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What is EPO and Blood Doping in Cycling and Endurance Sports?

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             Sporting activities such as cycling and endurance sports require energy for better performance. The amount of red blood cells and the oxygen determines athletic performance. On this note, many athletes, sportsmen, and women are taking hard drugs to boost oxygen and red blood cell production in their body. But the problem is that most of the substances available for athletes have strenuous health risks, which made them not suitable for anyone. The truth is that most of the hard drugs used by athletes to cheat in the game are banned. In this article, you will learn about EPO and blood doping in cycling and endurance sports. So, take time to read to the end of this article to get comprehensive information about the effect of Blood Doping and EPO in Cycling and Endurance sports.

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          Before we can proceed to explain more about the effects of blood doping in endurance sports and cycling, it is necessary to educate you more about the meaning of doping and EPO. Blood doping is not a new topic in the athletic and sports world. It is an unlawful or prohibited method of enhancing athletic performance through the use of synthetic blood-boosting methods. It is a synthetic or artificial way of boosting the ability of the body to allow the channel more oxygen to the muscles. The reason is to enhance the endurance and performance of the athletes in the long-running distance, cycling, and more.

The effects of blood doping

       The effects of blood doping are mostly required when there is shortage of hemoglobin in the bloodstream.  The hemoglobin that gives the blood its color the people know. It is responsible for oxygenating the blood of the vertebrates. The red proteins come in four different unique with each unite containing an iron atom that is held together by a group known as haem. Also, the hemoglobin is a unique protein responsible for carrying oxygen to the bloodstream of the vertebrates.

         Therefore, an increase in hemoglobin through blood doping can increase the amount of oxygen required in the body to fuel athlete muscles for higher performance.  With blood doping, there can be an increase in stamina and endurance for cycling and other sports requiring long-distance events. So, it is not only used by cycling but other endurance sports like running, weight lifting, and others. Many sports organizations, such as the Olympic Committee have banned blood doping, which made it illegal for the athletes to go for any blood doping drugs. But, will explain more about the EPO in this article.

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Types of Blood Doping You Need To Know

There are three major types of blood doping you need to know as an athlete.  The types are:

  1. Erythropoietin (EPO) injections.
  2. Blood transfusions.
  3. Injections of the artificial oxygen carriers.

The EPO Injections For Blood Doping

        Erythropoietin (EPO) is a natural hormone produced in the body of the kidney. The essence of this hormone is to regulate red blood cell production to enhance its capacity aerobically. Clinically, the EPO injection is done to trigger red blood cell production for the treatment of different health issues related to the blood. So, it is used to treat an anemic patient and patients with a related chronic illness like the last stage of the kidney disease.

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          The use of the EPO by the athletes is to stimulate the body and increase the production of red blood cells in a higher amount than normal. The goal is to boost performance for sporting activities. The increase in the production of red blood cells above normal can result in blood clotting and thickening. Resulting in chronic health issues like stroke and other related health issues. So, before you take the EPO injection into your body to increase the production of red blood cells and boost performance in sports. You should take time to consider the health risk associated with it. There are some long term risks associated with it, which made it necessary for people to be wary of injecting the drug into their bloodstream.

The Truth about Blood Doping Through Blood Transfusions

           Blood transfusion is a practice in the medical field. It is used when there is a need to replace blood lost through surgery or injury. More so, transfusions are necessary when there is a need for replacement of blood to patients whose red blood count is low as a result of kidney failure, anemia, or other medical treatments or conditions.

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           On the other hand, the illicit transfusions of blood are carried out to boost performance in sportsmen and women. The popular blood transfusions in the athletes are of two types, including autologous and homologous transfusion.

  • The Autologous transfusion: The case of the autologous transfusion, the blood of the athlete is collected and stored for the used on the same athlete in the future. Most athletes that have competitions do prepare ahead of time to ensure best performance. So, their blood are drawn by their doctor and used at the time of their event to boost their performance and endurance.
  • The Homologous transfusion: In the case homologous transfusion, the athlete gets the blood of another person with the same type to boost red blood count in the body.

The Artificial Oxygen Carriers for Blood Doping 

           Another popular method of blood doping used by the athlete is the synthetic or artificial carriers. It is a chemical with the capability of carrying oxygen. There are many types of it available in the medical world, but in this article, we will take a look at two of the examples. These are PFCs (per fluorocarbon) and HBOCs (hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers).

