Prevalence estimate of blood doping in elite track and field at the introduction of the Athlete Biological Passport

Prevalence estimate of blood doping in elite track and field at the introduction of the Athlete Biological Passport /
Raphael Faiss, Jonas Saugy, Alix Zollinger, Neil Robinson, Frédéric Schütz, Martial Saugy, Pierre-Yves Garnier. - (BioRxiv (2019) 19 Aug).
- doi:


In elite sport, the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) was invented to tackle cheaters by monitoring closely changes in biological parameters, flagging atypical variations. The haematological module of the ABP was indeed adopted in 2011 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). This study estimates the prevalence of blood doping based on haematological parameters in a large cohort of track & field athletes measured at two international major events (2011 & 2013 IAAF World Championships) with a hypothesized decrease in prevalence due to the ABP introduction.
A total of 3683 blood samples were collected and analysed from all participating athletes originating from 209 countries. The estimate of doping prevalence was obtained by using a Bayesian network with seven variables, as well as “doping” as a variable mimicking doping with low-doses of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO), to generate reference cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) for the Abnormal Blood Profile Score (ABPS) from the ABP.
Our results from robust haematological parameters indicate an estimation of an overall blood doping prevalence of 18% in average in endurance athletes (95% Confidence Interval (C.I.) 14-22%). A higher prevalence was observed in female athletes (22%, C.I. 16-28%) than in male athletes (15%, C.I. 9-20%).
In conclusion, this study presents the first comparison of blood doping prevalence in elite athletes based on biological measurements from major international events that may help scientists and experts to use the ABP in a more efficient and deterrent way.

Original document


Research / Study
19 August 2019
Faiss, Raphael
Garnier, Pierre-Yves
Robinson, Neil
Saugy, Jonas J.
Saugy, Martial
Schütz, Frédéric
Zollinger, Alix
Athletics (WA) - World Athletics
Other organisations
Université de Lausanne (UNIL) - University of Lausanne
Lausanne, Switzerland: Laboratoire Suisse d’Analyse du Dopage
Doping classes
M1. Manipulation Of Blood And Blood Components
S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors
Erythropoietin (EPO)
Medical terms
Blood doping
Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)
Document category
Scientific article
Document type
Pdf file
Date generated
1 August 2019
Date of last modification
11 November 2020
  • Legal Source
  • Education
  • Science
  • Statistics
  • History
Country & language
  • Country
  • Language
Other filters
  • ADRV
  • Legal Terms
  • Sport/IFs
  • Other organisations
  • Laboratories
  • Analytical aspects
  • Doping classes
  • Substances
  • Medical terms
  • Various
  • Version
  • Document category
  • Document type
Publication period