- 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.
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 (UCI) 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  and the terminology adopted by the World Anti-Doping agency.
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. In contrast, 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 received a lot of attention when its blood module was established at the beginning of the 2008 racing season by the UCI. In May 2008 they revealed that 23 riders were under suspicion of doping following the first phase of blood tests conducted under the new biological passport. 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
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.
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.
Under the new rules, registered riders have to give the Union Cycliste Internationale daily information about their location and provide a one-hour window for possible testing. They have to submit a form every quarter year 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. This is the most invasive testing programme in the history of any sport, but the UCI feels this invasion of privacy is justified as previously implemented anti-doping regimes have failed to detect every doping violation.
Cyclists sanctioned on the basis of their biological passport
The biological passport programme has allowed the UCI 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||Team||Country||Event||Date of infraction/
Start of disqualification
|Ineligibility starting||Ineligibility ending||Reference(s)|
|António Amorim||Portugal||Road racing||24 July 2010||2 years ineligibility||10 July 2013||14 April 2015|||
|Igor Astarloa||Team Milram||Spain||Road racing||2 years ineligibility||1 Dec. 2010||26 Nov. 2010|||
|Carlos Barredo||Quick Step, Rabobank||Spain||Road racing||17 Oct. 2007
–24 Sept. 2011,
|2 years ineligibility||July 2014||18 Oct 2012||17 Oct 2014|||
|Leonardo Bertagnolli||Liquigas, Androni Giocattoli, Lampre-ISD||Italy||Road racing||1 Jan. 2003
–18 May 2011
|2 years and 10 months ineligibility||July 2014||24 Nov. 2013|||
|Pietro Caucchioli||Crédit Agricole||Italy||Road racing||2 years ineligibility|||
|Francesco De Bonis||Gerolsteiner, Diquigiovanni-Androni||Italy||Road racing||2 years ineligibility||May 2010||17 June 2011|||
|Leif Hoste||Omega Pharma-Lotto||Belgium||Road racing||2 years ineligibility|||
|Rubén Lobato||Saunier Duval-Scott||Spain||Road racing||2 years ineligibility||15 July 2012|||
|Denis Menchov||Rabobank, Team Katusha||Russia||Road racing||2009, 2010 & 2012 TdF,
|2 years ineligibility||July 2014||10 April 2014||9 April 2015|||
|Franco Pellizotti||Liquigas||Italy||Road racing||17 May 2009||2 years ineligibility||March 2011||4 May 2010||3 May 2012|||
|Sérgio Ribeiro||Portugal||Road racing||12 years ineligibility (2nd ARDV)||14 July 2025|||
|Ricardo Serrano||Tinkoff Credit Systems||Spain||Road racing||2 years ineligibility|||
|Jonathan Tiernan-Locke||Endura Racing/Team Sky||United Kingdom||Road racing||2012 Tour of Britain & 2012 UCI Worlds,
|2 years ineligibility||July 2014||31 Dec. 2013||31 Dec. 2015|||
|Tadej Valjavec||Ag2r-La Mondiale||Slovenia||Road racing||19 April
–30 Sept. 2009,
|2 years ineligibility||April 2011||20 Jan. 2011||19 Jan. 2013|||
During the first three years of UCI's bio passport program 26 riders were found positive for EPO. In 20 out of the 26 cases, it was the abnormal blood profile which raised suspicions leading to a targeted doping test.
- Manuel Beltran (Liquigas) tested positive for EPO at the 2008 Tour de France in a targeted test after anomalies appeared in a blood sample taken at the start of the Tour. The pre Tour blood samples were collected by the French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) and the results from the testings were submitted to the UCI to form part of their database of profiles for their biological passport programme.
- Gabriele Bosisio (LPR Brakes-Ballan) tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control in September 2010, after having been targeted under the biological passport programme. He received a two-year sanction.
- Antonio Colom (Team Katusha) 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.
- Thomas Dekker (Rabobank) 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.
- Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes-Ballan) tested positive for CERA twice during the 2009 Giro d'Italia after been targeted under the biologial passport programme.
- Alberto Fernández de la Puebla (Fuji-Servetto) tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control in October 2009, after having been targeted under the biological passport programme. He received a two-year sanction.
- David George (MTB) tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control 29 August 2012, after having been targeted under the biological passport programme of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (the South African national Anti-doping agency). He admitted to having used EPO and received a two-year sanction.
- Massimo Giunti (Androni Giocattoli) tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control in February 2010, after having been targeted under the biological passport programme. He received a two-year sanction.
- Eddy Ratti (De Rosa-Stac Plastic) tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control in January 2010, after having been targeted under the biological passport programme. He received a two-year sanction.
- Manuel Vázquez Hueso (Andalucía-Cajasur) tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control in March 2010, after having been targeted under the biological passport programme. He received a two-year sanction.
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. The Portuguese marathon runner Hélder Ornelas became the first track and field athlete to get suspended for doping based on the biological passport. He received a four-year suspension in May 2012.
