Badzilla, the disease of champions

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INTRODUCTION

Schistosomiasis is sometimes referred to as "bilharziasis" after Theodor Bilharz who identified the parasite first in 1852. Schistosomiasis is caused by infection with parasitic blood flukes known as schistosomes.

Schistosomiasis can be associated with serious morbidity and mortality. Chronic complications are generally seen in those with a high parasite load, which usually occurs in individuals who live in endemic areas and have recurrent exposure. However, schistosomiasis can also cause complications in people with even brief exposures, such as travelers
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http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/schistosomiasis/treatment.html
Treatment
Safe and effective medication is available for treatment of both urinary and intestinal schistosomiasis. Praziquantel, a prescription medication, is taken for 1-2 days to treat infections caused by all Schistosoma species.
 
Libertine Seguros post

Fearless Greg Lemond post

Pentacycle said:
If that's true, why didn't they tell him in July they were definitely releasing him at the end of the year? Because JV could've signed him on a low contract, and have his breakthrough performance there. Sky didn't want to let him go just yet though, they wanted to see how he did in the Vuelta, knowing he went very well on training(possibly taking PED's, can't rule it out) compared to earlier that year. It's very likely they knew he could finally start to perform.
Well:
http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,21205_6930307,00.html

''Chris Froome will look to continue his strong start to the season as Team Sky tackle the Tour of California for the first time on Sunday.

Froome is the team’s general classification hope in the Sunshine State for a race that is rapidly growing in stature with each passing edition, routinely tempting the world’s best out of their early-season comfort zone.''


That Tour of Cali didnt go that well for Froome:

21-05-2011
Mount Baldy
1 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack 3:33:01
2 Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioShack
3 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:43
4 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:01:01
5 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:21
6 Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis
7 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad 0:01:29
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:39
9 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek
10 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
-
-
-
-
-
-
91 Andrew Pinfold (Can) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:32:21
118 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling [same time]

He then goes to the Tour of Luxembourg;
71 Christopher FROOME GBR SKY 26 +14:37

Not sure how one could loose so much time.

Followed by the Tour de Suisse:
47 Chris Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:42:30
http://www.teamsky.com/race-hub/0,27714,21502,00.html

If that is you GT guy for the future I would also wait a second before giving him a payraise.

Then we have this interview:
http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/8859/Chris-Froome-Interview-Ive-been-able-to-climb-in-the-front-group-quite-often-this-season.aspx
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Chris Froome Interview: “I've been able to climb in the front group quite often this season”
by Xylon van Eyck at 5:07 PM EST

Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews

Chris Froome (Team Sky) has racked up steady results all season, including fourteenth overall in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon and fifteenth in the Tour de Romandie. He has also displayed his time-trial abilities by finishing tenth in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon TT in April and ninth in the final TT of the recent Tour de Suisse. Furthermore, he impressed on stage seven of the Suisse race when he showed his aggressive riding style by attacking the yellow jersey group, which included Damiano Cunego and eventual race winner Levi Leipheimer.

However, these performances were not enough to earn him a spot on Team Sky’s final roster for the Tour de France. The Kenyan born rider has done the French race once before in 2008 with Team Barloworld. His best result again was in the race against the clock when he finished sixteenth on the penultimate day.

Speaking to VeloNation this week, Froome said he understands the depth of the team’s squad this year, and knew it would be tough to make the final team for France. He admitted that he was tired after a lot of racing this season and would now focus on being more consistent in becoming a general classification rider, with one eye on the Vuelta a España in August.

VeloNation: This is your second year on Team Sky now…are you still happy on the team?

Chris Froome: Very. There aren't many teams out there, which are in the same league in terms of attention to detail and support.

VN: Do you have a coach, and has your training been similar to last year?

CF: Yes, Bobby Julich has been coaching me this year. It's been quite different to last year- a lot more anaerobic work which seems to be working for me.

VN: Where are you based and do you have training partners?

CF: I moved to Monaco earlier this year which has been a great move. There’s many options for training and lots of other pro riders to meet up with. Goss, Tanner, Cooke, Linus, Gerrans, Porte, to name a few.

VN: Have you been happy with your year so far?

CF: Yes, it's going well but I've been a bit unlucky with my health recently, picking up a chest infection which seems to be lingering. No regrets, though. I've had some great days and some not so great.

VN: How did you find Tour of California?

CF: California was an eye opener. I've never been over to the US before, so that was a whole new experience in itself. The tour itself is a fantastic event which I'd like to do again in the future. The change in time zones takes a bit of getting used to, though!

