Olympic Notebook: No Clear Answers on EPO Test


By John Powers, Globe Staff, 9/12/2000

SYDNEY – How effective is the new urine/blood test for banned erythropoietin? Seems that nobody agrees.

The Australian Institute of Sport, which helped develop the test, claims the blood component of the version that will be used at the Olympics detects use only within the previous three days, which would make it virtually useless for catching cheating athletes here. The International Olympic Committee medical chairman claims the test goes back 21-25 days, but its medical director says it’s valid for only 8-10.

EPO, which regulates red blood-cell production, is believed to be widely used by athletes in strength and endurance events. So far, none of the athletes tested here has turned up positive.

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