Blood doping has been achieved by either infusing red blood cells or by administering the drug erythropoietin to artificially increase red blood cell mass. Blood doping can improve an athlete's ability to perform submaximal and maximal endurance exercise. In addition, blood doping can help reduce physiologic strain during exercise in the heat and perhaps at altitude. Conversely, blood doping is associated with risks that can be serious and impair athletic performance. These known risks are amplified by improper medical controls, as well as the interaction between dehydration with exercise and environmental stress. Finally, the medical risks associated with blood doping have been estimated from carefully controlled research studies, and the medically unsupervised use of blood doping will increase these risks. It is the position of the American College of Sports Medicine that any blood doping procedure used in an attempt to improve athletic performance is unethical, unfair, and exposes the athlete to unwarranted and potentially serious health risks.
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