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RE: drug tests -- and drug headlines -- are false <-->
(1) What is the "normal" range of EPO values, what is the range of values that would be considered a "positive" result, and what is the range of any overlap?
Epo values? -Epo values are not measured. They can see the RBC counts and if it is above 50 then it is suspicious. What they do look for are small blood cells. Epo generates a lot of new blood cells very rapidly so blood produced from EPO injections are a lot of immature smaller cells. Usually they will also be very heavy in iron.
What the piss test measures are the metabolites of the chemical injection. Not all synthetic EPO is traceable though. They only have a test for erythropoietin alpha, not the beta. The beta though causes a rare blood disorder in some people so there is a reason not to take it.
(2) What is the range where false positives are likely to occur and what is the percentage of those false positives.
(3) What is the range where false negatives are likely to occur and what is the percentage of those false negatives.
The testing done is pretty straightforward. The piss is bio-chemically analyzed. There are minimum concentrations for metabolites. Approved methods for urine analysis are one or more types of immunoassay (IA) screens, confirmed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS). If the minimum concentrations are not present the confirmation tests are not done. If you test high on the initial but below on the confirmation it is not a positive.
(4) What was the value of Olga Yegorova's A sample in Paris that caused so much controvery a few years ago?
Grave procedural irregularity -- the French only did a urine analysis on the A test. The IAAF requires a blood then urine. The IAAF reported a "technical problem" with the B sample. The B sample never had the blood either so the test by IAAF rules was not a positive. The French never took a blood sample so that was it. The urine test the French developed had not been finalized with further research.
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