WADA bans xenon and argon

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  • Published: Sep 3, 2014
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: Raman / UV/Vis Spectroscopy / Base Peak / Infrared Spectroscopy / X-ray Spectrometry / MRI Spectroscopy / Proteomics / NMR Knowledge Base / Atomic / Chemometrics & Informatics

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The World Anti-Doping Agency has now banned the rare gases xenon and argon, adding them to their prohibited Lists of Substance and Methods, after its three-month notice period had expired. The two gases are known to have been used by athletes to stimulate red blood cell production and increase the levels of erythropoietin, improving stamina.

The ban comes at a time when there is no official method in place to test for the gases, although a candidate mass spectrometric method was published recently by scientists at the well-known and well-regarded Center for Preventive Doping Research – Institute of Biochemistry at the German Sport University Cologne. Its detection limit of 0.5 nmol/mL plasma "opens up opportunities for improving detection windows in a doping control context," the team said at the time of publication.

Now that method needs to be checked out further to ensure that it is accurate and appropriate for xenon and argon. The extra work includes investigating the sampling and storage procedures and the dosage effects. Once validated, it can be easily incorporated into the testing procedures used to comply with the Athlete Biological Passport.

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