Hamilton Busted By Test That Can’t Be Cheated . . . Yet

Other than what Seth has posted about it, I haven’t really been following the controversy over Tyler Hamilton’s apparent use of blood doping which recently came to light. But New Scientist has an article reporting that Hamilton was apparently using a method of blood doping that was undetectable until very recently,

Sports cheats beware – if you thought your chosen method of blood doping was undetectable, think again.

That is the message sports officials are promoting after US cyclist Tyler Hamilton was nailed by a surprise test for a previously untraceable method of blood doping during the Tour of Spain race last week.

. . .

The new test looks for 15 different minor antigens and can detect the presence of just one unit (about 500 millilitres) of transfused blood. “If you find several sets of antigens, it means that you have blood from two different people,” says Ann-Muriel Steff, research manager at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Canada.

The test is not perfect, however, and there is still one surfire way to cheat it — use your own blood,

What the new test cannot pick up, however, is someone who has given themselves a transfusion of their own blood, donated beforehand and stored until just before a race


Blood doping test cannot be cheated. New Scientist, October 4, 2004.

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