The ISU have changed their anti-doping rules ©ISU

A blood screening programme establishing a haematological profile for athletes has been scrapped by the International Skating Union (ISU) in favour of the athlete biological passport.

This was announced in a technical rule change by the world governing body.

It is valid for speed skating and short track events.

"In 1999, the ISU implemented the ISU blood screening programme, which runs with a specific software program called SAFE (Safe and Fair Event Testing)," the ISU said in a statement. 

"The purpose of the Blood Screening Programme was to establish an haematological profile for all speed skaters and short track speed skaters who take part in ISU events.

"In addition to its Blood Screening Programme, the ISU implemented in 2011 the ISU Haematological Module of the Athlete Biological Passport Programme (ISU H-ABP), which is carried out in full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines.

"The ISU Medical Commission has reviewed both the SAFE and H-ABP programs and has concluded that the SAFE programme has served its purpose and therefore only the ISU H-ABP programme will be used in the future."

The change comes before a busy season culminating in next year's Winter Olympics Games in Pyeongchang where anti-doping programmes will receive an unprecedented focus given the evidence of institutional doping by home athletes at the last edition in Sochi in 2014.