There will always be those who succumb to cheating in the midst of fierce competition. The use of performance-enhancing drugs is prohibited in most sports, but in the Olympics, it can be a downright disgrace resulting in tarnished reputations and metals being stripped.
As this year’s Olympic Games are underway, representatives for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) advised that they had a secret weapon up their sleeve. They unveiled a new test capable of distinguishing between real and fake human growth hormones (HGH). The bio-marker as it is called will help level the playing field by weeding out those contenders who use unnatural means to gain a competitive edge.
The new drug test marks the start of the most heavily scrutinized Olympic Games to date. Six months before the opening ceremony, nearly 72,000 tests were administered throughout the globe, which resulted in over 100 sanctions. Leaders say that there are over 6,000 more tests that will be administered throughout this summer’s events. The goal is to help eliminate doping and create an environment that inspires a pure test of strength and endurance.
According to WADA’s director, David Howman, the breakthrough of this particular test is that it can detect the presence of artificial levels of HGH within hours instead of weeks. The test will not replace the current HGH test used by officials for the past eight years but will serve as a supplement.
Those who think they may have beaten the system should know that samples will stay on file for up to eight years. This means that samples could be subject to random testing up to nearly a decade after the event. Those found guilty will be gambling with their careers as officials are more determined than ever to make an example out of cheaters to keep the competition clean.