• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

astarloza-blames-positive-on-training-session

Page 3 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Jul 8, 2009
187
0
0
www.edwardgtalbot.com
The full ***

I think Astarloza is in the running here, but I do think Hugh Januss link, while not applying to the current test, at least is a mitigating factor that may put him out of range of a top billing. Beyond that, I think the track & field guys from the nineties may have cornered the market on receiving the highest marks.

You have Dennis Mitchell claiming that having five beers and repeated sex caused his high T/E ratio. But my personal favorite is Dieter Baumann, former Olympic 5000m champion, who claimed that someone spiked his toothpaste with nandrolene. He even offered a reward to anyone with information on who perpetrated the nefarious act. Police DID actually detect traces of nandrolene in the toothpaste, but still I think this one is serious competition in the excuse department. here's a link:

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...ve-tainted-toothpaste-doping-case-727954.html
 
Jul 7, 2009
209
0
0
Visit site
Great thread! So some key points ...
- Astarloza has gone full ***, and his team management may have as well.
- BPC (KH) has some issues with Elapid, which I don't really understand. Neither, it appears, does anyone else.
- TFF does smart a$$ and not science, but it's still very funny sh!t
- I learned a bit more, thanks for posting folks!!
 
Jun 16, 2009
759
0
0
www.oxygencycles.com
Cobblestones said:
One has to remember that the article is from a time when natural EPO and rHuEPO could not be distinguished. Altitude tents or whatever have an influence on blood cell production (doh!), but again, the human body is simply not able to suddenly produce genetically engineered EPO. For instance, it lacks the genetic information to do so.

If you read what is quoted closely, at no point does it say that altitude can influence rHuEPO levels.

What it says is that altitude could be responsible for changes in blood parameters which might otherwise falsely be attributed to rHuEPO abuse. The article is about measuring blood parameters, serum EPO levels etc. and from there (based on a statistical analysis) to conclude whether an athlete did abuse rHUEPO or not. It's basically obsolete now, because we can test for the presence of several types of EPO, among them rHuEPO, which is an entirely artificial product.

I suspect Astraloza's legal team may have built their defence on this out of date research. I can imagine a legal aid doing a rushed Google-scholar/PubMed search and finding whatever papers they could to build a defence with. Then after finding something that ticks the boxes they ignore anything that doesn't fit in with it. It's that beautiful backwards way of research where you know the answer you want to give, so you narrow your search parameters so tightly you don't find anything that may contradict it.

It's a technique that may work OK in first year science or the humanities, but falls apart under serious scientific scrutiny very quickly.
 
dimspace said:
well i for one think hes telling the truth.. i find it almost impossible to beleive a spaniard would dope, and even less likely that the spanish authorities would allow it to happen...

flying-pig.jpg

Thanks, this really helped to get things sorted out!

Anyway, I am no expert in this topic, but how are cyclists who use their own blood for transfusions caught? Because I think that is endogenous EPO as well?
 
Aug 6, 2009
1,901
1
0
Visit site
Arnout said:
Thanks, this really helped to get things sorted out!

Anyway, I am no expert in this topic, but how are cyclists who use their own blood for transfusions caught? Because I think that is endogenous EPO as well?

I'm no expert either, but I think it comes down to Off-score and/or hematocrit exceeding 50%.
 
Jun 18, 2009
1,086
1
0
Visit site
Arnout said:
Thanks, this really helped to get things sorted out!

Anyway, I am no expert in this topic, but how are cyclists who use their own blood for transfusions caught? Because I think that is endogenous EPO as well?

Right now, they don't get caught, unless they are unlucky/stupid like DiLuca in this years Giro and retransfuse blood containing a doping product like CERA.

Retransfusing blood will actually lead to a decrease in EPO production, which in turn leads to a decrease in reticulocyte production and a corresponding increase in OFF-score (roughly, a measure of hemoglobin:reticulocyte ratio). Currently, an extremely high OFF-score is the only way to catch people that retransfuse their own blood, but the cutoff is so high that noone ever gets caught!
 
Mar 18, 2009
2,442
0
0
Visit site
Arnout said:
Thanks, this really helped to get things sorted out!

Anyway, I am no expert in this topic, but how are cyclists who use their own blood for transfusions caught? Because I think that is endogenous EPO as well?

That's the thing - unless you're really stupid, you cannot get caught at the moment for autologous blood transfusions. The only way to get caught is if you exceed the UCI limits for either hematocrit (50%) or the OFF score (which I think is 133). There are no direct tests for autologous blood transfusions.

You can see Armstrong's thinking in his post regarding Rasmussen. The values are within the UCI limits so there is no evidence of doping. This is where the Biological Passport has provided dopers with a framework within which they can tailor their blood work, as Kohl admitted to earlier in the year. Armstrong's argument is very black and white. But what he does not account for is that hematocrit has not been documented to increase during a GT and that doping experts, like Mørkeberg, Belhage and Damsgaard (the latter with Rasmussen, but about faces with the same results with Armstrong), regard these results as highly suspicious at the very least.

