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The effect of sample-timing error on the bit-error-rate (BER) performance of the interleave-division multiple access (IDMA) systems are studied in this paper. We construct an asynchronous IDMA system model to investigate the effect of sample-timing error caused by the asynchronous transmission from different user ends (UEs) on the BER performance. The theoretic analysis shows that sample-timing error can introduce both inter-symbol interference (ISI) and multiple access interference (MAI) into the traditional detection algorithm to degrade the system performance greatly. And the simulation results prove the same conclusion. Therefore, the traditional IDMA receiver at the base station (BS) must be modified to mitigate the effect of sample-timing error. The analysis model and simulation results provided in this paper can be used as a reference for the practical system designs.