Improving scientific practice in sports-associated drug testing

FEBS J. 2019 Jul;286(14):2664-2669. doi: 10.1111/febs.14920. Epub 2019 May 16.


Antidoping work is heavily based on scientific analyses of biological material, such as urine and blood. Because of the high stakes both for sports and for the athletes involved it is important that analyses are performed and interpreted in agreement with established scientific standards and professional norms. This is not always the case, as we document here. It is our experience that the antidoping movement does not appear willing to consider that errors can occur and should be corrected. The consequences of the lack of transparency and responsibility are carried by unlucky athletes. Scientific, ethical and legal considerations urge the antidoping movement to reform some of their rules and regulations and to include the possibility that the World Anti-Doping Agency position could, in some cases, be incorrect.

Keywords: EPO; PAGE; WADA laboratories; doping; scientific analyses.

MeSH terms

  • Doping in Sports / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Doping in Sports / prevention & control*
  • Erythropoietin / physiology
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection


  • Erythropoietin