To answer the last part of your post, an autologous blood transfusions will actually suppress endogenous EPO production. Very basically, endogenous EPO is produced in the kidneys in response to low hematocrit. The hematocrit is not low with autologous blood transfusions, hence endogenous EPO levels will either be baseline (necessary for replacement of normal aging red blood cells) or low. That is why the reticulocyte count (or immature red blood cells) is low and the OFF score high with autologous blood transfusions.
 
May 13, 2009
3,093
3
0
Visit site
The off score or stimulation score is calculated as Hemoglobin concentration (in g/l) minus 60 times the square root of the retic count (in percent).

If we take LA's 6/16 values from his website, he posted hemoglogin 16 g/dl and retic count of 0.6%.

First, you have to convert hemoglobin to g/l (which you do by multiplying with 10).

So you get an off score of 160-60*square-root(0.6). If you try that with a pocket calculator, you get about 114 (Armstrong's website says 112 probably he has rounded results).

Now, if you ask what value would trigger a positive (by pushing the off score beyong 133), the answer is very simple.

1) If he had absolutely no retics at all, his hemoglobin should not exceed 13.3 g/dl.

2) For his average off-season concentration of maybe 14.5 g/dl, a retic count of 0.04% would still be fine.

3) For the highest concentration he posted (16 g/dl) a retic count of 0.2% would still put him in the green.

4) Normal retic counts of maybe 1% should allow him to go to a hemoglobin concentration of 19.3 g/dl, which would correspond to a crit value of around 53% (this is an extrapolation on my part).

5) The highest retic count he posted (1.49%) would allow him to go up to 20.6 g/dl or around 55% crit.

Now, of course the latter two cases would not work since he would be stopped from racing by the 50% rule. But I think they serve to demonstrate how useless the 133 off score limit really is.

Anyone still wants to contest that the limits are unreasonably high?
 
Jul 28, 2009
898
0
0
Visit site
As pointed out by cobber the article referred to by Hugh Januss is not really relevant to astarloza´s rather feeble evasions. That article discusses the use of indirect measurements of other parameters in order to provide evidence for use of rhEPO. It seems that other events (eg the altitude tent) may cause similar changes in these other parameters However, this is not relevant to direct detection of rhEPO which is based upon specific biochemical differences and can be distinguished from the natural form.

As an aside the test for rhEPO is actually not a particularly effective test and it seems likely that quite a few dopers are not being picked up, the more sophisticated microdosers could be missed. There is a real need to improve the sensitivity of EPO testing, it is a pretty clunky test.

If Astarloza is positive for rhEPO he doesn´t have much room to weasel out of it. False negatives are the problem with that test not false positives.
 
The logistic regression modelling that was used to develop the thresholds of the EPO "ON" and "OFF" scores included hundreds of blood samples taken from athletes conducting altitude and/or LHTL. This is the reason why the thresholds are so high and why it appears, as in cobbers above post, that for a given "normal" [Hb] values, you can have a range of retic values that is clearly non-physiological.

Something else that happened in the first EPO study (in 1999) was that 2 samples (originating somewhere in Africa is all I know) were suspicious and it was believed they could have been taken from athletes who were actually on EPO at the time. So if you use a statistical model which assumes the samples are clean, then it inflates the threshold even further making it even less likely to obtain a false positive.

So apart from the problem of rhEPO already discussed, in response to Hugh Januss' query, no it isn't valid to use the altitude training as an excuse because its already been accounted for.

And besides, his excuse has BS written all over it. It takes at least 3hrs continuous altitude exposure at or above 4000m for serum EPO to rise markedly (longer if the altitude is lower) and it most certainly does not go back down after an hour. The commecially available tents have a very difficult time even reaching those altitudes. Astarloza and co have definately gone ***!!
 
Jun 18, 2009
1,086
1
0
Visit site
Krebs cycle said:
The logistic regression modelling that was used to develop the thresholds of the EPO "ON" and "OFF" scores included hundreds of blood samples taken from athletes conducting altitude and/or LHTL. This is the reason why the thresholds are so high and why it appears, as in cobbers above post, that for a given "normal" [Hb] values, you can have a range of retic values that is clearly non-physiological.

Something else that happened in the first EPO study (in 1999) was that 2 samples (originating somewhere in Africa is all I know) were suspicious and it was believed they could have been taken from athletes who were actually on EPO at the time. So if you use a statistical model which assumes the samples are clean, then it inflates the threshold even further making it even less likely to obtain a false positive.

So apart from the problem of rhEPO already discussed, in response to Hugh Januss' query, no it isn't valid to use the altitude training as an excuse because its already been accounted for.