VN: What does your racing program look like for the rest of the year, now that you are not going to the Tour?

CF: It hasn't been confirmed yet but I'm hoping to do Brixia, San Sebastian, Poland and the Vuelta.

VN: What's your short term goals for your career?

CF: I want to work on consistency within the tours so I can start targeting the GC more. I've been able to climb in the front group quite often this season but I haven't been able to do it on consecutive days, so that's my next area of focus. It would be great if I could get on top of that before the Vuelta.

VN: You were born in Kenya, grew up in South Africa and now ride on a British license. Where do you feel at home?

CF: Good question, I'm still working on the answer to that. It always feels like home going back to Kenya but I normally spend the off season in South Africa where I can train properly and catch up with friends. Training in Kenya can be quite tricky with the local Matatoo (taxi bus) drivers and narrow roads!

VN: Finally, what is your Tour de France top 3 for this year?

CF: Contador, Schleck, Wiggins
So, key words are working on consistency: fixed that before Vuelta.

He had a cough, chest infection, the bilharzia was not yet given a name it seems.

But then we have dear old Bobby Julich:
http://www.bicycling.com/news/2012-tour-de-france/tour-features/team-skys-christopher-froome-tour-de-frances-most-surprising-rider
Although Julich immediately saw Froome’s potential, he was puzzled by his inconsistency. But after examining the rider’s records and training journals, he discovered that Froome had suffered from the rare parasite Bilharzia.

"In the 2011 Tour of California, he was amazing one day and really bad the next. So we tested for Bilharzia again and sure enough he had it. And once he got treatment, he started progressing again." The Bilharzia has returned on occasion, but Julich and Froome can now immediately identify the symptoms.
That is interesting, Bobby Julich is also a doctor. And, really, progressing? Twice podium on a GT is not just progress, that is Ricardo Ricco.

Then we have Froome himself:
http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/09/news/chris-froome-out-of-africa-and-onto-the-vuelta-podium_192373

CF: Bilharzia – it’s a water-borne disease, which I found that I had it in December last year. It feeds on your red blood cells, for a cyclist, it was a nightmare. I must have touched some contaminated water somewhere in Africa. I probably had it for year before I found it. That just drained my immune system. I was always getting little colds and coughs, nothing serious, but it always kept me from being at 100-percent fitness.
VN: Have you been successfully treated for it?

CF: I had to re-do the treatment after the Tour de Suisse this year. Since then, I have been a lot more consistent and good in my training.
So, wich one is it? After Cali or after Suisse, make up your minds folks.

When you come to think of it, shouldnt the bloodpassport of Froome be a red flag as bilharzia works on red blood cells?
Pentacycle said:
The other strange thing is Sky immediately offered him a 5-year contract, but isn't it unlogical to do that when a rider isn't at all talented? According to some Clinicians Froome was destined to be a sub-par domestique, 'cause Brilsford told so. But on the contrary, his performance didn't seem to surprise anyone at Sky, it was all like 'he finally got everything right, we knew he had it in him' instead of being totally shocked.
Ask Brentford. Or Lienders.
 
Originally Posted by mudbone
Just done a timeline of Froome's Bilharzia condition from quotes in various interviews (dated). Didn't find any real inconsistencies in them (not all quoted here), although it seems he went nine months, instead of the six mentioned, before his last check up. Using the bi-annual check-up meter he should be due one now


2009/2010 - Contraction

"I probably had it for year before I found it." (Sep '11)
"I found it 18 months ago and they had probably been in my system for a year before that." (May '12)

Dec 2010 - Diagnosis (and presumably Treatment)

"Bilharzia – it’s a water-borne disease, which I found that I had it in December last year." (Sep '11)

March/April 2012 - Treatment
quote from mudbone:

"I took the treatment three weeks ago and I've got to wait six months to see if it's still active or not." (May '12)

“The bilharzia is not totally cleared up. I did repeat the treatment about three months ago in March. I am clear for now. I need to go check again in August-September." (Jul '12)

“I had a two week treatment in April last year, and have since been clear of the parasite. I have it checked every six months to make sure it hasn't returned.” (Dec '12)

January 2013 - Check-Up (and inferred Treatment)

”I do go for a check-up every six months. The last was in January and it was still in my system. I take Biltricide. It kills the parasite in the system.” (Jul '13)


This is a great post!
loving this timeline fudging Froome!
 
Netserk said:
I'll quote the posts.

