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The Logisitics of Doping

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The Logisitics of Doping

29 Jun 2009 23:08

Damn, now I'm even posting doping threads....

Anyway, my question for those of you "in the know" how do so many cyclists dope and not get caught with bags of blood, syringes etc., It seems to me that not all cyclists are smart and some at least would get popped, or rather would get popped more often by getting caught with "stuff" than by failing a test.

I know there are examples of both, Kayle L, Puerto etc., I am not asking for a rehash of what has happened but maybe some idea of how a guy like LA who is so high profile could get away with dragging around bags of blood, syringes etc. Wouldn't transport of these items be illegal?
Snake8
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29 Jun 2009 23:28

Snake8 wrote:Damn, now I'm even posting doping threads....

Anyway, my question for those of you "in the know" how do so many cyclists dope and not get caught with bags of blood, syringes etc., It seems to me that not all cyclists are smart and some at least would get popped, or rather would get popped more often by getting caught with "stuff" than by failing a test.

I know there are examples of both, Kayle L, Puerto etc., I am not asking for a rehash of what has happened but maybe some idea of how a guy like LA who is so high profile could get away with dragging around bags of blood, syringes etc. Wouldn't transport of these items be illegal?

Good question. Not that I'm in the know, but simple reasoning indicates that the short answer must be that techniques for managing contraband in general are widespread and creative.

Cyclists have additional hurdles because of the extra scrutiny, but necessity is the mother of invention. We get some hints when some of them are busted, and it seems like friends, associates, spouses and family are often involved. Apparently cyclists often do have free and private time. I suspect part of it is getting it down to a science - so that not much time is involved in partaking.

Everybody has to go to the restroom once in a while, and generally without suspicion if they are gone for 5, 10 or 15 minutes... I think it was Kohl who wrote that he would get a text message indicating that the stuff was ready in some pre-planned room. He would excuse himself from whatever was happening, dash to that room, do his thing, and be back before anyone noticed. It's certainly a pain and hassle, but these are people who live their lives probably much more precisely than most of us do. This probably becomes just another part of their daily regime.

No specifics, because I'm sure the specifics vary from one rider to the next, but that should give you a general idea.

As perhaps an inappropriate aside, I was always a bit suspicious about the circumstances leading to the tragic suicide of Floyd Landis' friend, confidante and father-in-law, just days (maybe a couple of weeks) after Landis' doping violation was announced. I always wondered how much he might have had to do with it, and perhaps felt guilty. Maybe he was the one who accidentally put too many Testosterone patches on Floyd's body, or something like that?
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30 Jun 2009 00:55

Well i can figure that they must be creative, but traveling and keeping blood cool requires a fair amount of planning and execution right? Cant they also just look for needle marks? (Or i suppose these guys aree tested so much they have a lot anyway?)
Snake8
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30 Jun 2009 01:37

Snake8 wrote:how do so many cyclists dope and not get caught with bags of blood, syringes etc., It seems to me that not all cyclists are smart and some at least would get popped, or rather would get popped more often by getting caught with "stuff" than by failing a test.


They do get popped. With depressing regularity. And they're talking.

They have third parties (team staff, etc.) keep the junk for them. When it's time to dope, they make a call or a text*, and the stuff shows up. They do the deed, then all the paraphernalia disappears.

* - any day now one will screw up and tweet instead of texting. "Hey S-----, time for my blood bag. And bring a pizza with you."
derailleur
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30 Jun 2009 01:43

Snake8 wrote:Well i can figure that they must be creative, but traveling and keeping blood cool requires a fair amount of planning and execution right? Cant they also just look for needle marks? (Or i suppose these guys aree tested so much they have a lot anyway?)

The only thing I know is the motorcycle stories from the US Postal times from the Jonathan Vaughters and Frankie Andreu conversation. They carry the "blood" in those things. But in that time they all came together I believe, so it is easier just to do it with other friends in the room. At least the ones involved. Well, I don't know anything else about the logistics of this type of operations.
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30 Jun 2009 02:12

derailleur wrote:They do get popped. With depressing regularity. And they're talking.

They have third parties (team staff, etc.) keep the junk for them. When it's time to dope, they make a call or a text*, and the stuff shows up. They do the deed, then all the paraphernalia disappears.

* - any day now one will screw up and tweet instead of texting. "Hey S-----, time for my blood bag. And bring a pizza with you."


But they don't. Not if doping is going on w/ 90% of the peloton. I really find it hard to beleive that all the riders in the peloton are getting bags of refrigerated blood injected without someone calling BS on it. 180 riders with a couple bags of blood each? They search the buses from time to time, no blood.

Is it really at the level of someone sneaking a refrigerated pouch of blood into hotel rooms in some sort of hidden container?

