• natural hormone from kidney. Recombinant human erythropoietin (rEPO) used illegally to stimulate production of red blood cells. Medically used to treat kidney disease.
• has been shown to increase V02max
• side effects – hyperviscosity of blood higher risk of clotting and CVA; hypertension; flu like symptoms.
• believed to be implicated in a number of deaths of competitive cyclists
• use is banned by IOC, but detection is difficult – usually suspected from a combination of blood and urine testing