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17% Of urine samples don't contain EPO. At all

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Dec 5, 2009
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brul12 said:
Did anyone hear any recent news about this, current amounts of samples being EPO free? Or is there a non-doping explanation for some being EPO free even?
About using masking agents, Joe Papp had revealed that to me when he helped write an article for my blog. He wrote :

"Axelsson is accused of taking EPO, which is detectable via urinalysis. About the time of Operation Puerto, however, riders were defeating the urine-based EPO test by spiking their samples with small doses of enzymes like protease, which break down proteins — including EPO — in urine in the space of a few minutes.

Typically an athlete would conceal a supply of protease powder in his jersey before a test, transfer it to his fingers with a quick movement and then urinate over his hand into the sample bottle to ensure that the test is meaningless. Alternatively, once doping control officers (DCO’s) began to insist that the athletes wash their hands first, male athletes switched to secreting the powder under their foreskin and transferred it that way."
 
Kayle Leogrande reportedly used the pinch of detergent trick in one of his tests when he was on EPO.

Se&#241 said:
Honestly? I think the Heras positive was a set up. Not because I like the guy or saying that he didn't dope (he did) mind you. From what I've read...
I'm going to go out on a limb and agree with you. But first let me admit up front I was a Heras fan. I loved the way he rode. I also agree with all you state, and do not think he was clean (no one on that level was at that time). But I always felt there was a good chance he was set-up to make an example of. When you look back at his test, there was enough of an A/B mismatch that he could have been considered negative. There were also questions into how the test was read. The B sample was re-tested, and he was determined positive. He lost all his appeals rather quickly as well. Plus, reading between the lines, when it was all said and done he all but confessed to doping, stating that he accepted his suspension, but merely wished the UCI would simply admit that standards were not followed in the testing procedure, that's all. Yet with all that, he has been since blacklisted from the sport.
 
May 26, 2010
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hfer07 said:
silly question: what about the remaining 83%?
well it would be obvious that the remaining 83% contained EPO, whether natural levels or unnatural synthetic levels
 
Jul 12, 2009
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Also Jan p!ssed over his finger...

Old story. It started with this report (in German). They accused Ullrich of having used proteases. He delivered two negative samples in December 2005. No endogenous EPO was detected. They also show copies of the Fuentes list including Ullrich's name (ca. 4'30 in the video). Some other familiar names appear on this list but there are also a few names i never heard of, yo (cris), btr,..
 
Master50 said:
Lets just look at this in the simplest terms. No EPO = tampering with the sample or masking. Evidence of cheating. The absence of Synthetic EPO is not the consideration but if the naturally occurring EPO is missing too then the athlete is sick or tampering with his samples. Seems simple.
No, the point of my earlier posts was that many urine samples have no detectable levels of EPO, natural or synthetic. The sample is first tested for generic EPO, a test that does not distinguish natural from synthetic. Only if it tests positive is a further test run to see if some of the EPO is synthetic.

As I also noted, there is a test to determine if lack of EPO resulted from protease, or was natural, i.e., the athlete simply did not excrete much EPO, again, natural or synthetic. Another thing they could do is put a protease inhibitor in the jar in which the rider ****es, and they certainly should chill the samples immediately. The degradation takes some time.

Wrt Heras, the reason there was a problem with the B sample is because the electrophoretic run was smeared. This has nothing to do with a questionable positive, it's something that occasionally happens in the lab. Maybe the sample wasn't loaded carefully, or the temperature during the run was not constant, there are several possibilities. A sample can be a definite positive, but if the run is not technically clear, it can't be visualized.

An analogy is if a camera catches someone robbing a store at night, but the picture is blurry. You might not be able to use the picture as evidence, not because it hasn't caught the thief, but because it isn't technically clear enough to reveal the identity. Same with the Heras case. When the re-ran the sample, they got a clear positive.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Merckx index said:
No, the point of my earlier posts was that many urine samples have no detectable levels of EPO, natural or synthetic. The sample is first tested for generic EPO, a test that does not distinguish natural from synthetic. Only if it tests positive is a further test run to see if some of the EPO is synthetic.

As I also noted, there is a test to determine if lack of EPO resulted from protease, or was natural, i.e., the athlete simply did not excrete much EPO, again, natural or synthetic. Another thing they could do is put a protease inhibitor in the jar in which the rider ****es, and they certainly should chill the samples immediately. The degradation takes some time.

Wrt Heras, the reason there was a problem with the B sample is because the electrophoretic run was smeared. This has nothing to do with a questionable positive, it's something that occasionally happens in the lab. Maybe the sample wasn't loaded carefully, or the temperature during the run was not constant, there are several possibilities. A sample can be a definite positive, but if the run is not technically clear, it can't be visualized.

An analogy is if a camera catches someone robbing a store at night, but the picture is blurry. You might not be able to use the picture as evidence, not because it hasn't caught the thief, but because it isn't technically clear enough to reveal the identity. Same with the Heras case. When the re-ran the sample, they got a clear positive.
So no EPO in a sample is normal? IE %17 of riders don't have any? but the other %83 do? and their EPO is not synthetic? We know EPO is a naturally occurring hormone and that the synthetic part is hard to determine. It still seems to me that a naturally occurring hormone that is in %83 of samples but missing in %17 indicates some form of tampering.
Testosterone shows in urine samples and if a rider had no traces would not that be abnormal? I was not speaking to the Heras case but the total absence of a hormone essential to blood formation seems suspicious to me.
Speak to that since I am not an expert in body chemistry.
 
Check the article I referred to in an earlier post. Yes, it is normal for urine sometimes to lack detectable levels of EPO. The study I referred to found that 13/36 = 36% of Olympic athletes tested had no detectable EPO in their urine. This doesn't necessarily indicate an abnormal physiology. The body constantly synthesizes EPO, and some of it is excreted in the urine, but levels of it rise and fall over time for a variety of reasons. To begin with, the amount synthesized fluctuates, then the level in the bloodsteam fluctuates, and the amount that finally gets removed from the bloodstream into the urine fluctuates. Because of all this variability, there is nothing unusual about a urine sample containing too little EPO to detect.

This is why protease treatment was so effective for a while. Testers could not prove that absence of EPO in urine meant tampering. As another article I referred to indicates, they now have a test that they apparently believe can distinguish urine that was protease-treated from untreated urine that simply has no EPO in it.
 

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