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Did EPO use really kill some riders?

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Re: Re:

26 Nov 2016 18:40

pmcg76 wrote:Let me draw a timeline for LeMond/Van Mol. LeMond had a dual contract with ADR/Coors Light in 89. He stayed in the US over the winter of 88/89. He didnt arrive in Europe until the start of March having raced the Tour of Americas finishing 3rd for Coors Light. Barely days after arriving in Europe, he finished top 15 in Het Volk, then went to finish Tirreno-Adriatico in top 10 and got in a break royale at Criterium International with Fignon, Indurain, Mottet, Madiot, Roche finishing 4th overall.

He was going very well and then his form deserted him almost overnight. From riding with big hitters in March, he was nowhere at Flanders. Less than 2 weeks later, totally demoralised about his sudden loss of form, he packed up and went back to the US ready to quit the sport. Didnt train for 3 weeks but then started to train for the Trump tour which he rode for Coors light. Returned to Europe a few days before the start of the Giro, then we have his one official interaction with Van Mol. Straight after the Giro returned to the US for Nationals with Coors Light, before returning for a stage race in Spain prior to the Tour. I think LeMond himself said he met Van Mol for the first time at the Giro.


Wow. LeMond has told so many porkies about 1989 that I think he actually believes them. His fanboys certainly do. Just look at what you write and ask yourself if it makes a lick of sense: LeMond was mixing it up with the royalty of the sport, holding his own and then some, but suffered a downturn in form, which happens to all endurance athletes from time to time, and he was about to quit the sport. Really? LeMond's vaunted knowledge of training did not include the concept of over training?

The problem with LeMond is he is the maker of his own myth. He has always been willing to lie and exaggerate if it makes him look better. Instead of a bit of sickness or over training causing him take a break to recover then rebuild his form, it became an existential crisis that had him days away from retiring in disillusionment. He will say anything to big himself up. If you think he would not lie about something that would be detrimental to his image, like Van Mol, then you are a fool.
"Their world is crumbling. Ours is being built."
DamianoMachiavelli
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Re: Re:

26 Nov 2016 18:59

DamianoMachiavelli wrote:
pmcg76 wrote:Let me draw a timeline for LeMond/Van Mol. LeMond had a dual contract with ADR/Coors Light in 89. He stayed in the US over the winter of 88/89. He didnt arrive in Europe until the start of March having raced the Tour of Americas finishing 3rd for Coors Light. Barely days after arriving in Europe, he finished top 15 in Het Volk, then went to finish Tirreno-Adriatico in top 10 and got in a break royale at Criterium International with Fignon, Indurain, Mottet, Madiot, Roche finishing 4th overall.

He was going very well and then his form deserted him almost overnight. From riding with big hitters in March, he was nowhere at Flanders. Less than 2 weeks later, totally demoralised about his sudden loss of form, he packed up and went back to the US ready to quit the sport. Didnt train for 3 weeks but then started to train for the Trump tour which he rode for Coors light. Returned to Europe a few days before the start of the Giro, then we have his one official interaction with Van Mol. Straight after the Giro returned to the US for Nationals with Coors Light, before returning for a stage race in Spain prior to the Tour. I think LeMond himself said he met Van Mol for the first time at the Giro.


Wow. LeMond has told so many porkies about 1989 that I think he actually believes them. His fanboys certainly do. Just look at what you write and ask yourself if it makes a lick of sense: LeMond was mixing it up with the royalty of the sport, holding his own and then some, but suffered a downturn in form, which happens to all endurance athletes from time to time, and he was about to quit the sport. Really? LeMond's vaunted knowledge of training did not include the concept of over training?

The problem with LeMond is he is the maker of his own myth. He has always been willing to lie and exaggerate if it makes him look better. Instead of a bit of sickness or over training causing him take a break to recover then rebuild his form, it became an existential crisis that had him days away from retiring in disillusionment. He will say anything to big himself up. If you think he would not lie about something that would be detrimental to his image, like Van Mol, then you are a fool.


