A new technique adopted by the Hungarian doping control team during the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 has brought about a significant shift in the dynamics of testing procedures. The strategic determinations, including the selection of athletes for testing, the timing of tests, and the specific testing methods employed, remain under the purview of World Athletics (WA) and the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
Dr. Ágnes Tiszeker, CEO of HUNADO, acknowledges both the enormity of the task and the honor it carries: „We will take hundreds of blood samples, but beyond the quantity a professional interest lies in the diverse array of samples and analyses. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) remains at the forefront of experimental inquiries and scientific research advancement. Our involvement at the World Championships in Budapest is a collaborative endeavor: a tripartite project involving WA-AIU-WADA, concentrating on the innovative Dried Blood Spot (DBS) technique. Moreover, we are engaged in a pioneering partnership between WA-AIU and USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency), undertaking a pilot programme dedicated to the analysis of new biological parameters”.
"My colleagues are all Hungarian. We didn't seek assistance from other nations' anti-doping organisations as we're highly confident that our extensive experience and participation in international competitions, including the two FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, render us fully capable of managing the task independently. At the same time, we've expanded our team with adept blood sampling professionals and trained aides, as HUNADO's internal anti-doping unit alone wouldn't have sufficed for the task.
The sampling team comprises 94 members, including 50 doping control officers, 12 blood sampling experts, 32 doping control assistants, and a 10-person team handling administrative and management. Furthermore, HUNADO is supported by 164 volunteers. These volunteers, selected and trained by HUNADO in collaboration with the Organising Committee, will be responsible for guiding and aiding athletes until their arrival at the sampling station.
„At the World Championships 650 blood samples and 500 urine samples will be gathered. The latter are primarily acquired post-competition, with a direct link to athletes' rankings. This comprehensive effort extends beyond standard doping control profiles, including supplementary analyses. Notably, extensive assessments such as EPO detection, growth hormone measurements, and isotope ratio measurements (IRMS) for steroids everything that is part of the regular doping control 'menu.'
Samples are shipped daily to the WADA accredited laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria, which is also a challenge for the staff there. As the results come in, the AIU will continuously evaluate them and may increase the number of samples at any time, but it may also be that some athletes will have to be retested or a new assay 'thrown in' depending on the results or discrepancies found in the biological passport. The system that the AIU operates is very professional and fast, and we are required to comply with the regulations without the slightest compromise" - underscored Dr. Tiszeker.