Anti-Dopping Services at London 2012
There is an impressive amount of science helping every athlete on their journey to the podiums at London 2012, but as Graham Edmunds quoted “the podium is my only stimulant”.
In addition to the nutrition, textiles, shoes, and training planning, some science can be used in the illegal process of doping. Substances that athletes take that enhance their performance have been banned and London 2012 has been pledged to be the fairest games yet. GSK won the contract to run independently, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory for sample testing through the Games. The journey of a sample is interesting, and the resources available to test on the scale that GSK are doing. Over 240 illegal substances will be tested for, and the lab will be working around the clock. There is a team of over150 scientists from around the world, turning samples around in less than 24 hours. The volume of samples, up to 400 a day, and 6250 over the course of the Olympics and Paralympics. At different stages, an impressive array of technology is used for the most accurate results: centrifuge, vacuum manifold, haematology analyser and LCMs. A great video from GSK brings to life this process (http://www.gsk.com/media/london-2012/index.htm#/-1/)