Some years ago Oldman who, fwiw, knew Greg personally, said this:
My point was simple-his injury impact short term were similar to other traumatic injuries. Cyclists learn to live with punctured lungs, broken femurs, ribs, etc. His heroism is a product of his book, the media and your adulation. Other riders have overcome as much, if not more. It doesn't add credence to his opinions or his indictment of other riders. Learn to separate the hype from the fact. By the way, many men talk alot when they drink. Greg is not different.
viewtopic.php?p=63258#p63258

I thought that was well said.
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Re: Re:

27 Nov 2016 01:52

DamianoMachiavelli wrote:
pmcg76 wrote:Let me draw a timeline for LeMond/Van Mol. LeMond had a dual contract with ADR/Coors Light in 89. He stayed in the US over the winter of 88/89. He didnt arrive in Europe until the start of March having raced the Tour of Americas finishing 3rd for Coors Light. Barely days after arriving in Europe, he finished top 15 in Het Volk, then went to finish Tirreno-Adriatico in top 10 and got in a break royale at Criterium International with Fignon, Indurain, Mottet, Madiot, Roche finishing 4th overall.

He was going very well and then his form deserted him almost overnight. From riding with big hitters in March, he was nowhere at Flanders. Less than 2 weeks later, totally demoralised about his sudden loss of form, he packed up and went back to the US ready to quit the sport. Didnt train for 3 weeks but then started to train for the Trump tour which he rode for Coors light. Returned to Europe a few days before the start of the Giro, then we have his one official interaction with Van Mol. Straight after the Giro returned to the US for Nationals with Coors Light, before returning for a stage race in Spain prior to the Tour. I think LeMond himself said he met Van Mol for the first time at the Giro.


Wow. LeMond has told so many porkies about 1989 that I think he actually believes them. His fanboys certainly do. Just look at what you write and ask yourself if it makes a lick of sense: LeMond was mixing it up with the royalty of the sport, holding his own and then some, but suffered a downturn in form, which happens to all endurance athletes from time to time, and he was about to quit the sport. Really? LeMond's vaunted knowledge of training did not include the concept of over training?

The problem with LeMond is he is the maker of his own myth. He has always been willing to lie and exaggerate if it makes him look better. Instead of a bit of sickness or over training causing him take a break to recover then rebuild his form, it became an existential crisis that had him days away from retiring in disillusionment. He will say anything to big himself up. If you think he would not lie about something that would be detrimental to his image, like Van Mol, then you are a fool.


Perhaps you could enlighten us about all these porkies LeMond told about 1989. The timeline is based on actual facts so not sure why you think it is somehow unrealistic. Apart from that 6 week period in Spring(during which his form evaporated)when was he potentially working with Van Mol?

LeMond had been trying to come back for all of 88 but kept being frustrated by injuries, illness. He went from competing with the bigs guns to nowhere in the space of a week in spring 89. Perhaps it was down to overtraining, but considering the workload LeMond could take before his shooting, that also seems unlikely. Regardless. it is easy to understand how an athlete who thinks they have returned to form then see that form just vanish, it is demoralising, especially afte a year of constant setbacks. Then you try another comeback and you are getting dropped by guys in the mountains that you once crushed, I dont think it would be a stretch at all to pack the sport in if you dont think you can make it back to your natural level.

Indeed,I can think of a certain cyclist who also tried a comeback after a life threatning illness and was about to pack it in because the comeback didnt go well, and that was after one attempt. Apparently, a beer and a break saved their career. Who could that be I wonder?

How many comeback attempts should be made before someone calls it quits.
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28 Nov 2016 15:26

Has it ever been stated anywhere what the 'anti-anemia' treatment he received twice in 1989's Tour was?
Norks74
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Re:

28 Nov 2016 16:51

Norks74 wrote:Has it ever been stated anywhere what the 'anti-anemia' treatment he received twice in 1989's Tour was?

Lemond's own version (which in fact is an abstraction of a variety of different versions) is that he received iron shots, three in total I think in the 'official' version (if there is one).
Unfortunately there are several contradictory versions of what happened. If you put them all together, it is not clear (a) who diagnosed his anemia (some accounts say it was Jacome, others say Vanmol); or (b) how many injections Lemond got exactly, when he got them, and who administered them.

Lemond's last version of it is given in the Kimmage interview from 2009(?) I think. Here is the 3rd part which is about the iron shots: https://web.facebook.com/2Rmag/posts/534227359949423?comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22O%22%7D&_rdr
As you see even Kimmage wasn't sure. (Kimmage: "I always thought it was Jacome [who did the injections]". Lemond: "It was Vanmol"). Loads of vague stuff and eyebrowraisers there.
Like why the hell would Lemond need Otto's help when his wife Kathy, a nursing student and daughter of David Morris MD, was there with him in Italy.
I had to figure out how to get Otto to help me, because I could not do it myself.
Don't tell me Kathy and Greg didn't know how to inject a needle, but Jacome did.
And so apparently Vanmol did the first injection, but then we don't get to hear who did the other two injections.

