12th July 2018

Berlinger & Arne Ljungqvist agreement to fund anti-doping research

An agreement between Berlinger Group and the Arne Ljungqvist Anti-Doping Foundation will see any profit generated through the sale of anti-doping test kits transferred to the Foundation, where it will be used to maintain an anti-doping research fund. The Swiss company announced that it will continue to manufacture the test kits, but the ‘sustainable further development’ of the kits will be entrusted to the Arne Ljungqvist Anti-Doping Foundation. 

Under a 6 July memorandum of understanding, Berlinger’s anti-doping kits will be distributed and developed by the Foundation. It estimates that the market value of the doping control kits required to take 300,000+ samples in sport amounts to between US$7 million and $9 million, but could be further boosted by demand for doping control kits in equestrian sports, workplaces and clinical trials.

“More research and development (R&D) is needed to address the problem of doping”, said Professor Ljungqvist in a statement (PDF below). “So it is very encouraging that we have been able to devise a new business model for the anti-doping kit which will lead to the creation of a special fund for anti-doping research and development”.

Arne Ljungqvist pictured at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics…

Ljungqvist has held various roles in sport, including former Vice President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and former Chair of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Medical Commission. In March, his Foundation announced that it would undertake a research and development project to ‘develop a secure sample collection system’.

This was after Berlinger decided to temporarily withdraw from the manufacture of its doping control kits, as experts were able to open and reseal both types of sample storage bottles it produced (video below). This included both the the 2016 BEREG-KIT bottles and the September 2017 BEREG-KIT Geneva bottles. Neither the Berlinger or the Arne Ljungqvist Anti-Doping Foundation statements mention whether such issues have been resolved.

The Arne Ljungqvist Anti-Doping Foundation describes itself as ‘the world’s first independent anti-doping foundation’. Its board includes Carl Johan Sundberg of Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, where Ljungqvist studied; Ljungqvist’s son Håkan; and the founder of International Doping Tests & Management (IDTM) Staffan Sahlström, who, like Ljungqvist, was a member of the Medical and Anti-Doping Commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Its patron is H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco who – like Ljungqvist – is an IOC Member. 

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