the conference tests had been developed for detecting gene doping, defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency as the use of cells, genes or genetic elements to improve athletic performance.Experts believe up to 100 undetectable performance-enhancing drugs similar to the banned blood booster erythropoietin - commonly known as EPO - have been designed, according to German doping specialist Mario Thevis.
Thevis, who is based at the German Sports University in Cologne, told the Tackling Doping in Sport 2012 conference in London, presented by the worldsportslawreport, that the list of "80, 90, 100" new drugs similar to EPO was not exhaustive.
"They act like EPO but they are structurally different and that means the current EPO tests will not pick them up," he said.
"Fortunately we know about that problem and we have to develop new tests to help to find these drugs that, according to anecdotal evidence and rumours, are already used in elite sports although they are not officially launched yet.
"You cannot go to a pharmacy to buy these drugs. You might have (to have) good connections to get hold of those.
"It is quite difficult to develop tests when you don't have an idea what the molecule really looks like. If you don't know what the molecule looks like it's almost impossible to have a potential strategy."
EPO, which increases the number of red blood cells, has been used mostly by endurance athletes such as middle and long-distance runners and cyclists. A blood and urine doping test was introduced for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Anna Baoutina, a senior research scientist at the National Measurement Institute in Sydney, told the conference tests had been developed for detecting gene doping, defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency as the use of cells, genes or genetic elements to improve athletic performance.
"The major advantage of gene doping is that it's very difficult to detect compared to drug doping," she said. "The doping gene is very similar to the natural cells which are found in any body."
Baoutina said no test would be in place before this year's London Olympics.
"We are developing methods to fight it," she said. "But we have yet to see the implementation of these methods. WADA has to decide when these methods should be implemented."
Most of the tourists that came to Portugal in search of relaxed beach holidays headed for the Algarve. However, with a coastline of about 1230 km just on the mainland, Portugal has so many other refuges by the sea to offer. Today I introduce you a region that, in spite of being mostly known for its golden plains, has some of the best Portuguese beaches – the Alentejo.
The huge resorts of the Algarve are far away thus the Alentejo beaches offer a wilder atmosphere for not being as crowded as the ones from the most southern Portuguese region. Tranquillity, natural beauty and magnificent weather are some of the visiting cards of the region´s beaches, highly sought after by surfers. To illustrate the beauty of the region’s coastline I have decided to elaborate the top 10 Alentejo beaches, a true herculean as I am sure that many other beaches could easily be part of this list.
The breathtaking beauty of this beach made it famed all over the world and conquered many famed visitors; therefore Comporta beach is the place to be if you want to share your space with royal families’ members, movie stars and international musicians.
Facing Arrábida Natural Park Tróia-mar beach is most famed for its golden sand and calm sea, besides being one of the longest beaches of the Alentejo. Due to its characteristics it is a perfect place for surf and body board beginners.
Aberta Nova beach
Aberta Nova beach is a wild beach not easy to reach. However, as soon as you get there, you will be overwhelmed by its landscape that combines dunes and a pine wood with a profound blue sea. Some areas of this long beach are sought for nudists.
One of the best Alentejo beaches on what concerns infrastructures, offering, for instance a car-park, wooden-ways to the beach, restaurants and a bar.
Carvalhal beach also offers amazing conditions for surf and kite surf.
Costa de Santo André beach
Belonging to the Natural Reserve of Lagoa de Santo André e da Sancha, this beach differs from the others due to the Santo André Lagoon, which is annually feed by a canal opened to the sea. This Lagoon is an important ecologic system, rich in fishing resources, namely sardines, sea basses and molluscs such as clams and razor shells.
São Torpes beach
São Torpes beach, also named Morgavel beach, is a wonderful beach offering two ancient myths: the first is linked to Saint Torpes, a Christian martyr persecuted by Nero; in fact, according to the legend he was decapitated after declaring himself a Christian and his body was placed in a rotten boat with a rooster and a dog. The boat cross the Mediterranean Sea and washed up on this beach. The second myth claims that there used to be a lost city under its sand.
Vale Figueiros Beach
Situated in Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, Vale Figueiros beach is also named Vieirinha, Pedra Casca or Vale Figueiros beach. It is mostly attended by locals and fishermen because it is not easy to access it. This beach is also very popular among surfers and body boarders.
Ilha do Pessegueiro beach
Set on the canal that links the mainland to Pessegueiro Island, this beach offers historic relevance as it has been used for ages as a refuge for the boats that sailed along the treacherous coastline of the Alentejo. From here you may reach the island with interesting archaeological traces, dating back to Roman times. On the beach cliff there is Pessegueiro Fortress from the 17th century.
On the Southern Riverside of the Mira River, this beach is actually formed by small beaches fitted between cliffs. Its name – Furnas – comes from the many “furnas”, caves existing in the area.
Zambujeira do Mar Beach
Protected by an imposing cliff, Zambujeira do Mar beach is one of the most touristic destinations of the area, not just for its beauty but also for Festival Sudoeste, a music festival held each year. However, if you are looking for tranquillity you just need to head for one of the smaller beaches that side it.
There are plenty of restaurants where you may enjoy a wonderful fresh grilled fish.