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Blood doping remains one of the most effective means to enhances athletic performance in endurance events. Because blood doping with the hormone EPO now can be detected, cheating athletes have again turned to blood transfusion. Autologous (with your own) blood doping will enhance physical performance and VO2max by 15-20%. Detection methods have until recently not been available, but the application of proteomic screening has successfully identified useful biomarkers. The implementation will guide governing bodies to proper actions in terms of doping control and allocated efforts for “intelligent testing”. Cross country skiing is one sport where athletes have extremely high aerobic exercise capacity. Consequently, blood doping has been, and still is, a major issue in this sport.
Christer Malm is an exercise physiologist and professor at the Section of Sports Medicine, Umeå university. In 2014 spin-off company, Pro Test Diagnostics AB, was created via Umeå Biotech Incubator to develop a novel analytical method for detection of blood doping.