It's all vague and not straightforward.
One shot? Two shots? Three shots? Needle adverse? Otto, Vanmol, Vanmol, Otto?
And it puts some new 'facts' about Lemond on the table, like the chronic kidney infections as a kid that nobody knew anything about previously.
Then there is anohter story about LEmond that he'd been riding around with only one kidney, though again nobody exactly knows where that story comes from, or when he lost the other kidney, or how it relates to his chronic kidney infections.
Another story where his kidney (the one remaining kidney?) got damaged in the shooting.
Etc. Nothing really adds up here and nobody knows the real story(ies). It's all rather consistent with somebody who's been making stuff up as he went along.

Personally I also find it funny that Kathy Lemond needed to hold Greg's hand in that Kimmage interview, and when the topic goes to the iron injections, she basically answers for Lemond whilst conveniently deflecting away from the "when?" question.
To Froome fans, that interview setting must sound rather familiar.

I'd love to see the press release where Lemond discloses the iron shots for the first time, and I've asked for it many times but it seems untraceable.
Note that the iron shots themselves contradict other Lemond interviews where he says he never took anything other than vitamin pills. And in the Kimmage interview he says "I never succumbed [to the needle]", whereas one minute later he's telling kimmage about the iron shots. Mkay.

Here's a link to an article (translation included) where Vanmol describes how he treated two anemic ADR riders in 1988. ttp://forum.cyclingnews.com/viewtopic.php?p=1896069#p1896069
One of those anemic riders was Planckaert who later admitted to using EPO. In his admission he says he used it only in 1991, but note that the year 1988 was perhaps Planckaert's best year ever.
Vanmol himself was later fingered by Sandro Donati as one of the early EPO enablers besides Conconi and Ferrari.
In the above linked article from 1988 Vanmol also says he thinks testosterone should be legal.
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28 Nov 2016 18:04

That's quite a narrative you've built...

Here's the primary source (as in, the first published article) discussing Greg Lemond's iron injections. That was in July 1989. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/cycling/longterm/1998/tour/articles/89winner.htm

The next article that mentions this is in December, 1989 http://www.si.com/vault/1989/12/25/121301/le-grand-lemond-greg-lemond-1989-sportsman-of-the-year-rewrote-his-own-legend-with-a-heroic-comeback-and-a-magnificent-finish-in-the-tour-de-france

This is the primary source that makes a passing mention of anemia. http://people.com/archive/beating-the-clock-and-all-the-odds-cyclist-greg-lemond-triumphs-in-the-tour-de-france-vol-32-no-6/

All sources agree that he was diagnosed as anemic during the Tour of Italy. Furthermore, Otto Jacome's involvement can be summed up as: "There, too, he faltered. In the first mountain stage LeMond lost eight minutes to the leaders. His masseur, Otto Jacome, who has been a friend of the LeMond family since Greg was 15, took one look at him afterward and said, "You are white. You need iron.""

It continues: "Again LeMond had his blood tested. This time he was diagnosed as anemic, and his doctor immediately gave him an injection of iron. "I was riding myself into the ground," LeMond says. "I was pushing so hard that I was eating into my muscles."" - highly suggesting that he was suffering from overtraining as well as anemia. Please note that the diagnosis was via blood test and that the iron was injected by his doctor.

Which doctor was that? "So the team doctor gave LeMond an injection of iron". The team doctor. We know that Yvon Van Mol was one of the team doctors, but I can't find any sources listing all of ADR's doctors or who was at the Tour of Italy with Greg.

How many injections did he have? Two. " LeMond had a second injection of iron".

So there you go. Two shots of iron to fix anemia as diagnosed and prescribed by an un-named team doctor. Jacome was not involved. This is as consistently reported by three major sources.

John Swanson

Edit: fixed a formatting error
Last edited by ScienceIsCool on 28 Nov 2016 18:23, edited 1 time in total.
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28 Nov 2016 18:13

I should mention that there is a book, ISBN 9781937715304 titled Etape that was published in 2014 that says it was three injections delivered by Van Mol. Given that this account is 25 years after the event, I would place more weight on the three major articles (Sports Illustrated, Washington Post, People Magazine) being accurate on two rather than three injections. There's no way to evaluate the likelihood that Van Mol was the doctor in question. However, his is the only doctor's name associated with the "event".

In summary, it's an interesting anecdote about how Lemond had to overcome another health related hurdle on his way to victory in 1989.

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28 Nov 2016 18:35

Many thanks for the links and the reference to the 2014 book.
Very informative. I'll have a look at those in the coming days.

