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What You Need to Know: EPO

EPO – What You Need to Know.

Take 5 minutes to watch the video.



In this first of a series of “What You Need to Know” briefings about racing integrity matters, Dr. Richard Sams, PhD. talks about EPO (Erythropoietin) and horses.

Dr. Sams has been one of the leading anti-doping and equine drug testing experts, advising numerous regulatory authorities and serving on the scientific advisory committees for the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

Key points:

  • Human athletes cheat with EPO to emulate what naturally happens in a horse;
  • Questions remain on actual affect on performance in a horse, although some do cheat with it and EPO can increase oxygen carrying red blood cells;
  • Some EPO can destroy rather than boost red blood cells in a horse, leading to anemia and possibly death;
  • Testing for EPO must be done out-of-competition.

                                 Ed Martin, ARCI President


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