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UK to issue biological passports

Published:Saturday | February 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

LONDON (AP):British anti-doping authorities will issue the country's athletes with so-called biological passports, in an effort to further deter the use of banned substances in the lead-up to the London 2012 Olympics.

UK Anti-Doping announced the scheme yesterday, which is similar to the one used by the International Cycling Union to monitor professional riders, in collaboration with the WADA-accredited laboratory at King's College London.

The King's College London Drug Control Centre is the only lab in Britain accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Traditional anti-doping tests compare the level of substances in samples against the average across an entire population. The new system of blood tests enables scientists to measure results against athletes' individual norms to spot unusual readings.

"This new programme will compare the athlete with himself or herself rather than against the population at large," Drug Control Centre director Professor David Cowan said. "The effect of this will make it far easier to catch the doped athlete."