The science behind substance identification in doping controls
KTH Applied Physics seminars
Thursday 01 March 2012
to 10:00 at
Prof Mats Larsson (SU)
Identification of forbidden substances in urine samples collected from athletes participating in sport at a national or international level is usually performed by a combination of a chromatograph for substance separation and a mass spectrometer for substance identification. This combination of techniques was first used in the olympic games in Munich in 1972. It scored its first big hit in 1988, when the winner of the men's 100 m dash, Ben Johnson, was disclosed as a cheater.
The instruments have been under constant development in order to improve sensitivity and selectivity, something which, somewhat paradoxically, has caused problems not only for the cheaters, but also for honest athletes with the sole interest of competing in a level playing field.