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Laboratory tests confirm growth hormone found in swimmer's baggage

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j y y _ The Hon Warren Truss MP n Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs Deputy Leader of the House

M e d i a


' 9 January 1998


The Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs, Warren Truss, said tonight that the Australian Government Analytical Laboratories (AGAL) has confirmed that the substance detected in the baggage of a member of the Chinese swimming team at Sydney Airport yesterday (8 January) is or contains growth hormone.

This growth hormone is a prohibited import under Customs regulations

Mr Truss said AGAL had reported its findings to the Australian Customs Service after the Australian Forensic Drug Laboratories (a division of AGAL) had subjected the substance to extensive analysis

The laboratory followed normal forensic practice, with two independent methods: one performed by the AGAL laboratory and the other by a specialist hormone laboratory.

(The scientific methods used were electrospray mass spectrometry and immunoassy The electrospray mass spectrometry was performed at an AGAL’s laboratory in Sydney, and immunoassy was performed at a specialist hormone laboratory elsewhere in Sydney under AGAL’s supervision.)

Mr Truss said the strictest controls had been observed by both AGAL and Customs to ensure that the vials could not be tampered with in any way from the time of seizure until analysis was completed. ,

The procedures are designed to ensure compliance with rules of evidence of forensic investigation as required by Australian courts

Customs is considering what further action should be taken

Contact Andrew Hall 07/4123 5406(w) 07/41230975(h) 0419/996766