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  #11  
Old 02-17-13, 21:05
TheGame TheGame is offline
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Originally Posted by Merckx index View Post
Even Basso in his salad days, it now appears, used the cheaper but somewhat more inconvenient withdrawal/transfusion process, though back then perhaps all riders did.
Basso re-infused rbc and plasma separately prior to the 2006 Giro.
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  #12  
Old 02-17-13, 22:36
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lean,mean,&green lean,mean,&green is offline
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Originally Posted by Merckx index View Post
There are changes in red cells that would accompany storage at room temperature, too, which could also be used as the basis for a test, but apparently the researchers in this story did not address that.
I think you mean refrigerated storage. No one is keeping blood at room temps for very long.

I know you know this but it could really confuse the uninformed.
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  #13  
Old 02-17-13, 22:47
Tyler'sTwin Tyler'sTwin is offline
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There has been discussions of this type of test for several years. The key challenge is the method these days is a steady calender of transfusions to fool the biopassport. Blood is seldom frozen
I have no idea what this means. Why would refrigerating blood rather than freezing be more likely to fool the passport?
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  #14  
Old 02-17-13, 22:58
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I found a news piece about the same scientists from 2007 that also spoke of a "new method for testing blood doping". At that time they seemed to be at the start of the process and they had just gotten funding from WADA. They were going to catalogue all the proteins in the RBCs to see which of the proteins show signs of change from freezing. The question is how close they actually are to a viable test. So far they can detect changes in lab samples but it's not clear if they have even tested reinfused blood yet which is a critical step. The reason this story is out right now is because the scientists are featured in a weekly science show on swedish TV that airs on monday so it's not even the case that the news story is based on any recently published results it seems but rather it is referencing ongoing work. So it will probably take a decent while before we get any close to an actual test.

Edit:

The news story speculates that a test could in theory be used to test old samples from previous years. Isn't there a huge problem in that since samples from previous years would have had to been frozen since the test was taken?
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Last edited by ingsve; 02-17-13 at 23:05.
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  #15  
Old 02-17-13, 23:01
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I have no idea what this means. Why would refrigerating blood rather than freezing be more likely to fool the passport?
If you have a steady calender of transfusions in order to not have big variations in the passport that usually means the blood is not stored for very long which means there is no need to freeze it. So it's not hte refrigeration that is fooling the passport but rather the method that fools the passport doesn't need freezing.
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  #16  
Old 02-17-13, 23:24
Tyler'sTwin Tyler'sTwin is offline
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Originally Posted by ingsve View Post
If you have a steady calender of transfusions in order to not have big variations in the passport that usually means the blood is not stored for very long which means there is no need to freeze it. So it's not hte refrigeration that is fooling the passport but rather the method that fools the passport doesn't need freezing.
This is what I don't understand. Please explain why more transfusions would fool the passport. More net withdrawals and net infusions would mean more peaks and valleys in Hb and retics. More transfusions because you're playing the zero-sum game* that is withdrawal/infusion is just a way of getting around the short storage time problem. Athletes freeze blood so they wont have to do the old switch-a-roo every 4(?) weeks or whatever it is.

* Actually, it's not quite a zero-sum game because cells die in the fridge.
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  #17  
Old 02-17-13, 23:44
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Merckx index Merckx index is offline
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Originally Posted by lean,mean,&green View Post
I think you mean refrigerated storage. No one is keeping blood at room temps for very long.

I know you know this but it could really confuse the uninformed.
Someone here is paying attention! Yes, indeed, my bad, I meant refrigerated storage. Unless, of course, you can't afford a Landis to stay in the apartment while you're gone and make sure the power to the fridge doesn't go out.

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This is what I don't understand. Please explain why more transfusions would fool the passport. More net withdrawals and net infusions would mean more peaks and valleys in Hb and retics. More transfusions because you're playing the zero-sum game* that is withdrawal/infusion is just a way of getting around the short storage time problem. Athletes freeze blood so they wont have to do the old switch-a-roo every 4(?) weeks or whatever it is.
ingsve explained it pretty well. The test referenced by the OP looks at changes in RBCs that are stored frozen. If you have periodic withdrawals/transfusions, you don't need to freeze the cells, you store them at refrigerated temps. Hence the changes that occur in RBCs when frozen don't necessarily occur. As I noted earlier, cells stored at refrigerated temperatures will also undergo changes, but probably not as dramatic, and as easily detectable, as those in frozen cells.

Also, this would most likely be a standalone test, not part of the passport. Just like the current test for homologous transfusion--using blood of another individual--is a standalone test. Of course, riders are also being tested by the passport while this is going on, but all these withdrawals/transfusions, if done carefully, don't affect basic blood values much. Usually a withdrawal is followed by a transfusion, which keeps HT/Hb and retics at about the same value. Before a race, there will only a transfusion, or at the least, a withdrawal followed by a transfusion of a greater amount than was withdrawn. This is where riders use techniques like saline infusion to lower HT and EPO to raise retics.

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So far they can detect changes in lab samples but it's not clear if they have even tested reinfused blood yet which is a critical step.
Yes, they certainly need to do that, but most likely most of the changes that occur in the cells upon freezing would not be reversed upon transfusion. Transfused cells have a half-life of about four months, so there would be plenty of them in circulation during the time frame in which testing would occur.

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Basso re-infused rbc and plasma separately prior to the 2006 Giro.
Yes, this is thought to be a common practice now. Riders do separate cells and plasma, which requires a centrifuge. But they store them at refrigerated temperatures, so it is not necessary to treat the cells with glycerol and freeze them by the special process required for long-term storage. This I think is fairly expensive if you are going to be sure you do it right. And as Tyler's book graphically notes, you don't want to infuse damaged cells.

Last edited by Merckx index; 02-17-13 at 23:50.
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  #18  
Old 02-18-13, 00:26
Tyler'sTwin Tyler'sTwin is offline
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The question was; what does a steady calender of transfusions have to do with fooling the passport? The cycles of withdrawals/infusions are to prevent the blood in your fridge from going stale. It's simply a way around the short shelf life of refrigerated blood.

How much blood can you be juggling in and out of the fridge before it becomes problematic? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the yield is ~75%, which would leave you ½ a unit down when withdrawing 2 units and reinfusing 2. I would think this makes freezing blood the better option.
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  #19  
Old 02-18-13, 20:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler'sTwin View Post
The question was; what does a steady calender of transfusions have to do with fooling the passport? The cycles of withdrawals/infusions are to prevent the blood in your fridge from going stale. It's simply a way around the short shelf life of refrigerated blood.

How much blood can you be juggling in and out of the fridge before it becomes problematic? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the yield is ~75%, which would leave you a unit down when withdrawing 2 units and reinfusing 2. I would think this makes freezing blood the better option.
If the passport reflects your normal levels most of the time then the times you do a transfusion is more likely to show up as an anomaly. By keeping a steady calender of transfusions you are in essense elevating your entire baseline so that your doped levels becomes your baseline. You fool the passport by making it look like your normal levels are higher than they actually are.
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  #20  
Old 02-19-13, 18:05
arjanh arjanh is offline
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Originally Posted by Dear Wiggo View Post
Now that you mention it - yes they had to add something to the blood, carefully yeah? So they could freeze it?
Yes, plasticizers. You might remember that from Picontador.
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