Apparently WADA didn't understand the science, or WADA president John Fahey misspoke. Roche, the manufacturer of the new CERA variety of EPO denies claims of a stealth molecule embedded in the drug to catch dopers. (Science Blogs) (Update on how Roche helped WADA with CERA EPO detection)
Roche Holding, which makes a version of a stamina-building drug illegally used by some athletes, said it didn't plant a molecule in the substance to help identify it in doping tests, spokeswoman Martina Rupp said, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.
Riccardo Riccò, a Tour de France rider, tested positive for erythropoietin, or EPO, and was ejected from the cycling race last week after winning two stages. The Saunier Duval-Scott team fired the Italian and withdrew from the race.
John Fahey, the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that Roche planted a molecule in its red-cell boosting product CERA, or Continuous Erythropoietin Receptor Activator, during its manufacture to help anti-doping authorities detect its illegal use. Roche sells the drug as Mircera.
"The information that a special molecule has been added to Mircera is wrong," Rupp said in an e-mail.
WADA clarified the situation on Wednesday:
WADA issued a statement Wednesday saying that Fahey's remarks had been misinterpreted. The agency said the drug can be detected because Roche and accredited sport-doping laboratories worked with the agency early.
"WADA received the molecule well in advance and was able to develop ways to detect it, including through the current EPO detection method," the agency said in the statement.
So apparently no stealth molecule in the CERA drug allowing detection. A good idea not implemented.