What substance did the cyclist Ismael Sánchez consume?

It is now official that the Dominican cyclist Ismael Sánchez has been notified of having tested positive for doping in laboratory tests carried out during his performance in the 2023 National Cycling Tour of Independence.

The WADA letter notifying him of the positive was delivered this past Monday to the vegan athlete, via the Dominican Cycling Federation.

Listín Diario asked the president of the Federation, Jorge Blas Díaz, the type of substance consumed by Sánchez, a 40-year-old veteran cyclist.

“Unfortunately I do not know because we have tried to have the notification sent to the Federation and we still do not have it. The cyclist was only notified in an envelope sealed as confidential, ”said the Federated leader to Listín.

Yesterday, the Federation issued a statement reporting the fact, and at the same time complaining about the “sensationalist” way in which the issue has been handled in the media. Listin has been the only newspaper in the country that has carried the information.

Credit sources told this newspaper that supposedly the substance consumed by the vegan cyclist is “erythropoietin”, which in the medical world of cycling identifies as EPO.

It is a hormone that increases the athlete’s performance by fighting fatigue.

According to the “Health and Medicine” website, the International Cycling Union uncovered a major scandal in Italy in 1997, and since then the substance has been banned.

He says that “erythropoietin is a hormone that the human body produces naturally in the kidney. Its production is stimulated in situations (such as hypoxia) in which it is necessary to increase the levels of red blood cells.

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The synthesis of this substance in laboratories, obtained for the first time in the mid-1980s, immediately opened up a wide range of possibilities for its misuse in endurance sports.

In an athlete who practices a long-term specialty, the consumption of EPO presents obvious benefits.

He also adds that “when this substance is injected into a cyclist, the formation of red blood cells (red blood cells) is stimulated and when these increase, the hemoglobin rate also rises. As a consequence of this, the muscles, even receiving the same amount of blood, capture more oxygen, work more efficiently and the onset of fatigue is delayed”.

According to the experts, “doping with erythropoietin mimics the effects of autotransfusions of blood (also prohibited by anti-doping regulations but which became famous among Finnish athletes in the 1970s), but without the need to travel to high-altitude areas, extract , frozen blood storage or venous reinfusions”.

Said page says that, according to specialist Dr. Randy Eichner, professor of Hematology at the University of Oklahoma City, “the use of EPO in athletes is dangerous because it is being carried out in people who then undergo very demanding efforts.”

Ismael Sánchez’s lawyers are expected to proceed to appeal the results of the tests, a process that has stipulated deadlines.

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