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Researchers develop DNA test to nab doping cheats

October 18, 2013

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Researchers at the University of British Columbia are closing another avenue for cheating in sports — a DNA test that can catch athletes who use blood doping.

The test is touted as being easier, faster and cheaper than current tests to identify athletes who receive a transfusion with oxygen-infused blood. Cyclist Lance Armstrong is among those to have acknowledged doing so.

The US Anti-Doping Agency currently tests for signs of doping through transfusion by examining proteins in blood.

James Rupert is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. He says the new test allows DNA to be amplified to a high resolution, which can’t be done with proteins.

He says the technology enables white cells to be inspected for different populations of genes and reveal if a second person’s cells are present.

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