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Blood doping is a way of increasing the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream. This is done to improve athletic performance. Because blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles, a having more red cells in the blood can improve an athlete’s aerobic capacity (VO2 max) and endurance.[1] Many methods of blood doping are illegal, particularly in professional sport.

There are a number of different methods. Frozen blood taken from the individual previously can be used for a later transplant; packed red cells from a compatible donor may be used, and blood substitutes may be used. The growth area in illegal blood doping of athletes is blood substitutes.

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ReferencesEdit

  1. W. Jelkmann, C. Lundby. Blood doping and its detection. Blood, 2011, 118(9):2395-404. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-02-303271. PMID 21652677. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21652677