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No evidence of performance advantage by EPO, say scientists

Published on Dec 6, 2012 11:48 AM
 
A file picture taken on July 22, 2004 shows Yellow jersey US Lance Armstrong (US Postal/USA) celebrating as he crosses the finish line and wins the 17th stage of the 91st Tour de France cycling race between Bourg-d'Oisans and Le Grand Bornand. Lance Armstrong was banned on October 22, 2012 by the International Cycling Union (UCI) as the world cycling body upheld an earlier doping sanction handed to the seven-times Tour de France champion. In a review of the evidence, a team of European researchers scoffed at the entrenched notion that EPO gives cyclists an edge. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Cyclists who dope themselves with EPO may not gain any performance advantage even though they are putting their health at risk, scientists said on Thursday.

In a review of the evidence, a team of European researchers scoffed at the entrenched notion that EPO gives cyclists an edge.

And they pointed out that the drug has many perils for those who use it illicitly, including blood clots that can cause strokes and heart attacks.

"Athletes and their medical staff may believe EPO enhances performance, but there is no evidence that anyone performed good experiments to check if EPO would actually improve performance in elite cyclists," said Adam Cohen, a professor at the Centre for Human Drug Research in the Netherlands.

 
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