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Anti-Doping Chief Calls for More Blood Testing to Catch ‘Cheats’

Athletes using performance- enhancing drugs such as human growth hormone are “getting away with it” because not enough blood testing is being done, the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency said.

In 2010, WADA accredited laboratories analyzed 258,267 samples taken from in- and out-of-competition testing worldwide. Out of that amount, “effectively only 5,000” were blood samples, WADA president John Fahey said in an interview in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the doping agency has a regional office. The rest of the testing was done on urine samples.

In 2010, there were only 3 positive cases of human growth hormone (HGH), according to statistics on the WADA website. HGH can only be detected in blood.

HGH is considered a performance-enhancing drug because of its ability to grow muscle and aid recovery after training, while not being detectable in urine, unlike anabolic steroids. A test for HGH was first introduced at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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