Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tour de France and recent doping allegations

Wherein at least they haven't killed any dogs. And running into that one doesn't count.

Below, we've been discussing the latest news from the Tour de France. There's enough to warrant their own post, so here they are. Feel free to pile on. If you're looking for more information, Trust But Verify is a good place to start. He's been following the Floyd Landis case and his reference page has a lot of good links concerning the science and the relevant cycling and testing organizations.

Icepick said...
Okay, now that Vinokourov has been caught blood doping, is there anyone in the sport who hasn't tested positive EXCEPT Lance Armstrong?

7/24/2007 03:24:00 PM

bill said...
Tested? No. But don't forget this angle.

I think it's highly likely that he was doping and/or using PEDs before his cancer. Seems like everyone was doing it and it would fit what I know of his personality and competitive nature. Afterwards, during his TdF victories, I don't know. Wouldn't surprise me.

7/24/2007 03:41:00 PM

Icepick said...
Yeah, I've heard of the Andreu charges. Something's never quite seemed right about that story to me.

Personally I feel that one can't conclusively say that Lance doped (either drugs, bood or whathaveyou) but it does seem probable. I also believe that after his cancer it's possible that Lance was able to train harder for a variety of reasons: a higher pain threshold, more motivation to get what he could out of life, etc. All of which would have been enhanced by various methods.

But given that the TdF tests the stage winners and race leaders almost every day, if he was cheating and they couldn't catch him then I have to assume EVERYONE was potentially cheating. IOW, his seven victories are still damned impressive.

7/24/2007 04:09:00 PM

Icepick said...
Incidentally, this might be a good time for you to re-post and update your commentary about performance enhancing drugs. That one is likely to remain timely in spirit, if not particulars, for decades to come.

7/24/2007 04:10:00 PM

bill said...
I've been thinking I should give it a rewrite. Maybe I'll do some actual research.

Added, until I do update it, here's a link to last year's performance enhancing post, This is me and my energy:

My position: legalize and un-ban performance enhancing drugs, therapies, whatever; I don't care. Steroids? I'm fine. Human Growth Hormone? Sure. Blood Doping? If you think it will help. EPO? Can I get that on my corn flakes? Surgery? Yep.

7/24/2007 09:04:00 PM

bill said...
an explanation of blood doping

7/25/2007 07:58:00 AM

bill said...
early stage news:

1:02 PM Today's stage
began with a riders' protest, from teams expressing frustration at yesterday's news of a positive doping test from Alexander Vinokourov. The teams were also angry that the Tour is being led by a man many regard as suspicious.

7/25/2007 07:58:00 AM

bill said...
I also believe that after his cancer it's possible that Lance was able to train harder for a variety of reasons: a higher pain threshold, more motivation to get what he could out of life, etc.

He's always claimed that. In the current issue of Outside Magazine is an article about a human-pain lab and their research into pain tolerance. They make the point that people who have suffered trauma--like chemo patients or pregnant women--have a higher tolerance for pain.

I'd quote it, but I just threw it away. There's a podcast at the link that might have something useful and I think when the next issue comes out, they'll make the article available online.

7/25/2007 08:51:00 AM

Icepick said...
I was aware that Lance had made that claim, and I tend to at least believe it's plausible based on personal experience. I didn't know that research had been done that supports the claim. Interesting stuff....

I've got a question about the protest at the start of the day. I read at ESPN that it was mostly French teams and riders that protested, and that the protest was designed to draw attention to the problems of illegal performance enhancement (IPE) in the Tour. Are French teams/riders notable clearer than others?

7/25/2007 09:19:00 AM

bill said...
Are French teams/riders notable clearer than others?

I don't know, I'd guess probably not. Wish I followed it enough to say. French riders and teams haven't been that great in recent years and I suppose they could claim it's because they're clean and everyone else is dirty. But maybe that's too cynical.

French rider, Richard Virenque, was a confirmed and admitted doper during the Armstrong reign. While Armstrong was being spat on by drunks on the side of the road and hounded by the French press, Virenque was a national hero.

7/25/2007 09:56:00 AM

bill said...
From Floyd Landis:

Just as in my case, LNDD (Laboratoire National de Dépistage du Dopage / National Anti-doping Laboratory) has leaked the test results to l'Equipe, permanently damaging Vino's reputation and causing him to defend an allegation without any evidence. Furthermore, it is similar to my case because the LNDD's leaked results have the potential to alter the outcome of the Tour de France before they have proved the alleged doping violation,

7/25/2007 10:09:00 AM

other links:
  • Bobby Julich:
    went to bat for my former CSC teammate Ivan Basso last year [he later received a two-year ban this past June]. I had always respected Basso's professionalism. Now, Vino is facing controversy. How does this not touch you to the core? Whom do you trust? I hope Vino has a side to his story that's different because it's already ruined a lot for a lot of people now that Astana has pulled out of the Tour.

    I feel like I have to apologize to everyone. I know it seems like I am coming up with excuses. I feel duped myself. I am at the last year or so of my career and I wanted to enjoy it. But news like this is taking that fun out of the equation. It's hard to realize that it's not just "rogue" riders doing this, but friends potentially doing these things and keeping these secrets.

  • More on today's protest.
    From ESPN:
    The Tour's Web site said German squad Gerolsteiner also took part in the protest. Some of the French teams involved included Credit Agricole, Cofidis, FDJeux, Bouygues Telecom and Agritubel.

    These are many of the teams mentioned in the Cyclingnews blurb, Teams unite to form 'silver lining':

    Hours before the 'Vino' bomb hit the 2007 Tour de France with news of a positive doping control from one of the sport's biggest names, it became clear that every cloud has a silver lining. Following a meeting in London on July 5, seven teams decided to form a new union called the MPCC (Mouvement pour un cyclisme crédible): AG2R, Agritubel, Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, Française Des Jeux and Gerolsteiner. The teams united in a reaction against all the doping problems that cycling is currently encountering. For an unknown reason the T-Mobile team, which was present at London meeting, didn't show up during the meeting in Pau, so they are currently not part of the MPCC.

    To assure their credibility, the MPCC has bundled a number of measures. They will strictly apply the Ethical Code of the UCI Pro Teams and the internal Code of the UCI Pro Teams. The members will immediately sign - without terms - the letter 'UCI for a new cycling' (managers, directeur sportifs and doctors).

    Aside from those provisions, there will be a complete transparency between the members. As a result Marc Madiot from Française Des Jeux could already provide Cyclingnews with some information. "There are no riders with a prescription for corticoid preparations within the seven teams," Madiot said. "I can also tell you that there are no riders who need prescriptions within Gerolsteiner, Crédit Agricole and our team." If riders need corticoids for any reason, then they will be put on non-active status for two weeks. The new organisation invites other teams to join them if they share the same philosophy.


Blogger bill said...

And another leak from the testing laboratory:

Cristian Moreni of the Cofidis squad has tested positive for exogenous testosterone

7/25/2007 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Icepick said...

Dang! This AND Rasmussen getting the boot, and I've got no time to read it! Following this would be a heckuva lot more fun than taking Mom to the hospital. By the time I can catch up it'll all be over. Well, I still have Vick and Donaghy to follow....

7/25/2007 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

Good luck with your mom.

The Vick thing is fascinating (and depressing on many levels that have nothing to do with sports) and of course dominates all the sports talk. The Arthur Blank press conference was broadcast live with no commercial interruptions.

7/26/2007 04:46:00 AM  

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