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          There is a medical application for synthetic or artificial oxygen carriers for emergency therapy. The use of this method is when certain conditions are appropriate. The conditions that determine the use of the oxygen carriers include:

  • There is need for blood transfusion in patient without availability of human blood.
  • The human blood transfusion is not an option due to blood infection.
  • The patient’s condition is critical without enough time to carry out test and find matching blood type for the patient.

           The above mentioned are the conditions necessary that warrant the use of the artificial oxygen carrier for emergency therapy. However, athletes are making use of synthetic oxygen carriers for a different reason. They are making use of this method to get the same result from other forms of blood doping for their athletic performance. The method is effective in increasing fueling the muscle with the oxygenated blood.

Significant Facts About Blood Doping

Facts            There is a unique test for blood doping. The test helps to detect drug use in the athlete. Since blood doping is an illegal way of triggering the body during a performance in sports. It is necessary to figure the risk factor associated with it if you want to get it done on you. So, figuring out the possible risks associated with blood doping and EPO is necessary before going for it. There are a plethora of tests indicating risks associated with blood doping.

Blood Doping Risks and Potential Dangers You Need To Know

          When the red blood cell production is modified, the heart is mostly the organ that suffers most. Increasing the number of red blood cells produced will result in the thickening of the blood, putting the heart into added pressure to pump the thickened blood to other vital organs of the body. Due to the blood doping, there is always an increase in the following:

  • Stroke.
  • Heart attack.
  • Blood clot.

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        Different types of blood doping come with different types of risks. Blood doping done through transfusion of tainted blood can result in various infectious diseases, including:

  • Hepatitis B.
  • HIV.
  • Hepatitis C.

           Adding to these health issues associated with EPO and blood doping, many others are not popular base on recent studies. Abuse of EPO triggers high blood pressure (hypertension) by producing a higher amount of red blood cells to crowd the plasma. The risk of the increasing production of blood is that it results in blood thickening, which induces constriction of muscle and leads to the closing of the blood, stroke, and heart attack.

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          More so, there may be an interaction between hypotension drugs and EPO. Some of the drugs with negative interactions with the EPO are fludrocortisone (Astonin) and midodrine. That is why the professional sportsmen and men are not to take the drugs except administered by their doctor. The truth is that the use of EPO with drugs used to cancer such as breast cancer, Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), leukemia, and lymphomas.

EPO

             EPO is among the banned anabolic substance in the sporting world. The sporting agencies do carry out a regular test on the athletes to find out if they are using the banned drug or not. There is strict scrutiny of the athletes, and anyone found guilty of abusing the drug will be penalized through suspension or total stripping of the title. More so, some athletes have lost their titles for taking EPO or other hard PED drugs.

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The EPO And Blood Doping Popularity Among Athletes In The World

           Sports fans are conversant with the news about sportsmen and women caught using hard substances, such as Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and more. The PEDs is a popular anabolic substance used by the athletes to boost performance. But the drug under the same umbrella, which most people do not know is the EPO.

 

         This drug has recorded widespread controversies and abuse among the athletes, such as professional cyclists and more since the earlier 80s. Your knowledge of this drug, its effect, risk, and controversies will make it easy for you to know the best way to avoid being a victim. Many professional cyclists have put their life to danger through the abuse of this drug.

The Controversies Surrounding EPO Use among the Athletes in the World

          The use of EPO, banned in the international sports community, such as Olympic and others since the 1990s and in 2000 blood sample used to test for drug use in the athlete during the Summer Olympic.  In the year 2006, Floyd Landis was the first to lose his title for drug abuse through doping. Armstrong is another athlete to lose his title for EPO abuse and blood doping. Many other professional cyclists have tested positive for the use of EPO, and some of them include Philippe Gaumont, David Millar, Jesus Manzano, and Willy Voit.  With the controversies surrounding the use of EPO and blood doping, one may wonder about the possible effect of this drug on athletic performance. If that is your question, you should not ask further as the answer to your question is not farfetched.

The Benefits Associated With EPO and Blood Doping Drugs

           Despite the enormous health risks associated with EPO and other PED for blood doping, there are still some benefits associated with it, which attract more athletes to them. Some of the benefits associate with this drug are explained here.

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             Erythropoietin or EPO in the acronym is a natural peptide hormone that is produced by the kidney. The hormone is responsible for triggering the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. Clinically, the peptide hormone is useful in treating blood deficiencies in the body.

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            It is recommended during emergency and anemia treatment. However, the misuse of abuse of EPO is banned. Although erythropoietin is banned, its popularity in the cyclist and endurance event has rapidly increased. So, one of the main reasons people go for this drug despite being banned is that helps them to live stronger and perform better in sporting competition.

