red_flanders wrote:I guess there are folks who aren't aware of this info, so posting it here. Obviously much more out there, but this is a good, succinct summary covering the main points.
Not clear what people think has changed since Hamilton wrote his book in 2012–I am not aware of any substantial adjustment to the testing windows or the passport that would affect these techniques.
https://thinksteroids.com/articles/tyler-hamiltons-guide-anabolic-steroids-epo-cycling/How to Use EPO in Cycling Without Getting Caught?
Evading detection in the urinary EPO test is relatively easy. It requires a procedure known as microdosing. Rather than inject EPO subcutaneously every 3-4 days, athletes inject smaller amounts of EPO intravenously every night.
[Hamilton]“Instead of injecting 2,000 units of Edgar [EPO] every third or fourth night, we injected 400 or 500 units every night. Glowtime minimized; problem solved. We called it microdosing.”
How to Use Anabolic Steroids in Cycling Without Getting Caught?
If microdosing worked for EPO, why not use it for anabolic steroids too?
[Hamilton]“Around 2001 we got away from the red eggs [Andriol gelcaps containing orally-active testosterone undecanoate] and started using testosterone patches, which were more convenient. They were like big Band-Aids with a clear gel in the center; you could leave one on for a couple of hours, get a boost of testosterone, and by morning be clean as a newborn baby.”
Hamilton provides a few more interesting tips on how to thwart WADA drug testers in the book. He doesn’t go really explain how to circumvent the the “biological passport” system other than to suggest cyclists are using smaller blood bags during transfusion. I guess this can be called a sort of “micro-infusion”.
But cyclists know that the biological passport has not eliminated doping. Doping simply requires a little more effort. The goal is to maintain a physiological range of reticulocytes between 0.5% and 1.5%. Blood doping can be masked by micro-dosing with EPO after blood infusions to keep the reticulocyte percentage in range.
Keep the above in mind when you hear people celebrate the so-called new generation of clean riders. Just like the introduction of EPO didn’t mark the beginning of doping in cycling, neither does the introduction of the biological passport mark the end of EPO. Doping was rampant before EPO (with amphetamines and steroids). The nature of doping just changed with EPO. Similarly, doping has simply been transformed as a result of new testing.
Ashenden's April 2012 nyvelocity.com interview along the same lines