This year’s olympic games in Beijing have shown that doping continues to be a problem. A factor complicating the matter is that the antidoping work is lagging behind when it comes to fairness and right of law, according to three experienced scientists affiliated to the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital (photo).
In a recent article in the prestigious scientific journal "EMBO reports" the authors Nissen-Meyer, Skotland and Boye document how athletes have been suspended based on arbitrary and erroneous decisions.
They here demonstrate that the World Antidoping Agency (WADA) employs scientific methods but fails to use scientific criteria when evaluating the results and fail to exercise their own principles consistently. Such practices renders the antidoping work open to critique and leaves it not trustworthy.
The three scientists (Jon Nissen-Meyer, Section for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UiO; Tore Skotland, Dept. of Molecular Cell Biology, Inst. for Cancer Research, OUH; Erik Boye, Dept. of Radiation Biology, Inst. for Cancer Research, OUH) have for a decade argued for an improvement of the scientific quality of antidoping analyses. In this work, they point out problems that obviously have to be mended, both when it comes to transparency and the quality of the analyses. Many athletes have been sanctioned severely for errors made by the antidoping machinery.
The EMBO reports article:
Are doping tests in sports trustworthy?: Athletes suffer from insufficiently defined criteria for doping tests.
Nissen-Meyer J, Skotland T, Boye E.
EMBO Rep. 2022 Feb 14:e54431. doi: 10.15252/embr.202154431. Online ahead of print.
PMID: 35156749 - Download in PDF format
Previous articles on the subject by Nissen-Meyer, Skotland and Boye:
Improving scientific practice in sports-associated drug testing.
Nissen-Meyer J, Skotland T, Østerud B, Boye E.
FEBS J. 2019 Jul;286(14):2664-2669. doi: 10.1111/febs.14920. Epub 2019 May 16.
Doping and drug testing: Anti-doping work must be transparent and adhere to good scientific practices to ensure public trust.
Boye E, Skotland T, Østerud B, Nissen-Meyer J.
EMBO Rep. 2017 Mar;18(3):351-354. doi: 10.15252/embr.201643540. Epub 2017 Feb 6.
About the authors, including publication lists: