Cycling Battles Doping With 'Biological Passports'
Blood profiling case could determine the future of antidoping
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2009 4:50 AM CST
Alejandro Valverde, seen here during the 95th Tour de France, is facing doping allegations from Olympic authorities.    (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, files)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A landmark doping case being pursued by cycling authorities could help the sport pull ahead of the pack in the fight against performance-enhancing drugs, the New York Times reports. Cycling's governing body is preparing a case using blood profiles—or "biological passports"—that show telltale changes in the blood that signal drug use. Sports federations worldwide are keenly watching.

The beauty of blood profiling, experts say, is that it can unmask cheats without having to check for every drug out there—and athletes will have a hard time blaming blood changes on anything else. The first case still needs to be won, but many see the program as the future of antidoping—and cycling chiefs hope it will restore credibility to a sport hit hard by doping scandals.