New drug aimed at helping patients with kidney problems could be the latest performance enhancer in athletics.
Anti-doping authorities are keeping a close eye on a newly developed drug that helps produce more red blood cells but stays in the body longer, meaning its recipients don’t need to undergo as many treatments.
Hematide, which mimics the already-existing drug erythropoietin (EPO), is aimed at helping patients with kidney problems. Authorities fear that the drug, which is currently in its third stage of development, may already be available on the black market and undetectable by current doping tests.
“It speaks to the length people will go to try to cheat,” Larry Bowers, lead scientist at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, told The Associated Press . “You get drugs with perfectly beneficial health purposes and it gets diverted for use by people who shouldn’t be doing it.”
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