When the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratories needed a Western blot device they could count on for speed, accuracy and reliability during the 2016 Olympic games, they chose BlotCycler™.

Article abstract:

The 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the biggest event in human sports, was held in Rio de Janeiro with more than 10,500 athletes from 206 countries over the world competing for the highest of sports honors, an Olympic medal. With the hope that the Olympic ideal accompanies all aspects of the XXXI Olympiad, WADA accredited antidoping laboratories use the spearhead of analytical technology as a powerful tool in the fight against doping. This review summarizes the main analytical developments applied in antidoping testing methodology combined with the main amendments on the WADA regulations regarding analytical testing starting from the 2012 London Olympics until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.


The WADA Anti-Doping Code provides the policies rules and regulations in all international sports.  And, every year WADA updates the list of prohibited substances that are forbidden in international competition.

The current list is available on their website: https://www.wada-ama.org/en/what-we-do/prohibited-list.

One of the forbidden substances is erythropoietin or EPO. EPO is a hormone that regulates the synthesis of red blood cells, helping to increase the ability of blood to carry oxygen. Therefore,  it increases efficiency and power and yields better athletic performance.  However, because EPO doping causes too many red cells to clot in arteries and veins, it causes strokes and heart attacks.

In 2014, WADA published an updated sarcosyl polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic (SAR-PAGE) technique for screening and confirmation.

Since then, the challenge has been increasing throughput, that is, increasing the number of samples that can be analyzed before and during competition. With over ten thousand athletes participating in the 2016 Olympics, WADA laboratories needed a device that could automate the screening process.

The BlotCycler™ Western blot device in anti doping

The demand for a Western blot device to handle increased throughput was met by the BlotCycler™

WADA accredited laboratories included the BlotCycler™ Western blot device because it performs all the washing and incubation steps once the proteins are transferred from the gel to the membrane.

The authors of this article praise the addition of this Western blot device to WADA labs because it saves human resources, making it more economical while standardizing the process and reducing the possibility for human error.

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