 22 October 2015 [24]
Svetlana Klyuka  Russia 800 m 15 August 2009 2 years ineligibility 25 July 2012 9 February 2014 [23][27]
Eirini Kokkinariou  Greece Steeplechase 2 July 2009 4 years ineligibility 25 July 2012 26 October 2015 [24]
Yekaterina Kostetskaya  Russia 800 m, 1500 m 30 August 2011 2 years ineligibility 28 July 2014 20 January 2015 [26]
Mikhail Lemaev  Russia Marathon 20 August 2009 2 years ineligibility 3 February 2013 29 January 2015 [24]
Tatyana Mineeva  Russia Race walking 12 November 2011 2 years ineligibility 14 December 2012 16 November 2014 [24]
Marco Morgado  Portugal Cross country running 29 October 2011 6 years ineligibility 18 July 2013 24 February 2019 [24]
Sergey Morozov  Russia Race walking 25 February 2011 Life ban 18 December 2012 Life ban [24]
Maksym Cerrone Obrubanskyy  Italy 1500 m, 3000 m. 5000 m 17 February 2013 4 years ineligibility 29 May 2017 [24]
Hélder Ornelas  Portugal Marathon 8 March 2010 4 years ineligibility 2 May 2012 12 January 2016 [23][24]
Tetiana Petlyuk  Ukraine 800 m 18 August 2009 2 years ineligibility 5 April 2013 19 February 2015 [24]
José Rocha  Portugal Long-distance running 11 December 2010 2 years ineligibility 24 March 2015 [24]
Yuliya Rusanova  Russia 800 m 3 March 2011 2 years ineligibility 26 February 2013 27 January 2015 [24]
Pınar Saka  Turkey 400 m 18 June 2010 3 years ineligibility 2 June 2016 [24]
Mohammed Shaween  Saudi Arabia 1500 m 3 years ineligibility 28 July 2014 12 February 2016 [26]
Anzhelika Shevchenko  Ukraine 1500 m 2 July 2011 2 years ineligibility 5 April 2013 17 February 2015 [24]
Fernando Silva  Portugal Cross country running 29 October 2011 8 years ineligibility 26 February 2014 23 September 2021 [24]
Olesya Syreva  Russia 1500 m, 3000 m 3 March 2011 2 years ineligibility 4 February 2013 31 January 2015 [24]
Igor Yerokhin  Russia Race walking 25 March 2011 Life ban August 2013 Life ban [24]
Lyudmyla Yosypenko  Ukraine Heptathlon 25 August 2011 4 years ineligibility 8 July 2013 26 March 2017 [24]
Nailiya Yulamanova  Russia Marathon 2 years ineligibility 25 July 2012 9 February 2014 [23][27]
Yevgeniya Zinurova  Russia 800 m 6 March 2010 2 years ineligibility 25 July 2012 12 September 2013 [23][27]
Wang Jiali  China Marathon 29 May 2012 2 years ineligibility 25 February 2014 25 February 2015 [24]

Football (soccer)[edit]

In 2014, the biological passport was introduced in the 2014 FIFA World Cup; blood and urine samples from all players before the competition and from two players per team and per match were analysed by the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses.[28]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A. Goumri died in a car crash in January 2013

References[edit]

  1. ^ Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses. "Information on the athlete biological passport". 
  2. ^ Ashenden M. (March 2002). "A strategy to detect doping in sports". Haematologica (Haematologica) 87 (3): 225–32. PMID 11869930. 
  3. ^ "Q-A on the athlete passport". World Anti-Doping Agency. 
  4. ^ "Implementation of blood passport by UCI". UCI. 
  5. ^ Richard Moore (3 May 2008). "Blood tests cast doubt on 23 riders". The Guardian. 
  6. ^ http://www.wada-ama.org/Documents/Science_Medicine/Athlete_Biological_Passport/WADA-ABP-Operating-Guidelines_v4.0-EN.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.wada-ama.org/Documents/World_Anti-Doping_Program/WADP-Prohibited-list/2014/WADA-prohibited-list-2014-EN.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.uci.ch/includes/asp/getTarget.asp?type=FILE&id=NDc3MDk
  9. ^ Barry Ryan. "Astarloa suspended and fined for UCI biological passport infraction". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  10. ^ UCI (10 July 2014). "UCI Doping Suspensions". UCI.ch. 
  11. ^ UCI (10 July 2014). "UCI Doping Suspensions". UCI.ch. 
  12. ^ a b "CAS upholds biological passport, slaps Pellizotti and Caucchioli with 2-year bans". VeloNews. 8 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Shane Stokes (22 June 2011). "CAS dismisses doping ban appeal by De Bonis over biological passport". Velonation.com. 
  14. ^ UCI (10 July 2014). "UCI Doping Suspensions". UCI.ch. 
  15. ^ UCI (10 July 2014). "UCI Doping Suspensions". UCI.ch. 
  16. ^ Cycling News (4 August 2013). "Ribeiro handed 12 year ban by Portuguese federation". cyclingnews.com. 
  17. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/28354686
  18. ^ "'Biological passport' pays off as Tadej Valjavec receives two-year ban". The Guardian. 22 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "Biological Passport: Antonio Colom sanctioned for two years, given large fine". Velonation.com. 27 May 2010. 
  20. ^ Susan Westemeyer (1 July 2009). "Dekker caught under biological passport programme". cyclingnews.com. 
  21. ^ "Biological Passport: Ricardo Serrano given two-year suspension by RFEC for EPO use". Velonation.com. 17 June 2010. 
  22. ^ a b "Runner banned in doping case". ESPN. The Associated Press. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h "Six new athletes sanctioned under the IAAF Athlete Biological Passport programme". iaaf.org. IAAF. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Athletes currently suspended from all competitions in athletics following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation as at: 26.06.14". iaaf.org. IAAF. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  25. ^ "Doping sanctions - News 154 Positive cases in athletics Sanctioned according to information received by the IAAF as of 26 June 2014". iaaf.org. IAAF. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  26. ^ a b c "List of athletes currently serving a period of ineligibility as a result of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under IAAF Rules as at: 28.07.14". IAAF. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  27. ^ a b c d e "Athletes currently suspended from all competitions in athletics following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation as at: 11.1.13". IAAF. 11 January 2013. 
  28. ^ (French) Anti-dopage. Dvorak : "Le profil biologique, une approche complètement nouvelle", fifa.com (page visited on 11 June 2014).

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