Now, 'Armstrong-like' doping scandals rampant in Oz horse-racing circuits

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 11, 2012 09:40 hrs

Several of Australia's top stables are using the same illicit performance-boosting drug that saw disgraced Lance Armstrong being convicted of doping, say angry trainers and veterinarians.

Some of the biggest names in racing say sophisticated drug cheating has become rife among well-known stables and have confirmed the allegations are valid, citing several examples in both horse racing codes over many years.

They believe the practice of "milk-shaking" with sodium bicarbonate is being combined with use of undetectable variants of the notorious oxygen-boosting hormone used by Armstrong and dozens of other cyclists since the 1990s, reports.

According to the report, the drug is erythropoietin - known as EPO and dubbed "Edgar Allan Poe" in cycling circles, which is difficult to detect in drug tests.

But EPO-type synthetic hormones are not the only illicit "go-fast" drugs in use, as some trainers are known to have used variants of the opiate-based stimulants such as "elephant juice", which became notorious when the distressed Rocket Racer collapsed and almost died after literally bolting ahead of the field in the 1987 Perth Cup, the report said.

A top trainer, who is one of several trainers who claim some stables have an "edge" that produces amazing winning strike rates that are statistically and historically improbable, earlier this year revealed about the alleged use of a particular opiate derivative that stewards detected in several horses at a winning stable, the report added. (ANI)

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