One of the busiest places in Salt Lake City for the next few weeks will be the drug lab testing blood and urine samples from Olympic athletes. 40 lab technicians are testing roughly 1,000 drug samples around the clock. Urine samples are checked for nearly 400 banned substances including:
Some athletes will be forced to give blood samples to screen for just one thing, the endurance enhancer, EPO.
"When you take EPO, your hemoglobin, for example, we test the hemoglobin level, and if it's too high, that's an index, not proof, but an index that EPO may have been taken. So, then, we do the urine test, that definitively identifies the EPO molecule itself," said Dr. Don Catlin, a Lab Director.
Every athlete in endurance events, such as Biathlon, Cross Country Skiing, and Speedskating, will be subjected to blood testing for EPO. EPO stands for Erythropoietin.