Francesco Botrè, PhD, is Director of the WADA-Accredited Laboratorio Antidoping Federazione Medico Sportiva Italiana (FMSI Anti-Doping Lab). He shares the history of FMSI Lab and the complex process of how samples are collected, delivered, anonymized, processed, analyzed, and interpreted by the lab. Francesco also discusses his research on doping masking agents, metabolic modulators, and drug-drug interactions, as well as his experiences running testing in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.
Support This Podcast
Interested in sponsoring the Anti-Doping Podcast or have a guest recommendation?
Dr. James Hopker is a Reader in Exercise Physiology, Director of Postgraduate Research, and Acting Head of School for the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Kent. He is an expert on exercise training, and he has been studying applications of performance monitoring in anti-doping. We discuss how an Athlete Performance Passport may complement the Athlete Biological Passport, the role of technology in performance monitoring, and strengths and limitations of this approach in anti-doping.
Gabe Baida is currently Executive Director of InnoVero, and he was formerly UFC and Premier Sport Director at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. In this episode, he discusses his prior work with USADA, issues with maintaining the security and integrity of samples and sample collection equipment, the security features and benefits of the new InnoVero Safe System, the importance of collaboration in developing novel anti-doping products, and the need for continued innovation in anti-doping testing and equipment.
Dr. Judy Su is Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering, Optical Sciences, and the BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona. She is developing novel sensors that use light to detect extremely low concentrations of substances. She shares how the sensors are made, how they work, and how they could be used in testing for doping. Beyond their high sensitivity, the sensors deliver results rapidly, require low sample volumes, and are better suited to detecting microdosing and drugs with a short half life.
29 – Developing Evidence-Informed Interventions to Enhance Anti-Doping Programs – Susan Backhouse, PhD
Susan Backhouse, PhD is Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Nutrition as well as Director of Research for Sport and Exercise Science, Leisure, and Tourism at Leeds Beckett University. She discusses the bystander effect and an anti-doping bystander intervention program she helped develop, creating the largest coach-centered doping education program in the world, issues with therapeutic use exemptions for asthma, aspects of the behavioral science of whistleblowing and reporting doping in sport, and more.
Dr. Lindsey Mackay is General Manager at the National Measurement Institute in Australia. She tells us what reference materials are, how they are used in drug testing labs, why they are critical for anti-doping, how they are made, how they are distributed, and more. She also shares major challenges in making reference materials and a recent project in which they created new reference materials to differentiate between testosterone-related steroids from external sources versus made naturally by the body.
Dr. Mike McNamee holds Professorships at Swansea University, UK; and KU Leuven, Belgium, and he is Programme Director of the world’s only Master Degree in Sport Ethics and Integrity, sponsored by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme. He is a renowned expert in sports ethics, sports integrity, and anti-doping policy. We discuss a variety of ethical issues related to fair sport, including athlete privacy concerns in providing whereabouts, security issues for athletes’ data, use of advanced technology and prosthetics in sport, match fixing, and more in this episode.
Channing Cash is an accomplished Team USA Paracanoe Athlete, and she tells us the incredible series of events that led to her becoming a professional athlete. We cover her early childhood in a small village in Laos, the many struggles she has overcome, constructive ways to cope with roadblocks in performance, her experiences with anti-doping education and testing programs as an athlete, challenges athletes face with inadvertent ingestion of banned substances in supplements and other consumables, and more.
Dr. Richard Holt is Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology within Medicine at the University of Southampton. In our interview, he discusses what growth hormone is, its normal physiological functions, the mechanisms through which it may enhance athletic performance, potential side effects and dangers of doping with growth hormone, challenges in detecting growth hormone abuse, the history of growth hormone testing in sport, the new innovative growth hormone testing methods he has helped develop, and more.
Danielle Moncrieffe, PhD is a Research Associate and Partnership for Clean Competition Research Fellow at the Drug Control Centre at King’s College London. She has been developing novel liquid chromatography methods to detect growth hormone doping by quantifying the biomarker procollagen III amino-terminal propeptide (P-III-NP). Danielle explains what P-III-NP is, its clinical relevance, and its relevance in anti-doping. She also shares her experiences as a PCC Fellow and the benefits of this fellowship.
Dr. Mario Thevis is Vice President of Research, Professor, and Head of the Centre for Preventive Doping Research at the German Sport University of Cologne. He is also Director of the European Monitoring Center for Emerging Doping Agents, a forensic chemist, Editor-in-Chief of Drug Testing & Analysis, and a PCC scientist. He discusses challenges detecting microdosing of prohibited substances, new drug tests being developed using exhaled breath samples, recent breath testing field trials, and more.
Dr. Tessa Muir, B.V.Sc., is the former Anti-Doping Manager at British Horseracing Authority. She is an equine veterinarian, a Veterinary Officer with the British Army, and a Regulatory Veterinarian at Racing Victoria. She discusses current doping issues, recent doping cases, and key anti-doping programs and strategies to detect, deter, and prevent doping in horseracing. Tessa also shares important similarities and differences between equine and human sports for anti-doping and other integrity concerns.
Dr. Nicolas Voelcker is Scientific Director of the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, Professor at Monash University, and Science Leader at the CSIRO. He shares how applying his expertise in nanomaterials to anti-doping allowed him to work on exciting research projects and take advantage of great funding opportunities. He also describes the anti-doping testing applications of a porous silicon nanomaterial he works on, and how this material is used with mass spectrometry to detect prohibited substances.
Dr. Steve Elliott is a former Scientific Executive Director at Amgen, an expert on the process of creating new red blood cells (i.e. erythropoiesis), and a champion of anti-doping. He dives into what erythropoietin (EPO) is, how it’s made in the body, the impacts of not having enough EPO, and how EPO abuse can enhance athletic performance. We also cover tests developed to detect EPO and recombinant EPO abuse, and the red flags scientists look for to determine if athletes have been doping with EPO.