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Issue 1, 2004
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Sports drug testing – an analyst's perspective

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Sport plays a major role in the lives of many people, both for active participation and as entertainment. Sport is now a huge nationally and internationally based industry. The desire to win has led some athletes to resort to the use of performance enhancing drugs. With huge financial rewards now available in some sports the pressure to excel has grown. Some have argued that drug use should be given free rein, however most people are of the view that it is athletic prowess that should be applauded not the efficacy of various performance enhancing drugs. Apart from the obvious aspects of equality and fair play, the use of drugs is associated with significant health risks. In the 1960's the use of stimulants in sports such as cycling led to the death of at least one cyclist. Since 1968 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has required all Olympic Games’ host cities to provide laboratory facilities for the analysis and detection of performance enhancing drugs. There are now 29 IOC accredited laboratories throughout the world that routinely test samples from athletes for the presence of such drugs. The purpose of this tutorial review is to give an overview of drug testing procedures, including those that were used at the last summer Olympic Games in Sydney 2000, and the incorporation of the latest developments in analytical chemistry technology in the drug testing process. More recently, developments in biotechnology mean that the use of whole new classes of drugs are banned in sport, often requiring new methodologies and techniques for their analysis. The contest between those who wish to cheat and those who wish to maintain fair play in sport is an ongoing one.

Graphical abstract: Sports drug testing – an analyst's perspective

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Jun 2003 and first published on 08 Dec 2003

Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/B201476A
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2004,33, 1-13

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    Sports drug testing – an analyst's perspective

    G. J. Trout and R. Kazlauskas, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2004, 33, 1
    DOI: 10.1039/B201476A

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