Detection of doping control sample substitutions via single nucleotide polymorphism-based ID typing

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


The authenticity of a doping control sample is a key element of sports drug testing programmes. Doping control sample manipulation by providing another individual's urine or blood (instead of the tested athlete's sample) has been observed in the past and is an unequivocal violation of the World Anti-Doping Agency anti-doping rules. To determine attempts of manipulations by sample swapping, the utility of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based sample authentication with a multi-target SNP panel was assessed. The panel comprises detection assays for 44 different SNPs, 3 gender markers and 5 quality control markers for DNA-profile determination. Sample analysis is based on a multiplex polymerase chain reaction step followed by a multiplex single base extension (SBE) reaction and subsequent SBE-product detection by MALDI-TOF MS. Panel performance was evaluated for urine and dried blood spot (DBS) samples. Urine (8 ml) and DBS (20 μl) test samples were reliably typed and matched to whole blood reference samples, while efficient typing of urine samples correlated with sample quality and input amounts. Robust profiling of urine doping control specimens was confirmed with an assay input of 12 ml. Samples can be processed in a high-throughput format with an overall assay turnaround time of approximately 11 h. SNP-based DNA typing via MALDI-TOF MS thus represents a high throughput-capable possibility for doping control sample authentication. SNP profiling of samples could offer the opportunity to complement existing steroid profile analytics to substantiate sample manipulations and to support quality control processes in high throughput routine settings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug testing and analysis
Issue number11-12
Pages (from-to)1521-1533
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Research areas and keywords

  • Humans
  • Doping in Sports
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Substance Abuse Detection
  • DNA/genetics
  • Sports


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