Seriously, anyone who's been there or knows how this #h!t is done, I'd love to hear.
Snake8
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30 Jun 2009 09:44

Most of the illicit preparation is done away from the races, either in the weeks / days beforehand (by the riders individually with their doctors / soigneurs).

If it needs to be done during the stage races it is usually done away from any unwanted attention. Often this means taking the riders away from where they are staying to another hotel or rented apartment somewhere anonymous. This is the safest option in case of a police raid.

It can also be done on the bus. They have tinted windows and security on the door for a reason, and most of them have fridges. Noone gets anywhere near the Astana bus.

Omerta rule #765: what happens on the bus stays on the bus.
Mongol_Waaijer
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30 Jun 2009 11:21

I don't think anybody on here is "in the know" ;)
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30 Jun 2009 11:47

Mongol_Waaijer wrote:Most of the illicit preparation is done away from the races, either in the weeks / days beforehand (by the riders individually with their doctors / soigneurs).

If it needs to be done during the stage races it is usually done away from any unwanted attention. Often this means taking the riders away from where they are staying to another hotel or rented apartment somewhere anonymous. This is the safest option in case of a police raid.

It can also be done on the bus. They have tinted windows and security on the door for a reason, and most of them have fridges. Noone gets anywhere near the Astana bus.

Omerta rule #765: what happens on the bus stays on the bus.



Vaughters said that Lance would always refill in the helicopter when he left mountain stages. The other one is the "rest day refill"…… Jump in an unmarked car or ride off to hotel and get the uploadf. That’s how they caught Vino..... he was seen getting into a van with blackened windows, came back 20 minutes later and rode the entire peleton off his back wheel.
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30 Jun 2009 11:51

Just have a read about what T-Mobile did with the Freiburg report. Over the border excursion, 750ml top up, and back to the tour. It's not rocket science.
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30 Jun 2009 11:58

Snake8, considering a career as a Pro cyclist perhaps? ;)
anubisza
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30 Jun 2009 12:33

whiteboytrash wrote:Vaughters said that Lance would always refill in the helicopter when he left mountain stages. The other one is the "rest day refill"…… Jump in an unmarked car or ride off to hotel and get the uploadf. That’s how they caught Vino..... he was seen getting into a van with blackened windows, came back 20 minutes later and rode the entire peleton off his back wheel.


That seems neither likely nor plausible. Vaughters said this to you? If this was the case someone would have seen something. I can understand omerta from the riders, but your really pushing credibility to think you could do it in a helicopter wihtout anyone seeing/saying something. Oh and Vino failed a test that is how they caught him as i recall.



unsheath wrote:Just have a read about what T-Mobile did with the Freiburg report. Over the border excursion, 750ml top up, and back to the tour. It's not rocket science.


Right, easy. Now tell me how 180 riders are doing this? Sorry but it strains credibility that all the riders have some mole who arrives with refrigerated blood and they all disappear for a bit on rest day and NO ONE sees anything.
Snake8
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30 Jun 2009 12:42

unsheath wrote:Just have a read about what T-Mobile did with the Freiburg report. Over the border excursion, 750ml top up, and back to the tour. It's not rocket science.


No kidding. The 'drug' of choice these days is one's own blood. Micro fillups as the red blood cells get depleted and no test can show this. Passports have been manipulated to show an abnormally high hematocrit already so when they test and it sits at 46, day after day...they walk.

As long as they keep the bags labeled and a doc does all this....Hopefully their liver will survive.
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30 Jun 2009 13:50

Snake8 wrote:Right, easy. Now tell me how 180 riders are doing this? Sorry but it strains credibility that all the riders have some mole who arrives with refrigerated blood and they all disappear for a bit on rest day and NO ONE sees anything.

I think here is where I disagree with you. I don't think is 180 riders doing the Blood Doping deal. They all can be doing some sort of doping but not the blood doping. The riders on blood doping may be as low as 20 to 40 riders (give or take). Again this an unfounded guess from reading a lot of posts in this forum.
User avatar Escarabajo
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30 Jun 2009 14:07

Snake8 wrote:

Is it really at the level of someone sneaking a refrigerated pouch of blood into hotel rooms in some sort of hidden container?

Seriously, anyone who's been there or knows how this #h!t is done, I'd love to hear.


I'm no expert on this, I have to be honest, but there is a story about Tricky Dickie, while at Polti.
Polti make vacuum cleaners and the "lads" allegedly stashed enough EPO in a shipment to fuel the entire peloton.
Don't know if anyone can back me up on this.

As for sneaking stuff in and out of hotels, try googling Lance, actovegin, 2000 Tour, for a historical perspective.
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30 Jun 2009 14:12

Didn't know where else to place this :o but Sinkewitz allegedly testified that there was systematic doping use at QST, when he rode for them between 2003-2005.

