Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 388, Issue 7, pp 1521–1529 | Cite as

Procedures for monitoring recombinant erythropoietin and analogues in doping control

  • Jordi Segura
  • José A. Pascual
  • Ricardo Gutiérrez-Gallego


The present report summarizes the main analytical strategies developed to identify the presence of recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) administered as a doping agent. Indirect evidence is based on the analysis of blood parameters (haemoglobin, haematocrit, reticulocytes, macrocytes, etc.) and serum markers (concentration of EPO and serum transferrin receptors, etc.). The problem of intertechnique comparison for reliable results evaluation is emphasized, especially for serum markers. Charge differences between isoforms of recombinant EPO and native urinary EPO are the grounds for the isoelectric focusing–double blotting–chemiluminescence detection method presently approved for doping control. Works addressing its advantages and limitations are presented and commented on. The chemical bases of the differential detection are highlighted and some future approaches for detection are also presented. The appearance and detectability of EPO analogues and mimetics susceptible for abuse are also addressed.


Erythropoietin Detection Blood Urine Analogues Mimetics 



The authors are grateful for financing received from the Spanish (Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia; Consejo Superior de Deportes) and Catalan (Departament d’Universitats, Recerca i Societat de l’informació; Consell Catalá de l’Esport) authorities for supporting the preparation of the present review. Special thanks are addressed also to WADA for supporting several research projects mentioned in this review. The scientific contribution from other staff members of the Pharmacology Research Unit at IMIM is also gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jordi Segura
    • 1
    • 2
  • José A. Pascual
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ricardo Gutiérrez-Gallego
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Pharmacology Research Unit, Municipal Institute for Medical ResearchIMIM-Hospital del MarBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Experimental and Health SciencesCEXS, Pompeu Fabra UniversityBarcelonaSpain

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