London - The World Anti-Doping Agency will discuss this weekend whether to ban use of xenon gas, after claims it can be used by athletes to help boost their performances.
Speaking ahead of a meeting of its executive committee in Montreal on Saturday, WADA president Craig Reedie said “we are going to get a recommendation from the list committee but it would be wrong for me to speculate on what the executive committee will do with that.”
Scientific studies suggest that the gas artificially increases the levels of erythropoietin (EPO) in the blood, which is forbidden under WADA's rules.
The use of xenon was discussed by the agency's list committee last month. WADA's list of prohibited substances and methods is updated annually, with the executive committee finalizing it at its September meeting.
“I have my own personal very clear ideas of what we should do and I think you can assume that action will (be taken) this weekend,” Reedie told a conference call.
WADA's science director Olivier Rabin also said the organization is closely monitoring the use of narcotic drug Tramadol after Michael Barry, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, claimed he used the legal substance until he retired in 2012 when riding for Team Sky. The British outfit has since called for Tramadol to be added to WADA's list of banned substances.
“We are consulting now with the federations and the national anti-doping organizations,” Rabin said. “Based on their feedback there will be a review of the situation in August before the list is presented for approval to the executive committee in September.”
The main topic for this weekend's WADA meeting is the implementation of the revised world anti-doping code.