Blood doping of racehorses will soon be banned in Britain, although officials said they have no evidence that the practice ever has occurred.
The Jockey Club voted this week to outlaw blood doping beginning March 25, disqualifying a horse from starting “if he has received a blood transfusion for the purpose of enhancing his performance in that race.”
Officials said there have been persistent rumors of blood doping of horses. “There is no evidence of blood transfusions taking place,” Jockey Club spokesman David Pipe said. “The security department has followed every bit of rumor and advice but has never found any evidence whatsoever.”
Pipe said one of the main reasons for the new rule was to allay public concern and said it was not even clear that transfusions would help a horse perform better.