Track and field athletes sanctioned on the basis of their biological passport
|Name||Country||Event||Date of infraction/
Start of disqualification
|Inga Abitova||F||Russia||Marathon||10 Oct. 2009||2 years ineligibility||7 Nov. 2012||11 Oct, 2012||10 Oct. 2014|||
|Anna Alminova||F||Russia||1500 m||16 Feb. 2009||2 years and 6 months ineligibility||30 July 2014||16 Dec. 2011||15 May 2014|||
|Yelena Arzhakova||F||Russia||800 m, 1500 m||12 July 2011||2 years ineligibility||30 April 2013||29 Jan. 2013||28 Jan. 2015|||
|Ahmed Baday||M||Morocco||Long-distance running||26 March 2010||2 years ineligibility||6 March 2015||31 Dec. 2014||30 Dec. 2016|||
|Sergey Bakulin||M||Russia||Race walking||25 Jan. 2011
–25 March 2011
16 June 2011
–16 Aug. 2011
11 April 2012
–11 June 2012
|3 years and 2 months ineligibility||20 Jan. 2015||24 Dec. 2012|||
|Alemitu Bekele||F||Turkey||5000 m||17 Aug. 2009||2 years and 9 months ineligibility (Reduced from 4 years)||16 Jan. 2013||3 March 2012||2 Jan. 2015|||
|Petr Bogatyrev||M||Russia||Race walking||12 July 2011||2 years ineligibility||26 March 2014||16 Oct. 2013||15 Oct. 2015|||
|Valeriy Borchin||M||Russia||Race walking||14 July 2009
–15 Sept. 2009
16 June 2011
–27 Sept. 2011
11 April 2012
–3 Sept. 2012
|8 years ineligibility||20 Jan. 2015||15 Oct. 2012|||
|Hafid Chani||M||Morocco||Long-distance running||19 March 2011||4 years ineligibility||26 June 2015||11 March 2015||10 March 2019|||
|Hamza Driouch||M||Qatar||800 m, 1500 m.||2 Aug. 2012||2 years ineligibility||24 Feb. 2015||31 Dec. 2014||30 Dec. 2016|||
|Stanislav Emelyanov||M||Russia||Race walking||26 July 2010||2 years ineligibility||28 July 2014||15 Dec. 2012||14 Dec. 2014|||
|Meryem Erdoğan||F||Turkey||Long-distance running||27 July 2010||2 years ineligibility||25 July 2012||14 Feb. 2014|||
|Abderrahim Goumri||M||Morocco||Marathon||22 April 2009||4 years ineligibility||25 July 2012||14 March 2016[a]|||
|Yelizaveta Grechishnikova||F||Russia||5000 m||18 Aug. 2009||2 years ineligibility||3 Dec. 2013||16 Oct. 2013||15 Oct. 2015|||
|Halima Hachlaf||F||Morocco||800 m||14 Oct. 2013||4 years ineligibility||24 April 2014||19 Dec. 2013||18 Dec. 2017|||
|Hussain Al-Hamdah||M||Saudi Arabia||5000 m||26 March 2009||2 years and 6 months ineligibility||22 Nov. 2013||15 Feb. 2013||14 Aug. 2015|||
|Ekaterina Ishova (née Gorbunova)||F||Russia||1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m||12. July 2011||2 years ineligibility||3 Dec. 2013||23 Oct. 2013||22 Oct. 2015|||
|Vladimir Kanaykin||M||Russia||Race walking||25 January 2011
–25 March 2011
16 June 2011
–27 Sept. 2011
|Life ban||20 Jan. 2015||17 Dec. 2012||Life ban
|Olga Kaniskina||F||Russia||Race walking||15 July 2009
–16 Sept. 2009
30 July 2011
–8 Nov. 2011
|3 years and 2 months ineligibility||20 Jan. 2015||15 Oct. 2012|||
|Natallia Kareiva||F||Belarus||1500 m||28 July 2010||2 years ineligibility||29 Sept. 2014||22 Aug. 2014||21 Aug. 2016|||
|Sergey Kirdyapkin||M||Russia||Race walking||20 July 2009
–20 Sept. 2009
29 June 2010
–29 Aug. 2010
17 Dec. 2011
–11 June 2012
|3 years and 2 months ineligibility||20 Jan. 2015||15 Oct. 2012|||
|Svetlana Klyuka||F||Russia||800 m||15 Aug. 2009||2 years ineligibility||25 July 2012||9 Feb. 2014|||
|Eirini Kokkinariou||F||Greece||Steeplechase||2 July 2009||4 years ineligibility||25 July 2012||27 Oct. 2011||26 Oct. 2015|||
|Yekaterina Kostetskaya||F||Russia||800 m, 1500 m||30 Aug. 2011||2 years ineligibility||28 July 2014||21 Jan. 2013||20 Jan. 2015|||
|Mikhail Lemaev||M||Russia||Marathon||20 Aug. 2009||2 years ineligibility||26 Feb. 2013||30 Jan. 2013||29 Jan. 2015|||
|Tatyana Mineeva||F||Russia||Race walking||12 Nov. 2011||2 years ineligibility||14 Dec. 2012||16 Nov. 2014|||
|Marco Morgado||M||Portugal||Cross country running||29 Oct. 2011||6 years ineligibility||25 Feb. 2014||24 Feb. 2013||24 Feb. 2019|||