And besides, his excuse has BS written all over it. It takes at least 3hrs continuous altitude exposure at or above 4000m for serum EPO to rise markedly (longer if the altitude is lower) and it most certainly does not go back down after an hour. The commecially available tents have a very difficult time even reaching those altitudes. Astarloza and co have definately gone ***!!

Thanks for your input Krebs cycle. One question... did the authors of the '99 study go back and analyse the suspicious samples using the newer EPO test? If they did indeed test positive then the original regression could be modified to account for this and be a lot more sensitive.

Also, it was Cobblestones post above. talking about the rediculously low retic %ages, not mine.
 
Mar 13, 2009
16,854
1
0
Visit site
Krebs cycle said:
The logistic regression modelling that was used to develop the thresholds of the EPO "ON" and "OFF" scores included hundreds of blood samples taken from athletes conducting altitude and/or LHTL. This is the reason why the thresholds are so high and why it appears, as in cobbers above post, that for a given "normal" [Hb] values, you can have a range of retic values that is clearly non-physiological.

Something else that happened in the first EPO study (in 1999) was that 2 samples (originating somewhere in Africa is all I know) were suspicious and it was believed they could have been taken from athletes who were actually on EPO at the time. So if you use a statistical model which assumes the samples are clean, then it inflates the threshold even further making it even less likely to obtain a false positive.

So apart from the problem of rhEPO already discussed, in response to Hugh Januss' query, no it isn't valid to use the altitude training as an excuse because its already been accounted for.

And besides, his excuse has BS written all over it. It takes at least 3hrs continuous altitude exposure at or above 4000m for serum EPO to rise markedly (longer if the altitude is lower) and it most certainly does not go back down after an hour. The commecially available tents have a very difficult time even reaching those altitudes. Astarloza and co have definately gone ***!!
Krebs the different epo-similars give a different reading on the assay correct. Different bands?

Why cannot riders reduce their micro-dose, to part micro-dose, using two or three different epo-similars?

traditional, aicar, hematide, dynepo, cera (more careful on that with half life) aranesp (similar think its half life is longer).

Could you theoretically have a medicine cabinet full of epo-similars, and then just divide your microdose between each version. That is never gonna show up, as long as you are careful with those that have a long half life.
 
May 13, 2009
3,093
3
0
Visit site
blackcat said:
Why cannot riders reduce their micro-dose, to part micro-dose, using two or three different epo-similars?

traditional, aicar, hematide, dynepo, cera (more careful on that with half life) aranesp (similar think its half life is longer).

Could you theoretically have a medicine cabinet full of epo-similars, and then just divide your microdose between each version. That is never gonna show up, as long as you are careful with those that have a long half life.

Sounds like a plan to me. Of course I don't know how all of those interact. It's not really something which would typically be tested on patients. :D

By the way, aicar does not belong on the list, it does not stimulate erythropoiesis.
 
Jun 18, 2009
1,086
1
0
Visit site
blackcat said:
Cobbles, you wanna go into business. We can form a partnership "EPO biosimilar cocktails 'R US".

We can set up in Gerona. ;)

Oooh... can I get in on that too? Maybe I could develop a a procedure to produce EPO in culture that adds the same sugars as the body does? :D
 
Aug 9, 2009
52
0
0
Visit site
Cobber said:
Thanks for your input Krebs cycle. One question... did the authors of the '99 study go back and analyse the suspicious samples using the newer EPO test? If they did indeed test positive then the original regression could be modified to account for this and be a lot more sensitive.

This has been done. Positive samples with the urine EPO test have been included to produce a more sensitive test. This is written in a paper published in 2006:
http://www.bepress.com/ijb/vol2/iss1/3/
 
the sleeping in altitude is a weak argument. It's like confusing blood hematocrite with Exogene synthetic EPO found in blood.
This argument makes the "showergate" being a very good argument.

sorry for astarloza, but things are pretty clear
 
May 13, 2009
3,093
3
0
Visit site
Cobber said:
Oooh... can I get in on that too? Maybe I could develop a a procedure to produce EPO in culture that adds the same sugars as the body does? :D

I'm not quite ready to quit my daytime job. It pays well and is still fun.

Anyway, I know you picked Gerona because of the riders, but if I could chose to set up shop anywhere in Europe, I think I would go to Italy. Either to one of the lakes in the north, or maybe the Amalfi coast?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Cobblestones said:
I'm not quite ready to quit my daytime job. It pays well and is still fun.

Anyway, I know you picked Gerona because of the riders, but if I could chose to set up shop anywhere in Europe, I think I would go to Italy. Either to one of the lakes in the north, or maybe the Amalfi coast?

Hey, I am willing to set up a "clinic" in Salzburg. I will only be able to do marketing however as my "science" is a bit suspect. I am a pretty keen salesperson though, and this is like selling food to Ethiopians.