The Aladin project
Drug testing of athletes has been
shown to be one of the most effective tools in preventing the use
of drugs in sports, but the quality of analytical results can vary
and current regulations demand that testing laboratories first be
accredited in accordance with the International Olympic Committee
(IOC) rules. In the near future, laboratories will also have to
be certified according to the ISO 17025 international quality standard
before seeking IOC accreditation. This will require participation
in external quality assessment studies to test the ability of laboratories
to deliver reliable results.
Now, the European-funded Aladin 2002 project is developing a proficiency-testing
programme for implementation among European IOC accredited laboratories.
Following ISO/IEC guidelines, it will also set up and accredit a
network of centres as qualified suppliers of the proficiency-testing
Several centres will sub-specialise, supplying reference materials
covering about 100 banned substances. A computer-based network will
be set up connecting European IOC-accredited laboratories to guarantee
adequate, fast, consistent and confidential distribution of information
necessary for the inter-lab testing programme. The network will
be open to non-European laboratories should they wish to join.
Project participants are confident that the harmonisation of methods
and the implementation of an external quality control scheme will
go a long way towards ensuring cleanliness from doping in sport
for years to come.