Athletics: IAAF and drugmaker Pfizer seek anaemia drug data

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Athletics world governing body IAAF is seeking data that shows a breakthrough drug targeting anaemia can reverse the effects of doping.

Up to 500 medics are expected to be in London for the news conference.

US drug manufacturer Pfizer has produced research that suggests its drug could reverse the affects of banned drugs.

Athletics doctors are particularly interested in the development as some competitors suffer low red blood cell numbers.

About 10,000 athlete tests are carried out each year.

Up to 95% of tests are for banned substances while a further five% are for what the IAAF calls ‘Sextave’.

The drug is licensed for short-term use in certain medical conditions and veterinary use but has yet to be licensed for use against doping.

Pfizer has discovered that the drug boosts the production of red blood cells in mammals and also has some anti-inflammatory properties.

Researchers are trying to make the drug available as a free supplement to track-up athletes during their pre-competition and/or post-competition testing.

Athletes who take the supplement as a pill would have to be trained to identify their own symptoms and test positive would be a “mystery”.

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