Critical article on doping and drug testing published in EMBO reports

First author Erik Boye (left) and Tore Skotland
First author Erik Boye (left) and Tore Skotland

Sports play an important role in our society. Four Norwegian researchers, two from OUS, have published an article in EMBO reports where they discuss problems occurring in the testing of athletes for doping.
The authors (E. Boye and T. Skotland from OUS (photo), J. Nissen-Meyer from UiO and B. Østerud, UiTø) describe how the World Antidoping Agency (WADA) pretends never to make mistakes and is resistant to any form of discussion with other scientists. This attitude creates false positives and athletes are being sanctioned while innocent, with dramatic consequences for the individual. It is argued that both the technological, ethical and legal procedures should be revised and an independent body should monitor the function of WADA.

The four scientists have for several years collected examples demonstrating low scientific quality in some of the WADA labs. The article emphasizes that the quality of antidoping analyses should be as high as possible, otherwise antidoping work will lose the confidence of the athletes and of the public and innocent athletes will continue to be sanctioned. The authors have tried to open scientific discussions with members of the WADA lab, without any response. Likewise, attempts to get access to the laboratory reports and original analytical data have also proven in vain. This seriously reduces the rule of law for the athletes. Therefore, the WADA faces serious problems when it comes to scientific quality, ethics and law.


Doping and drug testing: Anti-doping work must be transparent and adhere to good scientific practices to ensure public trust.
Boye E, Skotland T, Østerud B, Nissen-Meyer J.
EMBO Rep. 2017 Feb 6. pii: e201643540. doi: 10.15252/embr.201643540. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 28167676 
Download EMBO reports article in PDF format

News article from the University of Oslo Science & Technology new section, (in Norwegian):
Har vurdert Tysse-dommen: WADA-laboratorier blir kraftig kritisert av forskere
(translated to: Tysse verdict evaluated: WADA laboratory strongly critizised by scientists)

Erik Boye's mini CV and publications

Tore Skotland's publications

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