26 Jul 2013

Drug testing doomed to fail: Australian study

2:58 pm on 26 July 2013

Drug testing in sport will fail because the chance of catching doping cheats is so low that authorities can't make inroads into the problem, according to new research.

University of Adelaide researchers have examined worldwide data of positive doping tests from 93 different sports.

The study found one single, random drug test was likely to catch a drug cheat less than three percent of the time.

For a 100 per cent strike rate, every athlete in the world would need to be drug tested up to 50 times a year, costing at least $30,000 per athlete.

The co-author of the report Professor Maciej Henneberg says anti-doping policies are in place more for perception and the system is doomed to fail.

The study found if an athlete was tested 12 times a year, the odds of being caught was 33 per cent, assuming they were continuously using drugs.

But Professor Henneberg says athletes don't continuously use performance enhancing drugs and have increasingly sophisticated techniques to avoid detection.