I didn't build any narrative.
As I said, the problem is that there seem to have been multiple narratives and I have no idea what the real narrative is.
That's confirmed by your links.

Two shots or three shots? Nobody knows. You say it was likely two, because that was the original story.
This is from the Kimmage interview linked above:
So Yvan took a blood test and said ‘Well, three shots are not going to hurt you. But it’s a treatment of three. And you need it today, three days and three days.’
That's quite a detailed recollection of events.

And then the kidney issues.
There seem to have been multiple issues mentioned across different interviews/books, but again I've never seen any kind of coherent account of what he actually suffered from and (since) when.
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28 Nov 2016 18:53

If it helps, think of a major world event that happened in the early 90's. Say the Berlin wall coming down. Scribble down as many details as you can think of. Then go and verify those details. I bet a large percentage of those perceived details are incorrect. Twenty five years is a long time. The three sources (that I could find) from within a few months of the event are all consistent. Diagnosed anemia via blood test. Two shots. Team doctor, who is probably Vanmol but not confirmed.

As for narrative: "Like why the hell would Lemond need Otto's help when his wife Kathy, a nursing student and daughter of David Morris MD, was there with him in Italy." - you're constructing a story here that has nothing to do with what we actually know. It's the same with: "Note that the iron shots themselves contradict other Lemond interviews where he says he never took anything other than vitamin pills. And in the Kimmage interview he says "I never succumbed [to the needle]", whereas one minute later he's telling kimmage about the iron shots. Mkay." - when clearly, receiving necessary medication is vastly different to "succumbing to the needle". Vastly, vastly different. And you know that.

You've also trotted out the one kidney thing time and again. The only piece of journalism I have seen on the subject is where Greg talks about having chronic kidney infections which required the use of intravenous (there's those needles again) antibiotics. As far as I know you are the only one who has speculated that he has "kidney disease" or that his kidneys either don't function or are missing.

But you already know all this.

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28 Nov 2016 19:51

Lemond is widely quoted on the internet as somebody who won the TdF with one kidney. I'm surprised you're putting that in my mouth when in fact it's all over the web.
We've gone through the kidney issues multiple times.
Let's not go there again, unless you can finally tell me what he was and wasn't suffering from, with links preferably.

The other thing is: in the Lemond thread as well as from Lemond himself, I've hear the following argument multiple times: "if the Giro injections were EPO, why would I mention them myself straight after the race?"
Now where is that interview where he mentions the injections himself straight after the Giro.

If that Washington Post article from July 89 is indeed the first mention of the injection, as you say, then the above argument is apparently a load of bollox.
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Re:

28 Nov 2016 20:32

sniper wrote:Lemond is widely quoted on the internet as somebody who won the TdF with one kidney. I'm surprised you're putting that in my mouth when in fact it's all over the web.
We've gone through the kidney issues multiple times.
Let's not go there again, unless you can finally tell me what he was and wasn't suffering from, with links preferably.

The other thing is: in the Lemond thread as well as from Lemond himself, I've hear the following argument multiple times: "if the Giro injections were EPO, why would I mention them myself straight after the race?"
Now where is that interview where he mentions the injections himself straight after the Giro.

If that Washington Post article from July 89 is indeed the first mention of the injection, as you say, then the above argument is apparently a load of bollox.


It's very possible that Greg talked about the iron injections before July and possibly even did so in interviews. However, that's the first citation I can find in English. Not going to try and find anything in French or Italian. No need. The point was to establish the facts, which you did not know and was causing you some consternation.

I have yet to find any citations (you know, not forums, blogs and the like) that say Greg Lemond has one kidney. I have many citations for having pellets removed from both kidneys after the hunting accident (hard to do if they're missing...) and that he suffered from chronic kidney infections as a child.

pellets removed from kidneys:
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Greg-LeMond
and http://articles.latimes.com/1990-12-04/sports/sp-5740_1_greg-lemond

chronic kidney infections:
https://www.facebook.com/2Rmag/posts/534227359949423 (an interview with 2R magazine)
quote:"Greg: I was needle-averse. From the day I was born, I’ve had these chronic kidney infections…

You were needle-averse?
Greg: I had to go to the doctor to get antibiotic shots (for the kidney infection) as a kid. "

I think that if you want to claim that Greg lost a kidney, you should cite a source as to when and how he lost it.

ALL of which has nothing to do with anything. I think at one time you tried to label Lemond as a "kidney patient" and therefore would have been given EPO. But that obviously isn't true in any sense. It's a lot like if I kept bringing up that he needs reading glasses. It's a complete non-sequitur.

