Prohibited substances found in 3,800 samples of athletes’ blood

An Army athlete prepares to throw a javelin at the Inter-Corps Athletics Competition, Tidworth Oval athletics stadium in Tidworth, Wiltshire. Photographer: Sergeant Ian Forsyth RLC Image 45152792.jpg from

World Anti-Doping Agency figures have revealed that Banned substances were found in more than 3,800 samples out of 283,304 tests carried out worldwide last year.

The data shows that there has been a 10% fall across all sports,  despite an increase in the number of conducted tests.

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) there are fears that more than 10% of top athletes could be using performance-enhancing drugs.

There were 66 people competing in the World Athletics Championships who had previously been involved in doping sanctions.

Two Kenyan runners, Joyce Zakary and Koki Manunga, failed drug tests at the competition when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) have conducted over 1,400 tests on an around 600-700 athletes. Yet this number made up only a third of the total competitors. The IAAF commented that samples could be preserved for retesting when future technology allows for more precise results.

As well as a decline in samples containing prohibited substances in 2014, the number of tests which required “further investigation” also fell. WADA credits the drop in these ‘atypical findings’ as partly due to the introduction of the athlete biological passport.

However it’s important to bear in mind that a blood or urine sample which shows a banned substance does not necessarily mean the athlete has been doping. Some banned substances can be a result of chemicals naturally produced by the body.

Photo credit-Defence Images

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