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Monday 20 January 2020
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28 Dec 2019
Tokyo 2020 could utilise ‘groundbreaking’ gene testing to catch doping cheats

A pioneering gene testing method could be ready to use for the first time at an Olympic Games next year.

According to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the genetic examinations would allow blood doping to be identified several months after banned performance-enhancing drugs – such as Erythropoietin (EPO) – were used by an athlete.

This means that while the technology is still awaiting full approval from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), it could be used retrospectively to assess all medal winners from Tokyo 2020.

The testing method has been developed at the University of Brighton by a team led by Yannis Pitsiladis, professor of sport and exercise science.

Pitsiladis researched Ribonucleic acid (RNA), which together with DNA and proteins are essential for all forms of life, and discovered that drugs can leave a tell-tale signature in RNA.

The breakthrough test, he said, “can identify gene markers in blood if an athlete has taken banned substances".

“The WADA labs can, with near-perfect sensitivity, measure the presence of a drug while in the body," Pitsiladis said.

"Our research focuses on the fingerprint banned substances leave behind allowing a greater window of opportunity to catch the cheaters long after the drug has left the system – this is the beauty of this approach.”

Speaking at the WADA's Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport, Bach suggested that the International Testing Agency (ITA) will collect the appropriate samples to be analysed by the new genetic sequencing method as early as the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, regardless of whether this testing method is already fully validated or not.

“In the latter case, the IOC would analyse these samples after the full validation of this new testing method," Bach added.

The new method of testing was one of four new main areas of a new, four-point US$10m action plan on tackling doping.

Others were the storing of pre-Games testing samples for 10 years; more money being spent on further scientific research; and the strengthening of the investigative powers of WADA.


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15 Jan 2020
Australian Open under threat due to smoke from bushfires
Worries have been raised over the health of players at the Australian Open, after two matches were forced to be abandoned due to the presence of heavy smoke.
14 Jan 2020
CES news: CTA predicts US consumer tech sales to reach record level of US$422bn
The increasing popularity of streaming services and wireless earbuds – along with the introduction of 5G connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled devices – are set to drive revenues in the US consumer tech industry to a record $422bn during 2020.
13 Jan 2020
HOTel&SPA Forum announce 2020 event with new award
The Forum HOTel&SPA has announced details of its 2020 conference, which will be held on 4 June 2020.
08 Jan 2020
CES news: 'age-tech' among the emerging markets on show
'Age-tech' has been identified as one of the emerging markets which could shape future innovations in the wellness and fitness technology sector.
03 Jan 2020
Tokyo 2020 main stadium inaugurated during its first official sports event
The new National Stadium in Tokyo, built for the 2020 Olympic Games, has been officially inaugurated.
01 Jan 2020
Helping children deal with cyberbullying: COMO Shambhala speaker series for parents
The Como Shambhala Urban Escape spa at the Metropolitan London hotel, UK, has launched a mental wellbeing Speaker Series in association with mental health support specialists Head Talks. The programme will kick off in January 2020.
27 Dec 2019
Five sports secure elite funding ahead of Tokyo 2020
Five sports have secured additional funding towards their high-performance programmes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
24 Dec 2019
California hosts global hot springs convention
120 international owners and operators of geothermal pools, spas and resorts recently gathered in the US for a conference called Hot Springs Connection, at Indian Wells and Desert Hot Springs, California.
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Diary dates
21-23 Jan 2020
BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME)
Harrogate Convention Centre
Harrogate
United Kingdom
23-26 Jan 2020
Les Thermalies, the water & well-being exhibition
Carrousel du Louvre
Paris
France
26-29 Jan 2020
Green Spa Network Congress
The Oaks
Ojai
United States
28-30 Jan 2020
Spatex 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena
Coventry
United Kingdom
29-30 Jan 2020
Digital Transformation in Sports Summit
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway
San Francisco
United States
03-04 Feb 2020
Beautyworld Japan Fukuoka
Fukuoka Kokusai Center
Fukuoka
Japan
14-16 Feb 2020
Les Thermalies, the water & well-being exhibition
La Sucrière
Lyon
France
16-17 Feb 2020
World Spa & Wellness Dubai
Festival Arena
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
19-21 Feb 2020
ForumPiscine - 12th International Pool & Spa Expo and Congress
Bologna Exhibition Centre
Bologna
Italy
20 Feb 2020
SWEAT
The Old Truman Brewery
London
United Kingdom
24 Feb 2020
SAPCA Annual Conference, Awards and Annual Dinner
St George's Park
Burton Upon Trent
United Kingdom
02-03 Mar 2020
Quality in Wellness and Spa
IHK Potsdam
Potsdam
Germany
03-03 Mar 2020
The Foodservice Show
ExCel
London
United Kingdom
03-05 Mar 2020
The Professional Kitchen Show
ExCel
London
United Kingdom
more diary dates
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