A laboratory described as the most high-tech in the history of the Olympics has been revealed.
Doping in sport is a process where athletes illegally enhance performance by use of substances or agents. It is known to be an occuring problem even dating back to the Ancient Olympics where athletes would consume lizard meat prepared in a special way for the intention to gain an advantage relative to the competitors. More recently a prime example would be sprinter ‘Ben Johnson’ who broke 100m world records twice in the 1987 World Championships & 1988 Summer Olympics. However both records was lost and his olympic title as he was disqualified for blood doping. It was only yesterday where the Indian Anti-doping agency caught 11 school athletes using banned drugs. The director general Rahul Bhatnagar said on Thursday
“I was shocked at the high percentage of those testing positive”
Therefore we can conclude blood-doping is common at this day and age. Experts say the use of drugs in sport has increased rapidly within the past 60 years. The British Olympic Association frown upon the use of drugs and encourage fair play in sport especially within their own country to set a good example. This is evident as they have gone to drastic measures in order to control their anti-doping scheme by opening up a new facility of laboratories for drug testing during the London Olympics 2012. It is the size of seven tennis courts and also will carry out more tests than any other Olympics in history.
The high-tech anti-doping unit will analyse more than 6,250 samples during the event – which is up to 400 each day. More than 150 scientists will be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the intention to catch out any cheats from the spectacle. Professor David Cowan from King’s College London, leading the team of scientists, said
“These laboratories are the most high-tech labs in the history of the Games, analysing more samples than ever before. Our role is to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the lab to deliver robust anti-doping testing for the games.”
It is understood that Human Growth Hormone testing will be particularly sensitive in London. This is because it can only be detected if it has been used a few days prior to the test. However improvements of technology in this facility means it will show up even if the abuse took place weeks before the test. Olympic minister Hugh Robertson announced
“This is about the integrity of the London Games. People want to know that what they are seeing is a true and fair contest. We are doing all we can to ensure that there is no place to hide for drug cheats at London 2012. Our message to any athlete thinking about doping is simple – we’ll catch you”