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Friday 21 February 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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20 Feb 2020
Sweat 2020: ukactive announces two new reports as part of Business Intelligence service
ukactive has launched two major new reports as part of its Business Intelligence service.
20 Feb 2020
Sweat 2020 event kicks off, charting the UK's boutique fitness market
The annual Sweat event kicks off in London today (20 February), offering the UK's fitness industry a platform to discuss the future trends within the thriving boutique sector.
19 Feb 2020
ISPA Talent Symposium will offer professional one-on-one coaching sessions
ISPA has announced the addition of private coaching sessions for attendees at the upcoming ISPA Talent Symposium.
14 Feb 2020
Sweat 2020: new report to offer fresh insight into impact of multi-operator gym memberships
A report outlining membership habits and retention in the fitness sector will be released at the Sweat 2020 event next week.
06 Feb 2020
Create a culture of ‘productive generosity’: ISPA keynote to explain how
American psychologist Adam Grant has been announced as a keynote speaker for the 2020 ISPA Conference and Expo, scheduled for 14-16 October 2020.
04 Feb 2020
GBWE partners with Hutchinson Consulting and Contento Marketing
US-based wellness event Global Beauty and Wellness Exchange (GBWE) has announced a partnership with Hutchinson Consulting and Contento Marketing with the aim of bringing new buyers to the tenth annual event.
03 Feb 2020
Major step forward for Birmingham 2022 plans as £72m Alexander Stadium revamp is approved
Detailed plans for the redevelopment of Alexander Stadium in Birmingham have been approved, marking a major milestone in the preparations for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
03 Feb 2020
New ‘Together’ programme of events launched for ukactive members
Physical activity body ukactive is launching a new programme of regional events, aimed at providing a platform for the physical activity body and its members to discuss the key issues facing the sector.
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Diary dates
19-21 Feb 2020
ForumPiscine - 12th International Pool & Spa Expo and Congress
Bologna Exhibition Centre
Bologna
Italy
24 Feb 2020
Global Beauty & Wellness Exchange
Montage Palmetto Bluff
Bluffton
United States
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
03-05 Mar 2020
Interiors & Tabletop Show
ExCel
London
United Kingdom
03-05 Mar 2020
Hospitality Tech Show
ExCel
London
United Kingdom
03-05 Mar 2020
Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC)
ExCel
London
United Kingdom
06-07 Mar 2020
FORUMCLUB International Congress & Expo for fitness, sport & wellness clubs
Palazzo del Ghiaccio
Milan
Italy
06-08 Mar 2020
BEAUTY Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre
Düsseldorf
Germany
08-10 Mar 2020
International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference - New York
Javits Convention Center
New York
United States
12-16 Mar 2020
Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna
Fair District
Bologna
Italy
19 Mar 2020
iConnection '10 Year Anniversary'
Legacy Resort & Spa
San Diego
United States
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