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Passports please

A new era in drug testing will make it much harder to cheat

By Tim Harris   August 2009

Few sporting records are likely to be broken at this summer’s athletics World Championships in Berlin. But the event could be the most significant in the history of drug detection in sport.

The competition, which starts on 15th August, is the Olympics’ evil twin—or perhaps more accurately its wicked stepsister—a biennial potboiler, intended to keep athletics fans’ eyes square during odd-numbered summers. The significance of this year’s event is that it will be the first big tournament to trial the new “biological passport,” developed at great cost by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

Founded ten years ago, Montreal-based Wada’s mission…

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