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Charles Yesalis, a doping expert at Pennsylvania State University, said officials needed to react quickly.
"Athletes will not wait for the clinical trials," he said. "I'll bet there are already lots of athletes out there drinking loads of green tea," he added.
Yesalis said many scientists were aware of foods that could skew drug tests but would not talk publicly about them. "There's no sense helping out the doping athletes by telling them what to eat," he said.
Yesalis was unconvinced that new tests could solve the problem. "There's too much scientific uncertainty that can cloud the results," he said.
WADA's Rabin said all atypical results from doping tests involved an expert analysis, not just a lab result. "There's a human interpretation of the data," he said, explaining that officials regularly accounted for potentially troublesome results by considering things like intense exercise, jetlag and diet.
Rabin also said it might be possible to test for testosterone in blood rather than the standard urine test.
Some experts said the limited effects of foods like green tea on masking illegal drug use would be too small to help doping athletes. "You would probably need to drink the tea continuously to get any sustained but minor effect," said Andrew Kicman, head of research and development at the Drug Control Centre at King's College London, which is providing the anti-doping laboratory for the upcoming Olympics.
"It would be a very foolish athlete who's thinking of doping with testosterone and thinks he could drink white or green tea to beat a drug test," he said. "And I personally wouldn't want to drink nine cups of tea on the day of a race."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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