Designer steroid may lead to new Paris tests

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The International Association of Athletics Federations is considering retesting samples from the World Championships to search for the designer steroid at the heart of a doping scandal in the United States.

Athletics' world governing body said yesterday that it may reopen approximately 400 urine samples taken at the championships in Paris from 23 to 31 August. The IAAF's general secretary, Istvan Gyulai, said that officials were studying the legal implications of such a decision.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency said several athletes tested positive for tetrahydrogestrinone (THG). USADA's chief executive, Terry Madden, called it a conspiracy of chemists, athletes and coaches.

The University of California at Los Angeles' doping laboratory developed a test for THG after an anonymous coach turned in a used syringe with the substance. USADA tested 350 samples from June's US track and field championships and 100 out-of-competition samples.

Up to 40 professional sportspeople, including baseball's Barry Bonds, were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating the California company Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, which was identified by USADA as the source of THG.