Anti-doping Agency bans xenon and argon


The world anti-doping Agency, which governs international drug testing for professional athletes, adds the noble gases xenon and argon to its list of prohibited substances and methods, starting from 1 September.

Xenon and argon, are biologically active substances that are used to improve the ability of blood to carry oxygen.Xenon can interact with protein receptors and ion channels, and used as an anesthetic for many decades, particularly in Russia.

When it comes to improving athletic performance, xenon is one of several agents known to activate the production of HIF-1α, a protein alarm that triggers other proteins to aid the tissue deprived of oxygen. One of these secondary proteins erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that stimulates the formation of red blood cells. Synthetic EPO is used to treat anemia in patients with cancer and diseases of the kidneys, but also known as an illegal drug, performance-enhancing, especially endurance athletes such as cyclists.

Athletes inhaling xenon, can train in an environment with low oxygen content at high altitude. Xenon and argon are removed from the body within a few hours, but the effective consequences can last a few days. The Agency has not announced how it will be conducted the doping test for xenon or argon, which are difficult to detect beyond measuring variable HIF-1α or EPO levels.



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