Annual banned-substance review: Analytical approaches in human sports drug testing 2020/2021

Mario Thevis, Tiia Kuuranne, Hans Geyer

Publication: Contribution to journalScientific review articlesResearch


Most core areas of anti-doping research exploit and rely on analytical chemistry, applied to studies aiming at further improving the test methods' analytical sensitivity, the assays' comprehensiveness, the interpretation of metabolic profiles and patterns, but also at facilitating the differentiation of natural/endogenous substances from structurally identical but synthetically derived compounds and comprehending the athlete's exposome. Further, a continuously growing number of advantages of complementary matrices such as dried blood spots have been identified and transferred from research to sports drug testing routine applications, with an overall gain of valuable additions to the anti-doping field. In this edition of the annual banned-substance review, literature on recent developments in anti-doping published between October 2020 and September 2021 is summarized and discussed, particularly focusing on human doping controls and potential applications of new testing strategies to substances and methods of doping specified in the World Anti-Doping Agency's 2021 Prohibited List.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug testing and analysis
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Publication statusElectronically/ online published ahead of print - 17.11.2021

Research areas and keywords

  • alternative matrices
  • doping
  • mass spectrometry
  • sport


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