Performance beyond the Limit of Human Being in Sports with EPO

          Performing beyond the human limit is possible with the help of the EPO and other blood doping methods. It is the drug that gives users full strength after being injected into the bloodstream. But it is only for those that can afford the cost of it. Accessing the EPO is easy when you check through the US site. You will find an injectable full strength solution for a hundred and fifty pounds. But to get the dose that will enough to boost your performance beyond the human limit, you must be ready to spend some thousands of pounds. You need not less than three thousand five hundred pounds to get the EPO injection that can last for the training cycle in circling or other endurance sports events. Therefore it is not affordable to the amateur cyclists and endurance training.

Some Common Questions About EPO And Blood Doping Cycling

           With the prevalence of EPO and blood doping, it is easy for someone to wonder about its effects on the body. Also, armature cyclists usually wonder if they can improve their strength and performance by injecting drugs into their bloodstream. If you have wondered about that also, you are in the right place as you will get answers to your questions here. Some of the questions about this product and the answers include:

Can I Get Stronger And Perform Better With The Use Of EPO?

          That is one of the most popular questions you can find among the cyclists and other athletes. The answer is simple, injecting this drug into the bloodstream triggers the production of red blood cells unnaturally. With the increased red blood cell comes the possibility of boosting the muscle strength, endurance, and agility for performance in sports.

How EPO Works to Increase Endurance?

          The main effect of EPO is to increase strength and endurance. That is why it is used by runners, cyclists, and other endurance trainers. Long-distance runners go for this injectable drug to make them perform beyond normal human strength. To ensure the effectiveness of the EPO, it is injected under the skin to induce the production of red blood cells and the delivery of more oxygen to the muscle.

Is erythropoietin drug still useful for cycling?

           While some people have ended up damaging their kidney and increasing their risk of stroke, heart disease, and others with the EPO abuse, a new study has it that the drug may not improve performance in cycling. The discovery about this drug has resulted in controversies and discouraged more runners, cyclists, and more from taking this as it does not produce the same result needed to perform better as cyclists of a long-distance runner.

Is EPO good enough for sports and endurance?

          Before you starting taking EPO for no medical purpose, it is necessary to research more about the drug. Make sure that you find out the effects of this drug on the body and how it works to boost performance and endurance. There is only a 6% increase in performance on the distance runners after taking the hormone for four weeks. With this knowledge, it is obvious that the drug does not produce the same result as purported by the public, which resulted in its abuse among the athletes.

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Is EPO Categorized Among the Steroid?

            Although anabolic steroids are the popularly known PEDs used by the athletes, the EPO is also in the same category. The drug is clinically approved and recognized to help in handling different health issues. Also, the use of this drug for medical purposes is mainly during an emergency when all hopes are lost. Also, when blood transfusion is not an option due to certain reasons. The EPO is always the solution to the immediate problem. The health risks associated with the use of this substance comes following its abuse.

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Some of the Short Time Side Effects of EPO You Need To Know

           If you are planning to boost your performance in long-distance running with EPO. It confirms the short term and long term side effects associated with it.  There exist some temporary side effects associated with the abuse of EPO, which you need to know before going for it. Some of these side effects you need to know include:

  • Nausea.
  • Fever.
  • Swelling.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Dizziness.

         When you develop any of the side effects mentioned here, you should discontinue the use of the drug as quickly as possible. Make sure that you consult your doctor when you discover that you discover a strange feeling in your body following the use of the drug.

How to Administer EPO for Best Result?

         Depending on the effects you want to from the EPO, there are many ways to administer the drug. Medically, you can use the drug in three different ways, and that includes:

  • Epoetin Alfa.
  • Darbepoietin Alfa.
  • Injection intravenous to the vein.

          So, if you do not like the pain of the injection needle. Also, you can take the medication in another way to get the same result.

Conclusion

          Notwithstanding the temptation to boost your endurance, performance, or others through the use of EPO, you must consider the health risk associated with it. Abuse of drugs generally is dangerous to health. So, even if you are armature athletes and discovered with low performance, you should not start your career with supplements. There are many other healthy solutions for underperforming athletes, which they can utilize to improve their overall strength, endurance, and performance.

Overall

          There are ways to resolve your underperforming challenge as an athlete. One way to do that is by talking to your coach to figure out the safer solution to your problem. Alternate training options and nutrition could be the solution you need to regain y our level as a trainer. Your coach will find out the best solution to your career as a cyclist and not drugs. Some other treatment options can yield the same result without causing more damages to your health. With such a solution, you will stay away from drug abuse to damage your life forever. So, go on and improve your endurance as a cyclist or runner through a safer method.

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