Tests For Performance-Enhancing Gases

Published: April 10, 2015 01:41 pm EDT

After stating last November that tests into performance-enhancing gases were underway, officials announced this week that urine samples were being sent for analysis to detect gases that can reportedly boost EPO levels.

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) started collecting samples last year to test for xenon and argon gas, both added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned substance list. Earlier this week, HRNSW announced that it would send a range of urine samples to Cologne, Germany to be screened for several different prohibited substances including xenon and argon. Methods of analysis for the detection of the elements has been developed for both blood and urine samples by a German laboratory.

HRNSW CEO John Dumesny confirmed the samples would be tested in Germany, as the governing body ensured it remained the industry leader in regards to its integrity strategies and policy.

“HRNSW strives to ensure there is a level playing field for all participants in the sport of harness racing in this state and the decision to send these swabs to Germany affirms our stance,” Dumesny said.

“Xenon and Argon are both prohibited substances and are categorized as stimulating agents.”

Inhaling the gas has shown to boost levels of erythropoietin (EPO) in the body which in turn stimulates the production of red blood cells.

“HRNSW will leave no stone unturned in keeping the sport clean," Dumesny continued. “As a body, HRNSW wants the participants and punters alike to have full confidence in the sport and through strategies like this we are assuring this is the case.”

(with files from HRNSW)