|Sergey Morozov||M||Russia||Race walking||25 Feb. 2011||Life ban||18 Dec. 2012||Life ban
|Ilja Nikolajev||M||Estonia||Marathon||16 April 2013||2 years ineligibility||12 May 2015||3 Feb. 2015||2 Feb. 2017|||
|Maksym Cerrone Obrubanskyy||M||Italy||1500 m, 3000 m. 5000 m||17 Feb. 2013||4 years ineligibility||25 Feb. 2014||30 May 2013||29 May 2017|||
|Nina Okhotnikova||F||Russia||Race waling||21 June 2011
–17 Nov. 2011
|2 years ineligibility||17 March 2015||22 Jan. 2015||21 Jan. 2017|||
|Hélder Ornelas||M||Portugal||Marathon||8 March 2010||4 years ineligibility||2 May 2012||12 Jan. 2016|||
|Tetiana Petlyuk||F||Ukraine||800 m||18 Aug. 2009||2 years ineligibility||5 April 2013||19 Feb. 2015|||
|José Rocha||M||Portugal||Long-distance running||11 Dec. 2010||2 years ineligibility||28 Feb. 2014||25 March 2013||24 March 2015|||
|Yuliya Ruban||F||Ukraine||Marathon||8 March 2012||2 years ineligibility||29 May 2015||25 Feb. 2015||24 Feb. 2017|||
|Yuliya Rusanova||F||Russia||800 m||3 March 2011||2 years ineligibility||26 Feb. 2013||28 Jan. 2013||27 Jan. 2015|||
|Andrey Ruzavin||M||Russia||Race walking||18 Dec. 2011
–18 Feb. 2012
13 Sept. 2013
–13 Nov 2013
|2 years and 6 months ineligibility||17 March 2015||9 Oct. 2014||8 April 2017|||
|Pınar Saka||F||Turkey||400 m||18 June 2010||3 years ineligibility||28 Jan. 2014||3 June 2013||2 June 2016|||
|Mohammed Shaween||M||Saudi Arabia||1500 m||12 June 2011||3 years ineligibility||28 July 2014||13 Feb. 2013||12 Feb. 2016|||
|Anzhelika Shevchenko||F||Ukraine||1500 m||2 July 2011||2 years ineligibility||5 April 2013||17 Feb. 2015|||
|Liliya Shobukhova||F||Russia||Marathon||9 Oct. 2009||2 years ineligibility||29 April 2014||24 Jan. 2015|||
|Fernando Silva||M||Portugal||Cross country running||29 Oct. 2011||8 years ineligibility||26 Feb. 2014||24 Sept. 2013||23 Sept. 2021|||
|Svitlana Shmidt||F||Ukraine||Middle distance||8 March 2012||4 years ineligibility||30 April 2015||17 March 2015||16 March 2019|||
|Olesya Syreva||F||Russia||1500 m, 3000 m||3 March 2011||2 years ineligibility||26 Feb. 2013||1 Feb. 2013||31 Jan. 2015|||
|Wang Jiali||F||China||Marathon||29 May 2012||2 years ineligibility||25 Feb. 2014||26 Feb. 2013||25 Feb. 2015|||
|Nevin Yanit||F||Turkey||Sprinting, hurdling||28 June 2012||3 years ineligibility||6 March 2015||6 March 2013||5 March 2016|||
|Igor Yerokhin||M||Russia||Race walking||25 Feb. 2011||Life ban||24 Sept. 2013||Life ban
|Lyudmyla Yosypenko||F||Ukraine||Heptathlon||25 Aug. 2011||4 years ineligibility||24 Sept. 2013||27 March 2013||26 March 2017|||
|Nailiya Yulamanova||F||Russia||Marathon||2 years ineligibility||25 July 2012||9 Feb. 2014|||
|Yuliya Zaripova||F||Russia||Steeplechase||20 June 2011
–20 Aug. 2011
3 July 2012
–3 Sept, 2012
|2 years and 6 months ineligibility||30 January 2015||25 July 2013|||
|Yevgeniya Zinurova||F||Russia||800 m||6 March 2010||2 years ineligibility||25 July 2012||12 Sept. 2013|||
In March 2014 the Spanish athletics federation cleared Marta Dominguez in a bio passport case. El Pais reported that IAAF were going to take the case to CAS. In February 2014 IAAF announced they would appeal Aslı Çakır Alptekins ABP related doping case to CAS after the Turkish federation had cleared her. IAAF also suspended her provisionally. An IAAF spokesperson in January 2015 confirmed that Russian race walker Sergey Bakulin was provisionally suspended since December 2012 in an ABP related doping case. IAAF otherwise doesn't publicly announce provisional suspensions. In February 2015 Turkish press reported that Ümmü Kiraz, Bahar Doğan, Semiha Mutlu and Meliz Redif were under investigation in bio passport cases.
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.
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