I guess the logistics are explained on these training camps he speaks of... Doctors take the goods with them and determine before hand when and where someone needs to be medicated.

Kohl was just exposed as being a dealer of doping products as well. So I guess some of the logistics come from the riders themselves. If you need to be good in a classic, you just popped by Kohl, and paid him for what you wanted. During the Grand Tours, logistics are obviously a little trickier, since you are in competition for 3 weeks in one area. But as Matschiner did, he visited, or arranged for a hotel room somewhere near Kohl and then did a transfusion in 20m.
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30 Jun 2009 14:26

It isn't so complicated.

In the same way that riders have different abilities, they also have different abilities with regard to doping.

The top GC guys have the money and support infrastructure to do blood transfusions, teke the very best (ie. most expensive) products and be reliably assured of covering their tracks. The richest and most succesful teams can afford to blood dope their entire team (Disco, T-Mobile for example) This is why they finish 5-10 minutes ahead of the remainder of the field on mountain stages.

Microdosing on epo, or just dosing on it, can be done by individuals throughout the peloton, most likely without knowledge of their teams nowadays. Fail a test for epo and they are forced to hang you out to dry.

The riders with the least money and status might have to resort to cheap readily available "dirty" steroids to give them an edge. Very high risk of getting caught and the products are nowhere near as effective as blood doping or designer drugs. Downside of this is fanboys can say that only losers dope because they are crap etc.

Money buys you information and expertise on how to improve performance artificially and get away with it. But occasionally mistakes are made - either doctors get sloppy, rider gets greedy and insists on taking risks (think Vino, Landis)

I genuinely believe that some riders have some extent of "immunity" from undue interference from some arms of the "anti" doping authorities, and certainly from their national bonds.
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30 Jun 2009 17:10

Mongol_Waaijer wrote:It isn't so complicated.

In the same way that riders have different abilities, they also have different abilities with regard to doping.

The top GC guys have the money and support infrastructure to do blood transfusions, teke the very best (ie. most expensive) products and be reliably assured of covering their tracks. The richest and most succesful teams can afford to blood dope their entire team (Disco, T-Mobile for example) This is why they finish 5-10 minutes ahead of the remainder of the field on mountain stages.


There's nothing but hearsay on disc. No Johan rider has ever tested positive while on one of his teams. They even fired a rider last year, and lost a wrongful termination lawsuit, based on his blood values just to get him off the team beacuse they suspected he was blood doping.
Mongol_Waaijer wrote:Microdosing on epo, or just dosing on it, can be done by individuals throughout the peloton, most likely without knowledge of their teams nowadays. Fail a test for epo and they are forced to hang you out to dry.

The riders with the least money and status might have to resort to cheap readily available "dirty" steroids to give them an edge. Very high risk of getting caught and the products are nowhere near as effective as blood doping or designer drugs. Downside of this is fanboys can say that only losers dope because they are crap etc.


Hogwash, anabolic steroids are the easiest to test for.
Mongol_Waaijer wrote:Money buys you information and expertise on how to improve performance artificially and get away with it. But occasionally mistakes are made - either doctors get sloppy, rider gets greedy and insists on taking risks (think Vino, Landis)

I genuinely believe that some riders have some extent of "immunity" from undue interference from some arms of the "anti" doping authorities, and certainly from their national bonds.


Personally, I don't understand how you an justify watching the sport you describe. If I thought anything close to that I wouldn't waste my time
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30 Jun 2009 17:51

I am not arguing that it is not done, just that the sheer logisitcs of doping it seems unlikely that ALL the riders could be doing this. Not that it could not happen, but it seems that if everyone was doped to the gills, there should be a lot more evidence of the ilk, "So and so saw so and so ditching a bag of needles." And yes i make that reference with a specific incident in mind.

If its that organized too many people would have to know.
Snake8
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01 Jul 2009 08:38

Snake8 wrote:Damn, now I'm even posting doping threads....

Anyway, my question for those of you "in the know" how do so many cyclists dope and not get caught with bags of blood, syringes etc., It seems to me that not all cyclists are smart and some at least would get popped, or rather would get popped more often by getting caught with "stuff" than by failing a test.

I know there are examples of both, Kayle L, Puerto etc., I am not asking for a rehash of what has happened but maybe some idea of how a guy like LA who is so high profile could get away with dragging around bags of blood, syringes etc. Wouldn't transport of these items be illegal?


Why? Are you trying to develop your own personal or even organized doping ring and you need help determining the logistics?

How does someone get away with asking a question like that? It's the equivalent of asking how to murder a hooker and dispose of her body w/o getting caught, in that they're both criminal acts now in many countries.. And you want to discuss how to go about achieving that criminal objective? A public forum is probably not the best place to do that...
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