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28 Nov 2016 20:41

I never thought he was a kidney patient.
I do think he tried to portray himself as one, you know, just in case.

anemia + several kidney issues.

I mean, who would have blamed him for taking EPO?
Last edited by sniper on 28 Nov 2016 20:44, edited 2 times in total.
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28 Nov 2016 20:41

It's clear that something gave our guy the anglo Lemond the edge. I doubt EPO did him in but it might have been a contributing factor. His concoction was inferior to the real deal. But he was a "machine" for the time.
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28 Nov 2016 20:47

Maybe he had a low hematocrit so that he had more benefit from blood doping than others.

In any case, Lemond had the ideal mindset.
He was incredibly hungry and would do whatever it takes to get an edge.
And since EPO was legal, I fail to see why some object so heavily to the idea that Lemond may have used it.

The evidence (as thin as it may be) for EPO use definitely points towards Lemond much more than towards most other riders of his era.
Last edited by sniper on 28 Nov 2016 20:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:

28 Nov 2016 20:51

sniper wrote:I never thought he was a kidney patient.
I do think he tried to portray himself as one, you know, just in case.

anemia + several kidney issues.

I mean, who would have blamed him for taking EPO?


To quote sniper:
"Considering Lemond's medical profile (kidney + anemia patient, i.e. perfect for EPO)" and

"so back on topic:
kidney.
epo.
1989.
dhaenens.
adr."

So yes, you tried to suggest that Greg Lemond was a kidney patient who needed EPO. And since this is fabricated from whole cloth, there's no way Greg can be using it as a cover for EPO use.

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Re:

28 Nov 2016 20:58

sniper wrote:Maybe he had a low hematocrit so that he had more benefit from blood doping than others.

In any case, Lemond had the ideal mindset.
He was incredibly hungry and would do whatever it takes to get an edge.
And since EPO was legal, I fail to see why some object so heavily to the idea that Lemond may have used it.

The evidence (as thin as it may be) for EPO use definitely points towards Lemond much more than towards most other riders of his era.


And not a single fact was quoted that day...

I get it. You think he doped and included EPO in his regimen. Glenn also seems to think so. I'm totally cool with that. But don't pretend that the facts are on your side. There's really nothing out there that backs up your feelings. And that's okay.

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Re: Re:

28 Nov 2016 20:58

ScienceIsCool wrote:
sniper wrote:I never thought he was a kidney patient.
I do think he tried to portray himself as one, you know, just in case.

anemia + several kidney issues.

I mean, who would have blamed him for taking EPO?


To quote sniper:
"Considering Lemond's medical profile (kidney + anemia patient, i.e. perfect for EPO)" and

"so back on topic:
kidney.
epo.
1989.
dhaenens.
adr."

So yes, you tried to suggest that Greg Lemond was a kidney patient who needed EPO. And since this is fabricated from whole cloth, there's no way Greg can be using it as a cover for EPO use.

John Swanson

Since it was LEGAL why would he not?

seems legit to ask the question.
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Re:

28 Nov 2016 21:00

sniper wrote:So knowing Lemond's medical profile = believing Lemond's medical profile?
I realize that's your logic (take everything from the horse's mouth as fact).
But no, it's not my logic.


Well you're now on a crazy descent into "there is no such thing as truth", which is a fantastic bit of philosophical wankery. But back here in this forum, it might be useful to stick to citable sources and use the common definitions for things so that we can have a meaningful discussion.

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Re: Re:

28 Nov 2016 21:01

Glenn_Wilson wrote:...
Since it was LEGAL why would he not?

seems legit to ask the question.

indeed. Compared to most other riders of his time, he was ideally suited to receive it.
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Re: Re:

28 Nov 2016 21:02

Glenn_Wilson wrote:
ScienceIsCool wrote:
sniper wrote:I never thought he was a kidney patient.
I do think he tried to portray himself as one, you know, just in case.

anemia + several kidney issues.

I mean, who would have blamed him for taking EPO?


To quote sniper:
"Considering Lemond's medical profile (kidney + anemia patient, i.e. perfect for EPO)" and

"so back on topic:
kidney.
epo.
1989.
dhaenens.
adr."

So yes, you tried to suggest that Greg Lemond was a kidney patient who needed EPO. And since this is fabricated from whole cloth, there's no way Greg can be using it as a cover for EPO use.

John Swanson

Since it was LEGAL why would he not?

seems legit to ask the question.


Perfectly legit question. But it has *nothing* to do with his kidneys. Bringing that up over and over again is as useful as saying he wears reading glasses, ergo EPO.

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