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  1. #16
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    Apr 2005
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    Vancouver, BC
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    There has been doping in professional cycling since the early days, with riders taking amphetamines and champagne (the light bubbles makes for fearless descending), among other things. It is profoundly part of the culture. EPO is relatively accessible to Cat 1-2 racers on the regional scene, who really thinks it wouldn't be for pros?

    Doping is the only way to remain in the peloton, meter of elevation after meter of elevation, kilometer of suffering after kilometer of suffering, day after day, week after week. This is a BRUTAL sport (compared to, say, triathlon, where pros do not race more than every week or every other week). This doesn't mean that these guys are not exceptional athletes. But when a drug like EPO can improve one's capabilities by 10-20%, well that's over 6 minutes per hour.

    I'm not mad at the racers as I feel really sorry for them. They have to close their eyes to whatever is going on, they ingest all sorts of things with or without knowing (or rather without wanting to know), they put their health at tremendous risks. The team directors and soigneurs are very well aware of what is going on. But it's these guys' dream to be in races like the Tour de France. Not doping, or speaking up about it, will mean the end of their dream (and lawsuits, and losing whatever respect they had received from racing, and conflicts with their friends and families, etc.). Sure, they have a choice: doping or quitting pro cycling. And they have to keep lying all the time, to others but also to themselves, to their closest friends and family. That must be awful.

    Now that controls are stricter, things get messier, I'm afraid, new stuff is tried out (blood transfusions), drugs are taken as a cocktail (sub-detectable doses of individual drugs which together make a powerful mix, with possibly lethal effects), sometimes the guesses are wrong, or the dosage is not quite right, and they get caught. Other times, as has been seen in a number of occasions over the history of cycling, they die.

    There might be an oddball here or there that's not taking anything at all, and that has never ever touched anything (knowingly at least), but that would be really rare I'm afraid.

    I am not sure it was meant like that, but I increasingly see the Triplettes de Belleville as a metaphor on the doping. They race the cyclists until they die, who cares about their physical and mental health?

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    526
    I had a great ride this morning and as I started to wane, I kept Vino's struggle in my thoughts to serve as an encouragement. Now I feel so let down. [/QUOTE]

    I feel the same way about Vino. I kept thinking, what an inspiration he is. If he can get back on the bike after his crash, then I can keep going. And now this . . .

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
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    4,364
    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    So did Landis actually test positive, and were his levels just below the threshold for an illegal substance?
    Landis tested as having abnormal testosterone to epitestoterone ratios
    Now any use of outside testosterone would be banned, but the tests for this are tricky and it is a naturally occuring substance in the body. Though I haven't read all of the defense I believe that there are some arguments for suspect testing procedures in there. The mass spectrometer (sp?) test that proved the T was not natural sounds like a fairly hard one to counter though.

    I think you may be remembering a Lance Armstrong test - it was for a very low level of a steroid, under the threshold for a positive doping test (as this is also a substance that naturally occurs in the body) and was also explained by possible contamination by a legal topical saddle sore cream.

    The test for homologous blood doping is also tricky and actually quite subjective, so lets wait for the testing of the B sample (and Vinokurov himself has requested B sample testing) before we make any condemnations.
    Last edited by Eden; 07-24-2007 at 11:17 AM.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    gosh, if these guys want to cheat, why dont they just put motors on their bikes!!

    IF he's really been doing this...

    sigh.

    I still believe Landis was framed.


    i'd like to see a race where we can see how the BEST MAN sans drugs, extra blood,
    extra stimulants... can win.. who CARES if it's not as fast as last year??!
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,600
    I'm just really cynical about doping, drugs and such.

    I've said it before, it's just too easy and they think they can get away with it. Very sad indeed but I'm not all the suprised.

    The money and fame is just too great for some. So if you only took 1/2 or even 1/3 of what guys used to take, they think they can get an edge. For some that is all the difference they need to place on the podium. 4hour ride and at the finish its down to less than 5 seconds. 5 divided by 4x60x60. Its a very small percentage.

    The another dark side of this doping/drug issue is some "spectators" want their team to win so they'll try to give other riders a spiked bottle in hopes that the other rider will test positive. And its no just drink but food, snack you name it. The riders for the most part know not to take any freebies from spectators and are INSTRUCTED NOT TO DRINK FREEBIE LIQUID from their coaches, mgrs. Maybe some have tried to use this as an excuse for testing positive.

    smilingcat

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
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    EPO is also readily available at cat3 and all the way down to cat5. A lot of guys just don't care and think they are invincible. Until they die in there sleep that is. One of the side effects of EPO: blood is too thick and doesn't flow freely through your system is what I was told.

