DRIED BLOOD SPOT METHOD
Since 2015, NADA Germany has conducted a total of four research projects in the area of the Dried Blood Spot (DBS) method for use in the context of doping tests.
The Dried Blood Spot test is a technique with a tradition of more than 50 years that is used in newborn screening to detect metabolic disorders. The advantage here is the minimally invasive procedure and the relatively small volumes (drops of blood) required for analysis. The WADA-accredited laboratory at the German Sport University Cologne has the necessary technical equipment to detect the substances contained in a drop of blood using highly sensitive chromatographic, mass spectrometric methods.
Since September 2021, the method has been used as a supplement to classic urine and blood tests in doping controls.
To the DBS testing procedure
With the start of the pandemic in 2020, NADA Germany recognised the opportunity of the DBS technique as a way of using it without personal contact. Together with the Centre for Preventive Doping Research at the German Sport University Cologne, the DBS method was tested for the first time in an online procedure. The participating athletes were accompanied by video telephony during the DBS test. NADA Germany had launched the project in March 2020 to support clean athletes during the COVID 19 pandemic and to involve them in the further development of the Testing Programme. Several athletes who were part of the perspective squad for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, among others, took part in the pilot project. A total of 98 DBS samples were taken, for the first time by using medical equipment [Tasso Device] to take blood from the upper arm.
At the end of 2021, the implementation via video telephony was further expanded by means of a new remote testing solution in the form of a separate app as part of a new research project. Furthermore, new test kits are being used in which, in addition to manageability, various sealing options are also being tested in practice. Together with the Institute for Biochemistry and the company Sportradar, both the analytical possibilities for the DBS samples and the remote technology are being tested.
A blog post on the website provides further information and background on the project:
To the Remote Testing blog post (in German)
Analgesics in sports
In 2021, NADA Germany evaluated 8,344 doping control forms (DCF) from doping tests conducted in the five football seasons from 2015/16 to 2019/20. The aim of the present analysis was to quantify for the first time the indications of analgesics on DCFs of football players in the highest German leagues, the Cup and the A and B Junior Bundesliga. On average, 33% of all doping control forms of the last five seasons in the adult and junior sectors of the highest football leagues in Germany indicated the use of analgesics within the last seven days. The junior Bundesliga is significantly lower with an average of 14%. Of 14 analgesic agents, ibuprofen was reported most frequently in all leagues and seasons.
You can find all the information in the publication: Trinks, S., Scheiff, A.B., Knipp, M., Gotzmann, A. (2021). Declaration of Analgesics on Doping Control Forms in German Football Leagues during Five Seasons. German Journal of Sports Medicine / Deutsche Zeitschrift Für Sportmedizin.72(2), 68-73.
To the publication