Vacuum Technology exposes Doping Offenders


Pfeiffer Vacuum provides solutions for mass spectrometry testing

Faster, higher, further: The demands of competitive sport are growing relentlessly. Many athletes bow to the pressures of these expectations by turning to banned doping substances. Ever since the scandal involving Russian athletes who used prohibited substances in great numbers during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sotchi to enhance their performance, doping has moved well and truly to the forefront of public attention. Earlier still, a great stir was caused by the forfeiture of the Olympic gold medal awarded to the Jamaican 4x100-meter relay team during the summer games in Peking in 2008. More recently, numerous cases of doping have been uncovered in cycling and football.

Besides the often considerable risks of causing lasting harm to the individual’s health, the existence of unequal chances in sporting competitions is one of the principle reasons for banning doping agents. Accordingly, an updated list of all prohibited substances is issued each year. A doping test in connection with major sporting events then verifies whether athletes have taken one or more of these substances to boost their endurance, overall performance, or strength. These tests can only be conducted with the aid of vacuum technology.

Mass spectrometer for doping analysis
Doping tests involve examining a urine sample provided by athletes to search for prohibited substances. To begin with, the sample is pretreated, such as with a solvent for extraction. Only after this is it possible to analyze the sample. For this purpose, the mixture is separated into its components using gas or liquid chromatography.

Read more about this in the attached application report.
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Vacuum technology is used to analyze whether an athlete has taken doping substances