July 01, 2004
Le Monde: "Super-EPO" likely in the peloton
Le Monde ran a story yesterday about CERA, an experimental drug from Roche that stimulates red blood cell production in the spinal cord. Roche is directing research toward use in anemias associated with cancer and kidney disease, but Le Monde says Italian investigators believe it's already in use by pro riders.
The story suggests CERA may be the “new kind of EPO” referenced during wiretapped conversations involving Italian racers.
They further quote a French professor, who says a single course of CERA would be enough to last through a 3-week tour, where EPO would require multiple dosages during a long race.
Another professor maintained that the level of the drug in urine would be so low as to be undetectable.
There's information about CERA research all over the internet.
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