• Early signs for drug detection at Tour de France
    Drug detection on the Tour de France could be targeted at the best performers


Early signs for drug detection at Tour de France

Jul 05 2010

Early warning signs could decide who to test using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry as part of a holistic approach to drug detection at the Tour de France.

With the race underway on July 3rd and due to last until July 25th, New Scientist notes developing theory in drug detection which compares race performance to the believed natural limitations of human endeavour.

"Work out the boundaries of human ability, based on what we know about physiology and its maximal capabilities," writes Jim Giles.

"If an athlete's performance lies outside this limit, they are highlighted as a potential drug-taker."

With 25 ascents into the Pyrenees and Alps on the schedule for the Tour de France, he adds that any particularly outstanding performances may be treated with suspicion.

The cynicism could aid drug detection efforts by allowing the usual mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography processes to be directed towards the competitors most likely to be using banned substances.

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