Every month, the Partnership for Clean Competition posts Research in Review, which highlights anti-doping publications from the previous month. The included articles may or may not stem from PCC-funded research. In Research Insights, we choose a few research papers and allow their authors to expand upon them. Highlighting this research should not be read as an endorsement of findings, but rather, an attempt to promote a holistic understanding of anti-doping science.

Veronika Mussack of the TUM School of Life Sciences and her team published findings in the American Journal of Hematology entitled, On the trail of blood doping-microRNA fingerprints to monitor autologous blood transfusions in vivo.

The authors explain in the paper’s abstract:

Autologous blood doping refers to the illegal re-transfusion of any quantities of blood or blood components with blood donor and recipient being the same person. The re-transfusion of stored erythrocyte concentrates is particularly attractive to high-performance athletes as this practice improves their oxygen capacity excessively. However, there is still no reliable detection method available. Analyzing circulating microRNA profiles of human subjects that underwent monitored autologous blood transfusions seems to be a highly promising approach to develop novel biomarkers for autologous blood doping.

You can read the full abstract of the paper here.

The author further elaborates on their findings in our Research Insights video.