Doping Linked to Brain Blood Clot in Cyclist

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 06 – The banned performance-enhancing substance epoetin (EPO) is already known as one of the most dangerous forms of doping in sport, and now a new case report adds to the evidence.
In the February issue of Neurology, Spanish physicians describe the case of a professional cyclist who developed a blood clot in his brain after regular use of an EPO-containing "drug cocktail."

The 26-year-old athlete was also using human growth hormone–also banned from sport–along with high doses of vitamins A and E. Growth hormone can increase red blood cell mass and elevate blood pressure in the brain, but the EPO probably caused the patient's clot, Dr. Jose Manuel Martinez Lage, lead author, told Reuters Health.

EPO, a synthetic version of erythropoietin, is used to treat cases of severe anemia. The substance has become a favorite among endurance athletes, including distance cyclists and runners, because …

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