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BHA Says Too Early To Introduce New Drug Test

Wednesday, 22nd October 2008

In the UK overnight, the British Horseracing Authority announced it "would be not be rushed into a decision over whether to follow the lead of other sporting bodies who have stepped up the battle against drug cheats by retesting blood samples for a new variant of the banned substance EPO," reported racingpost.co.uk. The cycling world has been plunged into crisis over recent weeks with 4 of this year's Tour de France riders (including King Of The Mountains winner Bernhard Kohl) failing the new test for the latest variant of EPO (known as Cera), while the International Olympic Committee has ordered re-testing of up to 1,000 blood samples taken from athletes at this year's Beijing games in China. The BHA has been freezing samples taken from horses since 2005, but retesting "would be an expensive exercise & the IOC for one will be facing a 6-figure bill likely to be replicated in racing if it takes the same route". BHA media relations manager Paul Struthers commented: "It is too early so say whether we will introduce this new test. We are constantly reviewing the testing needs & methods we use with changing priorities & risks in mind."

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