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Melb Cup Horses May Be Hair-Tested For EPO
Under the screaming headline "Claims EPO USE Rampant Across Racing", columnist Patrick Smith revealed in The Australian newspaper: "Fears that the use of EPO is common in Victorian racing has prompted the state's leading thoroughbred body to urgently consider introducing hair-testing protocols on the eve of the Melbourne Cup carnival." Smith reported Racing Victoria "has become increasingly concerned that the drug is being widely used" & that stewards have recommended "that the hunt for EPO (a banned performance-enhancing drug) be intensified". Hair-testing involves "a sophisticated protocol where hair from a horse can show drug use over a prolonged period of time; present testing regimes (which measure markers in blood samples) rely on the drug being administered close to the testing time". Hair-testing "allows scientists to get a broader & longer picture of a person's or animal's medical & drug history".