    Other stuff is readily available too. I know Eden hasn't ran across and just can't imagine why anyone would spend $$ for the drugs just to win some measly primes. The guys who take it their head isn't screwed on right.

    smilingcat

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Md suburbs of Wash. DC
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    David Millar's response to this is also very interesting. My first reaction was to think that yes, he served his suspension like a good boy, but he should still have a little more humility. But then I thought about the fact that this news was disclosed during a Saunier-Duval press conference in which that team was announcing something good that they were doing for the world and that their news was totally overshadowed. It's fairly understandable that he'd react so emotionally.

    Once again, this confirms for me that Slipstream is a team to watch. If they're as vigilant as they advertise they are, they may very well be the only "clean" team in cycling. Millar was also going to announce that he's joining Slipstream in 2008, and there's a rumor that Dave Z will also be signing with them. That would definitely put them on the map and create some seriously high expectations for them.
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
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    1,104
    Never mind whether or not he or anyone else is or was doing it --

    Last year was my first Tour.

    The moment a guy had a Hors-crappegory day, followed by a stupendous day, he was busted.

    This year, same thing, right around the same part of the race.

    As a newcomer, it's not surprising to me that the drug-czars for this sport would choose to declare "Vino's Doping" the moment he has a big turn around.

    Who will do a couple of rides like this and get accused next year?

    Karen in Boise

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    1,485
    What a total downer. I'm very sad for the sport of cycling, but I can't say I'm all that surprised. I hope in a few years cycling will be totally clean, but I doubt it.

    My husband used to race Cat 1 on the track and went to the Olympic trials in 1996. He could never understand why there were some guys that just had it so much over everyone else. He was too naive to realize they were likely doping at the time... now he remembers all the puffy faces and other weird stuff that he never put together before. It's sad.
    fides quaerens intellectum (faith seeking understanding) - St. Anselm of Canterbury

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    South of Seattle.
    Posts
    1,037
    As David Millar said . . .

    "I just feel like crying right now."

    What was he thinking?

    I just don't understand!

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Bendemonium
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    I'm wondering if many of the pros are motivated by the Slipstream offers so that they have the possibility of being remembered as clean riders and not having their results questioned. Yes, you still stand the risk of competing against doped cyclists and losing, but the credibility and respect you'd gain.

    Think about it. Barry Bonds is always going to have a question mark after his name.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    425
    Honestly I can't say I'm surprised. Not a Vino fan here. I thought he was evil . . . Ok, maybe evil is a strong word, villain-esque? Rassmusen on the other hand, I like him. I hope his tests continue to come back clean.

    I still think there are serious flaws in the testing procedures. More samples need to be sent to independent labs (outside of France). One lab doing all the testing, when it's been shown there are problems with their protocols . . . how are we supposed to believe their results? That's why I'm still on the fence about Floyd. Honestly not a huge Floyd fan either, but I have a hunch he was set up by the lab.

    I should add that I think Floyd was framed simply because he's an American.
    Last edited by HappyAnika; 07-24-2007 at 12:07 PM.
    The best part about going up hills is riding back down!

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    1,632
    I think I may be missing something, but why does the Tour invite the team an opportunity to withdraw, rather than some conditional stay (everybody in the team gets tested)? I feel sorry for Andreas Kloeden, who was in 5th place and could have within contention.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
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    Shouldn't this post have come with a "spoiler alert"?
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
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  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Md suburbs of Wash. DC
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyAnika View Post
    I still think there are serious flaws in the testing procedures. More samples need to be sent to independent labs (outside of France). One lab doing all the testing, when it's been shown there are problems with their protocols . . . how are we supposed to believe their results? That's why I'm still on the fence about Floyd. Honestly not a huge Floyd fan either, but I have a hunch he was set up by the lab.

    I should add that I think Floyd was framed simply because he's an American.
    Yeah, the fact that they continue to use that lab bothers me, as well. I don't see any reason to frame Vino, as he's not a GC threat, but that lab's integrity has been called into question repeatedly so it just throws suspicion over any of their findings.
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

 

 

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