Monday, March 2, 2009

New York Times and the Biological passport

'Interesting' article in the New York Times over the weekend about the biological passport.

"... Mr. Ashenden said, the biological passport is not perfect. Riders who transfuse their own blood may not be caught because the swings in their blood values are not as dramatic as they can be with EPO use. He also said that the passport system would be successful for “about a year or so” until riders figure a way around it."

The question has to be asked ... how much has been spent on this passport and is it worthwhile to spend this money when it will only be effective for a year. Surely there are other ways?

The comments are even more interesting when you consider the comments of Giuseppe Lippi, Massimo Franchini and Gian Cesare Guidi in their article Tour de Crisis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine 2007;41:625-626. There the authors note that the US spends as much as it does on anti blood doping as it does curing blood diseases.

They conclude: "Therefore, in practice, healthcare systems and national governments worldwide are expected to devote to the fight against doping the same resources that the US government dedicates to prevention and treatment of diseases that cause great morbidity, mortality and economic burden for individuals, families and the entire population. Is this really necessary and morally acceptable?"

You really have to wonder if there isn't a better way? Or even what is this all about really?

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