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First use of the digital matrix for re-analysing NADA Germany samples


The National Anti Doping Agency of Germany (NADA Germany) has analysed the digital matrix of long-term stored samples for the first time in cooperation with the Institute of Biochemistry at the German Sport University Cologne. The digital matrix of samples from 2019 and 2020 was analysed for the substances JTV-519, Tirasemtiv and Reldesemtiv of substance class S.0 of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. The analysis of these substances also represents a novelty in the context of the procedure. All 6,547 samples analysed were negative. 

NADA Germany considers the analysis of the digital matrix of samples to be an important and forward-looking aspect of doping analysis. The digital matrix is data collected by means of liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC/HRMS) in full scan and in data-independent analysis mode when analysing urine samples. Together with the Institute of Biochemistry, NADA Germany had stored the data for all samples transferred to long-term storage in compliance with data protection regulations. Instead of resource-intensive and expensive re-analysis programmes for samples in long-term storage, the digital matrix can be evaluated to obtain indications of the presence of selected target substances. A prerequisite for the application of this method is knowledge of the chromatographic/mass spectrometric characteristics of the metabolites of the target substances excreted in the urine.

Substance class S.0 of the WADA Prohibited List includes unauthorised medicinal products that have the potential to enhance performance. The selected substances JTV-519, Tirasemtiv and Reldesemtiv are among the unauthorised substances that have the potential to improve training performance by optimising skeletal muscle function and regeneration. As the performance-enhancing effects of these substances have been known since at least 2018 and research results on their detection in urine are already available at the Institute of Biochemistry, the years 2019 and 2020 have been selected for the analysis.