News archive 2008
Olympic visitors to drug lab16 May 2008, PR 90/08
Members of the Beijing Olympic Games drug testing team are visiting King’s Drug Control Centre this week on a fact-finding mission to learn from the UK’s only accredited laboratory how to rid the Games of drug cheats.
The Drug Control Centre analyses samples collected from human sports competitors covering events and training in the UK. It is one of 33 laboratories accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Working with UK Sport to implement the UK’s anti-doping policy in sport, the Centre carried out more than 7,000 tests across 50 sports last year.
The Chinese delegation comprises three senior scientists. As the Drug Control Centre is one of the few WADA approved laboratories working in the area of Growth Hormone testing, the Chinese team are spending the week at King’s sharing the Centre’s experience in this field.
Well respected internationally
The Centre, led by Director, Professor David Cowan, is well respected internationally and has a proven record of successfully delivering analysis services for major games. It was the first human sports drug-testing laboratory established outside of an Olympic Games.
Professor Cowan, who was involved in the successful bid for the London 2012 Olympic Games, comments: ‘As part of our continuing involvement in working with and assisting other WADA accredited laboratories, we are delighted to be hosting a group of senior scientists from the Beijing laboratories, preparing for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
‘The Drug Control Centre at King’s College London has many years’ experience in assisting other laboratories meet the demanding requirements of major Games: four Winter Olympic Games, two Summer Olympic Games and a Commonwealth Games.’
Scientists from the Drug Control Centre have been invited to work alongside their Chinese colleagues this summer in Beijing to assist the Chinese in their work to stop those athletes who cheat by taking drugs.
[Image taken by Dominic Turner]
Notes to editors
Drug Control Centre
The Drug Control Centre is part of the Department of Forensic Science & Drug Monitoring in the School of Biomedical & Health Sciences. It was established in 1978 with the support of the former Sports Council, now UK Sport. It is one of the largest WADA accredited laboratories in the world and as well as the contract with UK Sport, the Centre undertakes work for a number of other organisations.
The Drug Control Centre has an active research team focusing primarily on drugs in sport but has interest in other areas of analytical toxicology and endocrinology. Current research activity includes investigating sources of 19-norandrosterone in women (US Anti-doping Agency funded), improving the detection of drug administration to vulnerable groups (EPSRC funded), and collaboration in an IOC/WADA/USOC funded project to detect growth hormone administration.
As well as being accredited by WADA, the Centre is also accredited by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) as a testing laboratory, in accordance with ISO 17025. It was accredited to the ISO Guide 25 quality standard (the predecessor to ISO 17025) in February 1997. The Centre was the first International Olympic Committee/WADA accredited laboratory to achieve this distinction. (http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/biohealth/research/drugcontrol/)
King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher 2007) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King’s has 19,700 students from more than 140 countries, and 5,400 employees. King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. The College is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings and has an annual income of approximately £400 million. An investment of £500 million has been made in the redevelopment of its estate.
King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, social sciences, the health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres - more than any other university.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the international independent organization created in 1999 to promote, coordinate, and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its forms. Composed and funded equally by the sports movement and governments of the world, WADA coordinated the development and implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), the document harmonizing anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries. (http://www.wada-ama.org/en/)
Melanie Gardner, Senior Public Relations Officer, Public Relations Department, King’s College London. Tel: 020 7848 3073; email email@example.com
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