'Biological passport' that measures blood, body chemistry may put dent in sports doping

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Washington, May 8(ANI): Top Italian cyclist Franco Pellizotti was banned from a cycle race in Italy when authorities detected irregular blood levels in his body, suggesting drug intake.

Pellizotti, who is a hot favourite, was banned from the Giro d'Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race, in Rome.

Each time a new drug test comes out, athletes and their doctors figure out a way to beat it. But now, researchers have come up with a "biological passport" that measures blood and body chemistry over time. The discovery may finally put a dent in sports doping.

"It's another tool to find those who are doping and protect those who are clean," Discovery News quoted David Howman, director of the World Anti-Doping Association in Montreal, as saying.

"Its a significant step for the fight against doping," he added.

The drug looks for changes in a rider's established baseline that might result from doping, even if the specific drug or tactic remains unknown.

The drug is especially successful considering there are some drugs on the market which can be detected only for a couple of days, but produce effects that last over a week. Such drugs can't be detected by ordinary doping tests. One such example is erythropoitein (EPO), which was developed to help anaemia patients. (ANI)

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