By Mike Rowbottom in Daegu

Blood_samplesSeptember 4 - Blood samples have been collected from every accredited athlete at the IAAF World Championships here as part of a programme of anti-doping which mirrors that which has been operating in the Tour de France.

A blood testing team from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has been operating at the Athletes' Village for 17 days, and has amassed a total of a total of 1,848 pre-competition blood samples from participating athletes.

The samples will help build Athlete Biological Passports which will allow anti-doping experts to register and chart physiological markers over the passage of time, allowing comparison and further scrutiny if required.

The scientists will be looking for evidence of banned blood boosters such as Erythropoietin (EPO) and illegal blood transfusions for endurance athletes, while for those involved in power sports the focus will be on steroids and growth hormones.

In cycling, this process has been used to determine which competitors should be target-tested.

"We are absolutely delighted at the success of this project," said the IAAF President, Lamine Diack.

"It was certainly an ambitious programme but, with incredible hard work from our team, and with the remarkable co-operation of all the athletes and support personnel, a fantastic milestone has been achieved.

"The IAAF is proud of its total commitment to the fight against doping in Athletics and this initiative will stand us in very good stead as we re-double our efforts."

A spokesman added: "The data collected will therefore constitute a unique database of reference ranges for various biomarkers in elite male and female athletes.

"The IAAF considers this to constitute a major step forwards in the development of the Athlete Biological Passport."

Blood samples have been collected with the cooperation of theLocal Organising Committee and the Korean Anti-Doping Agency (KADA) and they are being analysed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory in Lausanne.

The blood testing programme is in addition to the usual in-competition testing of over 500 urine samples which are being analysed by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Seoul.

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