September 21, 2020

Roche Spokesperson Denies Planting Secret Molecule in Mircera

Roche Pharmaceuticals quickly rejected claims that Roche planted secret molecule in Mircera which allowed for detection of the CERA class drug at the 2008 Tour de France. John Fahey, WADA president, told the Australian Broadcasting Company about the addition of the molecule that made it easy for drug testers to detect use of the performance enhancing drug.

Roche Pharmaceuticals spokesperson, Martina Rupp, strongly denied the addition of any special molecule to Mircera in an email response made within hours of Fahey statements.

“The information that a special molecule has been added to Mircera is wrong,” Rupp said in an e-mail. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]