No evidence that doping enhances athletic performance

No evidence that doping enhances athletic performance
Although use of recombinant human erythropoietin is prohibited among athletes because it reportedly enhances performance, there is no scientific evidence that it does so, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

(HealthDay)—Although use of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) is prohibited among athletes because it reportedly enhances performance, there is no scientific evidence that it does so, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Jules A.A.C. Heuberger, from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and colleagues reviewed 13 studies in the scientific and medical literature examining the effect of rHuEPO on .

The researchers found that no study specifically addressed . Most studies used forms of rHuEPO with half-lives similar to endogenous erythropoietin. Only eight studies were placebo controlled, and only five of these were reported to be double-blinded. Hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, and increased after rHuEPO treatment. However, the authors note that the only parameters associated with enhanced performance are lactate threshold, respiratory compensation point, and work economy. In addition, published case reports have linked rHuEPO to adverse cardiovascular effects among cyclists.

"rHuEPO use in cycling is rife but scientifically unsupported by evidence and its use in sports is medical malpractice," Heuberger and colleagues conclude. "The situation with rHuEPO use in athletes is analogous to the many forms of non-evidence-based treatments that exist in medical practice and which by common opinion should be refuted or confirmed by good clinical trials with real life end points."

More information: Abstract
Full Text

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New study examines the validity of epo testing

Jun 26, 2008

Recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) is a genetically engineered hormone sometimes misused by high-performance athletes such as cyclists and marathon runners to boost their endurance. The potential misuse of the drug ...

The challenges and rewards of Paralympic medicine

Jul 05, 2012

In the Lancet paper, "Paralympic medicine," Nick Webborn of the British Paralympic Association and Peter Van de Vliet of the International Paralympic Committee Medical and Scientific Department, outline some of the issues ...

Recommended for you

A new tool in drug overdose prevention

21 hours ago

The Center for Disease Control reported earlier this month that the heroin overdose death rate across 28 states it surveyed doubled between 2010 and 2012. This sharp increase and the chilling statistics that say more than 11 ...

Nasal spray treats heroin overdose

Oct 28, 2014

"Every year, drug overdoses are responsible for roughly 1000 ambulance calls in Oslo," says Arne Skulberg, an anaesthesiologist, a PhD candidate at NTNU and the 2014 winner of Norway's Researcher Grand Prix ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.