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Growth hormone breakthrough.

RESEARCHERS into equine growth hormones have made a breakthrough that could lead to the introduction of a test for performance-enhancing substances in races, writes Tony Smurthwaite.

It is currently illegal to administer growth hormones to racehorses, but the restriction has not stopped speculation that it is done.

In October, former trainer Charlie Brooks suggested in his autobiography that the growth hormone Somatrophin is being administered by trainers "seeking to get an edge".

The Jockey Club has denied the rumours while saying there is no evidence of the use of growth hormones in racehorses-but, without a test, the claim is weakened.

Scientists have found that the use of equine growth hormones to enhance performance leaves chemical markers which disappear hours after injection, making them hard to detect.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Smurthwaite, Tony
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 1, 2000
Words:126
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