Scientists from three UK universities have developed a new test to catch drugs-cheats in sport.
Over the last 10 years, the GH-2004 team, which is based the University of Southampton, has been developing a test for Growth Hormone misuse in sport with funding from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and US Anti-Doping Agency and with support from UK Anti-Doping.
The test, developed by scientists at the University of Southampton, King's College London and University of Kent at Canterbury, is based on the measurement of two proteins in the blood, insulin-like growth factor-I and the amino terminal pro-peptide of type III collagen. Both of these proteins, which act as markers of growth hormone use, increase in response to growth hormone.
The test was used for the first time by King's College London analysts at the anti-doping laboratory for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
On 8 September 2012, the International Paralympic Committee announced that two powerlifters had received two year suspensions for Anti-Doping Rule Violations involving Growth Hormone following an adverse laboratory finding using the new markers test.
The case was a world first as some of the latest testing methods were used which were only introduced prior to London 2012. The new method is able to detect misuse of human growth hormone over a number of weeks, compared to previous methods used which only detected use over a shorter time period.
Richard Holt, Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology at the University of Southampton and also a consultant in Diabetes at Southampton General Hospital, said, "We are pleased to have another effective and reliable means to catch cheats and help deter harmful drug misuse. There has been a tremendous amount of team work to develop this test and I am delighted that this dedication has finally succeeded. I would like to thank the World Anti-Doping Agency, US Anti-Doping and UK Anti-Doping fo
|Contact: Becky Attwood|
University of Southampton