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Systematic blood doping at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The transfusions were to increase red blood cells in riders' blood. They received the blood of others with similar blood types. Steve Hegg, won a gold and a silver; Rebecca Twigg, Pat Mc Donough and Leonard Nitz won silver medals.

The practice, instigated by national coach Eddie Borysewicz, was not against Olympic rules although Games medical guidelines discouraged it. The others were John Beckman, Mark Whitehead and Brent Emery.

The increased thickness of the blood (above 70% red blood cells) increases the risk of blood clotting which can block blood vessels causing a heart attack or stroke, especially in the middle of the night when the heart's rate is lowest.

Borysewicz and a colleague, Ed Burke, set up a clinic in a Los Angeles motel room and four of the seven athletes who had transfusions won medals. They were identified in the subsequent inquiry as having had transfusions. The emergence of EPO - In the late 1980s a recombinant drug created for people suffering from kidney failure became a substance abused by athletes seeking enhanced stamina and performance.

The drug is recombinant erythropoietin, known as EPO, which was developed by the Amgen company.

The following is an incomplete list of doping cases and recurring accusations of doping in professional cycling, where doping means "use of physiological substances or abnormal method to obtain an artificial increase of performance".

It is neither a 'list of shame' nor a list of illegality, as the first laws were not passed until 1965 and their implementation is an ongoing developing process.

"The administration of or use by a competing athlete of any substance foreign to the body or any physiologic substance taken in abnormal quantity or taken by an abnormal route of entry into the body with the sole intention of increasing in an artificial and unfair manner his/her performance in competition.

Last modified 05-Oct-2017 10:45