TV news reports that HGH testing will be in place for the Athens Games are not accurate say the team
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE The University of Southampton professor leading research into the performance-enhancing drug human growth hormone (HGH), Richard Holt, told procycling that reports suggesting the drug will be detectable at the Athens Olympics were “well off the mark”. Holt claimed that members of his research team had given “mistaken” and “inaccurate” information to Channel 4 News, whose special feature on HGH on Wednesday was the origin of the reports. “The position is that according to Dick Pound [the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency], blood samples will be taken in Athens and retrospective testing will take place after the test is ready. We have not finalised the details for the test,” Professor Holt commented. Another member of the Southampton team, Cathy McHugh, recently told procycling that a legally watertight test could still be months if not years away. This is due to insufficient evidence that the Southampton-pioneered method is reliable for black and Asian, as well as Caucasian, subjects.