Drug Control Centre (DCC)
The Drug Control Centre (DCC) is located on the Waterloo Campus in the Franklin Wilkins Building (FBW) of King’s College London. It is the only World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in the UK and plays a pivotal role in the national sports testing programme working closely with the national anti-doping organisation UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), a public body of the government Department for Culture, Media, and Sport. The DCC analyses between 10,000 and 12, 500 biological samples a year, of which approximately 0.7-0.9% are Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF, the identification of a prohibited substance or method in a sample provided by a professional sportsperson).
The DCC is accredited by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) across a range of sports, as a testing laboratory, analysing both domestic and international athletes in accordance with WADA's prohibited list of substances. It has a long-standing history of being at the forefront of advances in anti-doping science and protecting both the integrity of sport and the health of athletes. In 2010, the DCC reported the world’s first ever human growth hormone (hGH) AAF, using the hGH isoform test. This hormone is used by some athletes in combination with either anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass or erythropoietin (EPO) to increase aerobic power.
In 2020 the DCC was appointed as a WADA accredited Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU), one of only 16 globally to undertake longitudinal monitoring of athletes using haematological biomarkers, the endogenous steroid profile, and in 2023 the DCC will begin monitoring the detection of prohibited substances regulating endocrine function with a focus on growth hormone-related pathways.
In 2021 the DCC detected the prohibited substance Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-6 (‘GHRP-6’) and its metabolite GHRP-6 (2-5) free acid in an athlete through retrospective testing of stored samples.
Please see our recently launched MOOC for more information on doping in sport.