The 2020 Tokyo Olympics could use genetics to identify who is dopa. President of the Olympic Commission Thomas Bach announced this. The new technology is able to detect traces of illicit substances even months after intake. A blood sample is enough and a few hours to get the results. In order for it to actually be used during the Olympics, however, the test must first be approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Genetic testing is an idea of Professor Yannis Pitsiladis, who specializes in sports medicine and genetics at the University of Brighton. The technology has been in production since 2006 and should be ready by now. His team members have indeed tested the test with groups of volunteer athletes, so far with excellent results. The test was able to identify both the use of prohibited substances and any illegal transfusions.
According to Pitsiladis, the test will give a breakthrough to the fight against doping. Even if it were not validated in time for the 2020 Olympics, it will still be one of the protagonists of the event. In fact, scientists will take the opportunity to collect as many samples as possible, so that they can be analyzed later. This will add to the fact that the planned pre-Olympics test program will be the largest ever planned.
Members of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the author of the study are confident that this will help to discourage doping. Furthermore, such a test could reduce the risk of events similar to the Russian doping scandal in 2015.