Blood and Gene Doping Agent IOX-2 Found in New York Standardbreds

Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) has issued a press release noting the detection of the blood and gene doping agent, IOX-2.

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By: ARCI |


New York Equine Drug Testing Programs Director Dr. George Maylin has confirmed the presence of a major doping threat to both human and equine sport in two standardbred horses racing at Yonkers Raceway.

The New York horseracing lab is believed to be the first laboratory, in either horse racing or the worldwide WADA network of human testing labs, to screen for and confirm the presence of IOX-2.

IOX-2 is both a blood and gene doping agent that is the type of emerging small molecule synthetic doping agent that Dr. Maylin warned about at last year’s ARCI annual conference in Arcadia, California.

Dr. Maylin, a member of the ARCI Scientific Advisory Group, has stressed that the more serious threat to the integrity of the sport lies in these types of doping agents rather than the misuse of therapeutic medications which have commanded the majority of attention by racing industry organizations and represent the majority of drug violations detected by racing commissions. In human sport, athletes can receive permission to compete with substances in their system that are banned in horse racing.

All RCI member jurisdictions have been put on notice of the details of this development.

IOX-2 is an HIF stabilizer that can trigger EPO like effects as well as overall stimulation of an athlete.

“The New York Gaming Commission and Dr. Maylin specifically, should be commended for their work and focus on finding new and emerging threats to clean sport. Dr. Maylin has worked long and hard looking for these type of substances and his work will benefit all ARCI member jurisdictions.

“Unfortunately IOX-2 is just one doping agent and we are not naive to believe that others are not finding their way into professional sport. Whether it be a racing lab or a WADA lab, we share a common mission and can never let our guard down. Today, it’s IOX-2, tomorrow it’s going to be something else,” said Ed Martin, ARCI President. “Horse racing is blessed to have experts like Dr. Maylin in our regulatory network.”