• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Technology and science erode march stolen by drugs cheats

      January 25, 2012

      As brilliant white light shone off shiny lab benches and zero tolerance soundbites dropped from the lips of government ministers as they glided around a testing facility that was one part school science lab and two parts Hollywood sci-fi, it was easy to be convinced that the fight against doping was all but won.

      Situated just off a roundabout on an industrial estate on the outskirts of Harlow the scale of the operation and the technology on show last week – described as the most advanced and up-to-date testing lab anywhere in the world – was undeniably impressive.

      Professor David Cowan, a drugs expert at King's College who will oversee a team of more than 150 scientists, and Sir Andrew Witty, the GlaxoSmithKline chief executive who has provided the facilities as part of a sponsorship deal with London 2012 organisers, had an air of reassuring confidence. "We'll be fast, sensitive, efficient and right," vowed Cowan. The numbers back him up: 6,250 tests, results within 24 hours, 1,000 staff employed to collect sample....