Wednesday, February 22, 2012

EPO Testing Revisited: 2009 (Part Three)

The ITF's 2009 anti-doping statistical release is the last document for which EPO testing data is available. No out-of-competition EPO tests were conducted by the ITF in 2009. Here are the 21 in-competition (targeted) tests that were conducted:

Our look at EPO testing for 2008 is here and here.


  1. A couple of observations:

    1)I'm still not totally convinced that the epo tests were only carried out only where previous blood screening had indicated use. For example, all the quarter finalists at the 2008 Paris Masters appear to have been tested. They may have all been under suspicion, but it seems more likely it was a late push to up the numbers of epo tests carried out that year, at an event most of the top players don't normally take too seriously.

    2)While the out-of-competion tests are technically out-of-competition, alot of them are taken on the opening days of tournaments, for example a host were taken at the start of the Toronto and Madrid masters tournaments. Not exactly what I'd consider out-of-competition.

    1. Hi John,

      On point 1: The ITF's statement testing protocol is on the record. I don't know what else we can go on. Second, if you think the Paris 2008 testing was to juke the stats, why didn't they do the same in 2009 when they conducted even fewer EPO tests?

      On 2: No argument here. We've noted many times that the timing of out-of-competition testing has much to be desired.

    2. If it was targeted, then tennis is in a lot of trouble. That's all 8 quarterfinalists, and 2/8 from R3. It's also 10 of the top 11, only exception being Ferrer at #5.

  2. Has anyone read "Chemists in the Shadows" in this month's Discover Magazine? (p. 36)
    Patrick Arnold is a man with a spectrometer.
    "For underground chemists gearing their efforts to performance enhancing drugs tweaking a couple of molecules can render a banned substance undetectable to professional sporting bodies, since they need a reference sample to spot it."