An employee of the Russia's national drug-testing laboratory holds a vial, ready for testing in Moscow, Russia. Photo: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

DOHA – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is collaborating with national anti-doping agencies and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on a new form of drug testing, dried blood spot (DBS), which could be in place for next year's Tokyo Olympics.

WADA said on Thursday the new method would be more convenient for athletes because a finger prick for a small amount of blood would suffice for a sample, which also makes transportation and storage easier.

In addition, WADA believes the new method, in which a drop of blood is dried on filter paper and then analysed, could also make samples more durable.

The aim is to have the new method ready for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing to complement regular blood and urine tests, but possibly “some aspects” of it even for Tokyo 2020.

WADA said it has so far signed according memorandums of understanding with the anti-doping agencies from Switzerland, Australia, China, Italy and Japan, as well as with the IOC and the International Testing Agency which conducts doping tests around the world.

“There is a real sense among project participants that DBS could be a game-changer for the anti-doping community,” WADA senior executive director Olivier Rabin said.

He said DBS could “better reveal doping practices” and added: “WADA is committed to making available new ways of protecting clean sport that reduce the inconvenience or discomfort for athletes and is easier, more effective and cheaper to carry out.”

DPA