On Tuesday October 5th, the Nevada State Athletic Commission had a meeting and decided to make small changes to their oft-criticized drug testing policies. The Commission added hemoglobin testing procedures as well as deciding to test fighters who claim usage of testosterone for HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for steroids in order to make sure that they aren't claiming the HRT to cover up PED usage.
Your first thought might be "Yay, hemoglobin, that's in blood right? That means blood testing?" And you would be correct. Hemoglobin testing is testing of the blood, but it's not the testing that you normally associate with say the Olympics. The test looks for the amount of hemoglobin in your blood and could be an indicator of PED usage. What the Commission plans on doing is when fighters come in to renew their license or fight and get their blood drawn to be tested for HIV, hepatitis, etc, they will also perform this test. Sounds good right?
There are several problems with this testing and they way they are choosing to implement it. The first of which is that while the test is a great indicator for blood doping, it isn't an accurate indicator of PEDs. It's not testing for metabolites or the other methods of a normal blood drug test. It simply measures the amount of hemoglobin contained in the blood. Elevated hemoglobin levels can be an indicator of PED usage, but the test is basically used as supplemental evidence to a urine test. The second problem with the testing is that they did NOT instate random hemoglobin testing.
I go into more details including why this new addition is ineffective as well as discuss something very positive that came out of the meeting over at WKR.
Follow me on Twitter