Anti-doping researchers says new study could shed light on COVID-19

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SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 News)– A South Jordan based anti-doping laboratory has switched gears to COVID-19 research. 

Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) is one of two world anti-doping agency accredited laboratories in the U.S.

Recently, The Partnership for Clean Competition, a nonprofit that raises funds for around 80% of the world’s anti-doping research is shifting $120,000 to conduct 15,000 COVID-19 tests that will help scientists at SMRTL get a better sense of how many people have the new coronavirus but show no symptom.

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Before the funding, SMRTL had already purchased the test kits and was already conducting research. The University of Southern California and Standford will help with this research project. 

“Have a look at the prevalence of how many people are infected either knowingly or unknowingly,” SMRTL President Dr. Daniel Eichner said.

Last week during a press conference state health officials say testing asymptomatic people could be risky. 

“We can’t trust the tests if you don’t have symptoms there is a very big false positive and false negative rate,” State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn said. 

Regardless, Eichner hopes his work provides more information to bridge the gap.

 The tests that will be conducted on people nationwide are FDA approved. 

“They are all individually wrapped and come with the necessary equipment and they are really simple to read,” Dr. Eichner said. “Just a finger prick of blood.” 

Once all 15,000 test kits are complete, the data will be recorded.

“We want to get this out as quickly as possible we want this to drive public health initiatives,” Dr. Eichner said.  

Dr. Eichner hopes to release the finding sometime next week. 

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