Originally Posted by Dear Wiggo
There was an anonymous comment on Steve Tilford's blog saying TommyD got sprung doping via internal Garmin control at training camp and told to tone it down.
When asked, JV denied it entirely.
- "When asked, JV denied it entirely." (???... hmmm...)
Well - Yes and
No, 'Dear Wiggo';
JV did *not* in fact deny it *entirely*.
If you read JV's precise wording very carefully he in fact (intentionally or unintentially?) only *partially*
denied the TD allegations, and he later on chose not to respond with any clarity to my attempted clarifications re. 'suspicious TD testing' vs. 'pos TD test'
It is *still*
indeed a possibility that TD *did*
indeed have a (merely?) *suspicious*
internal test, (albeit not I believe a definite 'pos'), even taking into account JV's responses so far (and for reasons further explained later, we'll not be getting a great deal of further commentary from JV on the matter).
What JV *actually*
said was that there was 'no TD positive'
, but he proffered no explicit denial of a 'TD suspicous test'
(which I later explicitly requested from him, and did not receive). We already knew that there can't have been an unambiguously *positive*
test, since TD would have been suspended from the team and presumably reported to WADA, according to team policy, and furthermore, if there had have been a pos test, JV would have had him testify to it at the USADA hearings in any case.
Therefore, the only viable explanation in any case (if there is any truth to this rather anonymous rumour in cyberspace) would be a *suspicious*
test. Which in Garmin usually leads to a 'warning' (which supposedly occured according to our 'ultra-reliable(...)' source 'Rick'), and an internal unpublicized 2-week moratorium from racing (anyone know if TD raced in the 2 weeks after said training camp??).
Therefore the real question in fact concerns a purpouted TD *suspicious* test.
JV's posts (intentionally??) gave the initial
impression that there wasn't (? - hmmm...) in fact a 'suspicious'
TD test, but if you read them again a little more carefully (e.g. I myself initially did (incorrectly??) read them all as a unequivocal denial...), you will in fact discover that he in fact evaded
issue of a 'TD suspicious test
instead into a discussion of the 'most
suspicious result on the team', which happened to be from a rider judged in the end to be 'clean'.
All of the above does not
preclude a TD test which was
in fact 'suspicious' (but presumably less so than the 'most
suspicious' Garmin test result, taking fully into account JV's somewhat limited comments).
Seems that TD has not produced the most suspicious result on the team, whatever may or may not have occurred wrt the drugs?? In any case, the way the Garmin internal controls work, they are designed to flag up suspicious tests for preventative action before the results would become positive, so it would not be entirely surprising if there were 'suspicious, to be followed-up' results from TD, or any other rider flagged up, which were only somewhat 'scientifically/unambiguously' 'suspicious', quite possibly less 'numerically' suspicious than the 'most suspicious result' they had as yet so far found on their team. Therefore unsurprising if a suspicious result with genuinely worrying implications has less extreme 'numerical values' than the most 'numerically suspicious' result which turned out in the end to have resulted from innocent human variation etc. (remembering variations in training regime/race programme/individual variation/illnesses in particular etc.).
I would suggest that if 'Dear Wiggo' wants to follow this up any further, then he needs to find a non-anonymous source to back it all up (perhaps privately) - he could always try to work out who 'Rick' or his (hypothesized...) 'training partner in Garmin' is if he's determined. Since an anonymous comment on a blog forum isn't really enough to back up anything more than innuendo and speculation.
I would not think that we'll get anything more from JV on the matter, and would not expect him to give out any more info anyway due to rider confidentiality etc., whatever is the factual case on the issue in question. I think he gave out about as much info as he reasonably could in the circumstances (albeit wording it all to dissuade further follow-up - although I am hoping JV will find the time to comment on some of the more general scientific questions re. e.g. judging potential distortion re. poss false-positives in test-results from recent dopers relating to any medium-long-ish-term after-effects of EPO administration - see final 2 paragraphs of this post).
I did try to follow it all up a few weeks ago in the 'JV Talks' thread, but there was not a great deal of interest, presumably due to the rather tenuous nature of the purpouted 'evidence', Dear Wiggo's reputation in the Clinic (well, we do always need a few 'straw-man' arguments that we can rebut convincingly...), and my over-lengthy writing style. And I wasn't much expecting JV to reply anyway, as he wouldn't be in a position to (unless my hypothesis re. a 'suspicious' test was in fact untrue, therefore make of his chosen(?) 'silence' on these questions what ye will...). I imagine that anything substantive would only ever come out (if there is indeed any truth to any of it) via a voluntary confession by TD.
My Opinion re. TD Rumours?
I'd guess (but who knows, and who can ever know apart from TD himself?) that the most likely thing would be that TD did indeed have a 'suspicious' internal test. But that the (presumable?) explanation was that TD was clean on joining the team and remained so, but that there were residual effects from his then-recent prior doping (which had only stopped a few months earlier? And furthermore, TD had been a heavy user? Not too sure of the timescales involved here?). I'm not too clear on the science though, but IIRC, long-term EPO administration messes up your body's regulation of natural EPO production, which could easily(??) cause a false-positive long after exogenous administration has ceased?? How long can this happen for, how does it occur, and how much person-to-person variation is there??
Regarding the variation between individuals, then how often might a nowadays-clean former user be wrongly flagged-up as having gone back on the drugs, as seems might have happened with TD?? Is the science on this understood, especially wrt former heavy users, whom I doubt would have participated in many controlled studies? Is it an issue that the teams running internal controls have looked into much particularly, wrt recruiting the 'newly-clean'?? It is the interpersonal variation in particular which makes the issue tricky, I imagine, and I wonder if Garmin et.al. have as yet looked into all of that in enough detail to reach the best-calculable balance of probablilities in these kinds of cases??? Reckon you got the judgement right wrt TD????