The doping analysis has changed dramatically in recent years. Whereas at the beginning of 1970 simple methods still have been used, nowadays, a laboratory must obtain very costly analytical equipment in order to analyze doping tests. Today, there are about 40 doping control laboratories worldwide that are being accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in complex procedures. Only accredited laboratories shall analyze doping samples.
The still most commonly used analysis methods consist of a refurbishment and cleaning of the sample. Afterwards, the sample will be separated into its components, which are then detected and identified. Examples of separation methods are electrophoresis (EPO), gas chromatography (anabolic steroids, stimulants) or liquid chromatography (anabolic steroids, narcotics, glucocorticoids). In general, mass spectroscopy is being applied as detection method. Increasingly, however, immunological methods in the workup or the detection can be applied.