Drug agency chief warns on increasing peptide use

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Associated Press

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 8:35 PM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The head of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority says the use of peptides by athletes has risen dramatically because they are difficult to test for and that only two laboratories can determine usage of the drug.

ASADA chief Aurora Andruska said Friday her organization has been warning sports leagues in Australia that peptides were the "new generation" of performance-enhancing substances and that the drug often stays active in the body for only a short period of time, making detection more difficult.

On Thursday, the Australian Crime Commission issued a report which outlined widespread doping in Australian professional sport and links to organized crime.

Andruska said only two laboratories can test for peptides, in Cologne, Germany, and one in Montreal. She added that Australian police and customs seizures of peptides — which increase the amount of human growth hormone in the body — had increased by 2 1/2 times in the past year.

"We've been talking to sports about peptides, so we're very conscious about that being a new generation of drug that people are looking to use to improve their performance," she said.

"Of course it depends upon the dose that's taken, but the life inside the body of the peptide is very short, it can be just a couple of hours. What we do is use the intelligence we get to do target testing, so that all our testing has actually got some purpose behind the test."

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