"Our scientists looked at it pretty closely immediately and decided it should go on the (banned) list immediately," Howman said from Montreal. "Rather than wait until the end of the year, we got a process that says if it is important, it should be done immediately."
WADA announced a possible ban of xenon in May. The decision was finalized last week.
Although xenon and argon disappear quickly from the bloodsteam, and make detection difficult, Howman said WADA, however, can still detect the effects of the gas through other means.
While Olympic athletes won't be able to use these exotic gases before, a similar ban does not extend to pro football, baseball, basketball or hockey players in the United States.