The method used for detecting EPO glycoforms involves electrofocusing and identification using specific anti-bodies. Profiling involves tracing the different EPO glycoforms in the electric field along an acidity gradient. This allows glycoforms of endogenous EPO to be differentiated from those of exogenous EPO. However, since this time-consuming and expensive method of profiling exogenous EPO was approved, the use of EPO in sport has changed significantly. Whereas high doses of EPO used to be administered mainly subcutaneously before and during competitions, nowadays lower doses tend to be administered intravenously and are often used over a relatively short time span (e.g. for regeneration).
Antidoping Switzerland supports the Laboratoire d’analyses du dopage (LAD)’s research project on improving EPO analysis techniques. The research project was presented in a dissertation completed in December 2009.
The research project looked at issues relating to the elimination of EPO after physical exertion (2), possible manipulation with proteases (3), the detection window of EPO in microdoses (4) and the elimination pattern of CERA (1).
(1) Lamon S, Giraud S, Egli L, Smolander J, Jarsch M, Stubenrauch KG, Hellwig A, Saugy M, Robinson N: A high-throughput test to detect C.E.R.A. doping in blood. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2009 Dec 5;50(5):954-8
(2) Lamon S, Martin L, Robinson N, Saugy M, Ceaurriz J, Lasne F: Effects of exercise on the isoelectric patterns of erythropoietin. Clin J Sport Med. 2009 July; 19(4):311-5
(3) Lamon S, Robinson N, Sottas PE, Henry H, Kamber M, Mangin P, Saugy M: Possible origins of undetectable EPO in urine samples. Clin Chim Acta. 2007 Oct; 385(1-2):61-6
(4) Lamon S, Robinson N, Mangin P, Saugy M: Detection window of Darbepoetin-alpha following one single subcutaneous injection. Clin Chim Acta. 2007 Apr; 379(1-2):145-9.