The BBC just got a look at the newly-unveiled anti-doping testing facility that'll be used at the London Olympics this summer, and it is rightfully hailed as the most high-tech, complete such facility ever conceived. We're talking thousands of workers, testing going 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in a space estimated at the size of seven tennis courts.
The Olympic Committee partnered with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, which donated the facility's millions and millions of dollars worth of lab equipment. We haven't been given all that much detail into how the testing will be done, or if it'll differ in any major way from the standards of drug-testing. But they did note that every single medalist, as well as more than half of all Olympic athletes in general, will be tested. Results will be available in about 48 hours, thanks to the nonstop pace of testing that's planned.
That testing will be done by upwards of a thousand workers, including "a team of more than 150 anti-doping scientists, flown in from all over the world," which will do the final analysis to see if a sample sets off any alarm bells. There'll be over 400 samples coming through the Essex-based facility every day, so they'll need all the help they can get.
Short of an alternate league for performance-enhanced athletes, this seems like about the best way to ensure a fair Olympic games.
We can put a million people on scrutinizing every move made by every prospekkktive or performing Olympian, but we still won't screen them all out. Athlete wannabe champions drain their bladders into bags, replace urine, and there have always been rumors of some actually having a fake bladder apparatus implanted. Then comes worker bias, criminal coercion, and an untested high-pressure environment for the workers to have every slight move analyzed in. Herds of workers in a setting that nominally and historically gets to make mistakes once in a while due to being human. Honest sport where there are real world benefits in winning or losing? Never happen. But test away, even though it's deterred few up til now.