September 29, 2020

WADA Claims Roche Pharmaceuticals Adds Molecule to Drugs in Anti-Doping Effort

John Fahey, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has revealed they are cooperating with Roche Pharmaceuticals to secretly add a “traceable molecule” to drugs likely to have performance enhancing effects in athletes. This was how AFLD was able to detect the previously-undetectable Mircera (CERA) in Riccardo Ricco’s sample at the 2008 Tour de France. Roche manufacures at least two PEDs used by cyclists – Mircera and NeoRecormon. Drug-tested athletes have been given notice to avoid using products manufactured by Roche Pharmaceuticals. [Read more…]

Blood Booster EPO Only the Tip of the Iceberg in Cycling

Widespread doping continues in cycling despite recent proclamations by Olivier Rabin, the science director for World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and Pierre Bordry, the head of the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), that they are practically on the verge of eliminating doping from cycling.

The testosterone doping test is flawed. The EPO test is flawed in more ways than one. Peptide hormones such as human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) are currently undetectable. And this does not begin to address other current and emerging synthetic blood boosting techniques being used by cyclists.

It seems that anti-doping agencies are happy to assert that they are winning the war on doping while neglecting issues such as biogeneric/biosimilar erythropoietin (EPO) stimulating proteins (ESPs); blood oxygen carriers: perfluorocarbon emulsions (PFCEs) and hemoglobin based oxygen carriers (HBOCs); hydroxyethylstarch (HES/HAES); and before long, if not already, EPO-mimetic peptide (EMPs). [Read more…]

Use of Biosimilar EPO Agents Widespread at 2008 Tour de France

A BBC investigation suggests that most athletes who use recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) continue to get away with it. The investigative article reveals several reasons why the EPO test is failing. But the BBC revealed that the biggest problem is not the ineffectiveness of the existing EPO tests used by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It is a lack of testing for variants of EPO.

Athletes are using various “biosimilar” EPO agents for which WADA has not yet developed a detection method. WADA’s ballyhooed test for the previously undetectable Mircera (pegylated EPO) was an admission that the already flawed existing EPO test was unable to detect variants of EPO; the announcement of the new CERA (Mircera) test at the 2008 Tour de France was considered a major victory.

There are also dozens of “copycat” or “biosimilar” versions of EPO. These are variants of EPO that are produced by different methods or exist as slightly different biological forms of EPO e.g. darbepoetin alfa, epoetin alfa, epoetin beta, epoetin gamma, epoetin delta, epoetin epsilon, epoetin zeta, epoetin theta, epoetin kappa, epoetin omega. The existence of biosimilar versions of EPO is a major problem for drug testers [Read more…]

Legality of Anti-Doping Test for Mircera at 2008 Tour de France

The French National Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) has been utlizing a secret new anti-doping test for a previously undetectable performance-enhancing drug during the 2008 Tour de France. Rumors about a test for Mircera started circulating when cyclist Riccardo Ricco failed his doping protocol. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) quickly confirmed the rumors.

WADA gave notice to cyclists competing at the 2008 Tour de France that they were now able to detect the performance enhancing drug Mircera (methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta), a third generation version of erythropoietin (EPO) belonging to the category of drugs known as Continuous Erythropoeitin Receptor Activators (CERA).

Doping experts concerned with the fairness of the doping protocols administered by WADA-accredited labs were quick to raise questions about the new CERA doping detection methods [Read more…]

Riccardo Ricco Tests Positive for Undetectable New Drug Mircera at 2008 Tour de France

Cyclist Riccardo Ricco of the Saunier Duval-Scott team tested positive for the new performance enhancing drug Mircera (methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta) at the 2008 Tour de France. Ricco is a top cyclist on the Tour and the King of the Mountains and White Jersey leader.

Mircera is a third generation version of erythropoietin manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-LaRoche that has been called “Super EPO.” The big news at the Tour is not that another cyclist was caught doping, it is that a cyclist was caught using a performance enhancing drug that was widely considered “undetectable.” The quick withdrawal of the entire Saunier Duval team from the Tour supports speculation that Mircera was the team’s secret weapon (“Riccardo Riccò tests positive; Saunier Duval team withdraws from Tour de France,” July 17).

Recent rumors in the sport had suggested that some riders were using an undetectable new oxygen-enhancing drug widely thought to be Roche’s Micera. The existence of a test for CERA was not announced, but Riccò’s positive for the substance suggests that it has not escaped the attention of anti-doping officials.

[Read more…]