Blood doping

Blood doping, along with physical, chemical and pharmacological manipulation, is one of the prohibited doping methods. Regular endurance sports increase the blood volume and the oxygen transport capacity of the blood. This effect can be achieved by supplying the body’s own blood or foreign blood of the same blood group.

The transfusion is usually carried out shortly before the competition in several portions. A total of about 1 litre of blood is added. The increase in blood volume leads to an increase in the erythrocyte concentration in the blood.

The withdrawal of the body’s own blood initially leads to a reduction in the amount of blood in the organism and thus to a lower haemoglobin concentration in the blood. This leads to a reduction in the partial pressure of oxygen and the kidneys release the hormone erythropoietin (Epo). This causes the production of red blood cells and the endurance conductivity increases again.

If conserved blood is now added, an increased stroke volume and increased oxygen levels in the arterial blood occur. The performance capacity is increased. A 5% decrease in running time was measured in cross-country skiing.

When foreign blood is added during blood doping, there is always the risk of HIV infection (AIDS). If there is no medical indication, blood transfusion should be avoided for ethnic reasons. The detection of blood doping has proven to be very difficult to date.

Although the doping regulations of the IOC and individual professional associations contain individual paragraphs on blood testing, the collection of venous blood is considered a bodily injury from a medical and legal point of view. A collection is only possible with the approval of the athlete. Nowadays, however, the necessity of this control has prevailed over scepticism.

The rate of detection is 50-70%. For this purpose, however, two samples must be taken within two weeks after abusive transfusion. The analysis is based on the changed erythrocyte concentration and haemoglobin content in the blood, as well as on the destruction of red blood cells by the transfusion.

Due to the easier application of Epo- Doping, blood doping has decreased in the past. However, due to the reliable detection of Epo, blood doping can be expected in the future. This section deals with the manipulation of the urine samples given.

Doping tests can only be carried out on undamaged, legally valid urine samples. Methods to influence the urine sample are It appears there are no limits to the manipulation of urine specimens in sport. For example, it has happened that athletes have hidden plastic containers with foreign urine under their armpits and placed them through a catheter to the excretion site. – Dilution of the urine sample provided by water or other liquids

  • Taking e.g. Probenecid reduces the excretion of the doping substances
  • Various physical manipulation
  • Injection of foreign urine into the bladder