IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

Doping Control Research Group Rosa Ventura

The Doping Control Research Group performs scientific research to contribute to the progress of doping control in sports, with the objective to ensure a clean sport and to protect the health of athletes. It is formed by personnel belonging to the Catalonian Antidoping Laboratory, and the research focuses on the development and the improvement of analytical methods to detect the misuse of doping agents, as well as on the study of new markers to improve the detection of substances and methods prohibited in sport. In addition, the group works on new mass spectrometry techniques for detecting and quantifying drugs and their metabolites, and endogenous metabolites in biological fluids to study pharmacokinetics, metabolism and pharmacodynamics. The team also collaborates with other research groups in determining environmental pollutants in biological samples.

The main areas of research interest of the group are as follow:

  • Metabolism of anabolic androgenic steroids (long-term metabolites).
  • Detection of the administration of endogenous steroids.
  • Study of the factors influencing the endogenous steroid profile.
  • Discrimination of prohibited and permitted uses of glucocorticoids.
  • Discrimination of prohibited and permitted used β2-agonists.
  • Detection of the use of blood transfusions.
  • Detection of growth hormone releasing peptides.
  • Use of dried blood spots in doping control.

The Catalonian Antidoping Laboratory is one of the laboratories accredited by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA-AMA) to perform doping controls in athletes. The laboratory received its first accreditation in 1985 by the International Olympic Committee. In 1994 the laboratory was also accredited by the Association of Official Racing Chemists (AORC) to undertake doping controls in animals. In order to develop its activities and comply with the WADA and AORC directives, since 2000 the laboratory has the ISO 17025 accreditation from the national accreditation body (ENAC No. 239 / LE485).

The laboratory is equipped with a wide range of chromatography-mass spectrometry instruments: liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (triple quadrupole, QTOF), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (triple quadrupole), and gas chromatography-isotope ratio mass spectrometry. The laboratory has also equipment for applying immunological and electrophoresis methods.

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