Had sample-storage been around when Marion Jones was competing crooked then it is likely that she would be have been run out of track and field as early as 2003, instead of four years later, when the now-disgraced sprint star admitted what dope testers were never able to prove: that she cheated.
USADA contacted labs internationally to see if any had kept some of Jones' samples, so they could be tested again in 2003 for the previously undetectable steroid THG, one of the drugs that Jones and others used.
"We didn't find any samples," says USADA's CEO, Travis Tygart. So Jones was free to continue competing.
USADA subsequently started freezing samples from 2004. Australia's facility was launched in 2007. Sample-storage is "an incredibly cost-effective way of providing a significant deterrent," says Richard Ings, who heads Australia's anti-doping agency.
"The days of relying on one-off tests to catch doping athletes are long gone," he says. "This is the way of the future."
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