Libertine Seguros said:
There is a discrepancy on the diagnosis. Julich advises they tested for it after California, found he had it, then it was treated (which, yes, could have been after Suisse). Froome himself advises he found out he had it in December 2010. Also, with regards to the chest infection line, Bilharzia/Schistosomiasis is not a chest infection. Not even close. Now, he may have been more susceptible to chest infections as a result of the bilharzia, but it's not like having had the disease is some kind of big secret he needed to hide from the rest of the péloton.

It's not like a training technique that works really well, that the team might want to avoid letting others know about lest they copy it and the team lose their competitive advantage. If it had been diagnosed back in December 2010 as Froome says, then surely you would expect there to have been some mention of it between December 2010 and August 2011 - especially as he points out that he "re-did" the treatment after the Tour de Suisse, suggesting he had already had some kind of treatment for it. This would then be the only way that you could square up Froome's December 2010 timeline with Julich's May 2011 timeline (with the initial treatment being after Froome's date of December 2010, but then another recurrence of the disease probably in May 2011 to allow for the better Romandie performance probably being comparatively healthy, resulting in them testing for it again, finding it and treating it in June 2011), but then would make it surprising that this wasn't known about or mentioned at all until the guy turned into Johann Mühlegg on a bike on August 28, 2011.

Even then, though, it is reliant on us buying that the difference between "autobus fodder" Froome and "Bjarndo Riiscò" Froome is nothing more than the difference between "suffering from bilharzia" Froome and "not suffering from bilharzia" Froome. Because of how raw Froome was in 2008-9, we never saw anything even approximating the kind of talent level that could justify such a transformation. Sorry, we didn't, unless you're prepared to buy Johan van Summeren, GT podium contender, or Alessandro Bertuola, GT winner.
Fearless Greg Lemond said:
Well:
http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,21205_6930307,00.html

''Chris Froome will look to continue his strong start to the season as Team Sky tackle the Tour of California for the first time on Sunday.

Froome is the team’s general classification hope in the Sunshine State for a race that is rapidly growing in stature with each passing edition, routinely tempting the world’s best out of their early-season comfort zone.''


That Tour of Cali didnt go that well for Froome:

21-05-2011
Mount Baldy
1 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack 3:33:01
2 Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioShack
3 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:43
4 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:01:01
5 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:21
6 Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis
7 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad 0:01:29
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:39
9 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek
10 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
-
-
-
-
-
-
91 Andrew Pinfold (Can) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:32:21
118 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling [same time]

He then goes to the Tour of Luxembourg;
71 Christopher FROOME GBR SKY 26 +14:37

Not sure how one could loose so much time.

Followed by the Tour de Suisse:
47 Chris Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:42:30
http://www.teamsky.com/race-hub/0,27714,21502,00.html

If that is you GT guy for the future I would also wait a second before giving him a payraise.

Then we have this interview:
http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/8859/Chris-Froome-Interview-Ive-been-able-to-climb-in-the-front-group-quite-often-this-season.aspx
So, key words are working on consistency: fixed that before Vuelta.

He had a cough, chest infection, the bilharzia was not yet given a name it seems.

But then we have dear old Bobby Julich:
http://www.bicycling.com/news/2012-tour-de-france/tour-features/team-skys-christopher-froome-tour-de-frances-most-surprising-rider

That is interesting, Bobby Julich is also a doctor. And, really, progressing? Twice podium on a GT is not just progress, that is Ricardo Ricco.

Then we have Froome himself:
http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/09/news/chris-froome-out-of-africa-and-onto-the-vuelta-podium_192373



So, wich one is it? After Cali or after Suisse, make up your minds folks.

When you come to think of it, shouldnt the bloodpassport of Froome be a red flag as bilharzia works on red blood cells?
Ask Brentford. Or Lienders.
 
Jul 15, 2013
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Here's a timeline i did using Mudbone's FWIW (if my info/dates are out please correct)

Nov/Dec 2009 ('probably') contracts Bilharzia
Winter 2010 Leinders joins Sky
Dec 2010 Bilharzia diagnosed (and presumably treated)
First half of 2011 gradual improvement in results, contract renewal uncertain
Aug/Sept 2011 Vuelta dramatic improvement
Sept 2011 Contract renewed and Bilharzia first disclosed to public (?)
 
Jul 16, 2013
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Dec 7, 2010
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I know this article and video interview were linked,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/tour-de-france/10144509/Tour-de-France-2013-the-incredible-rise-of-Chris-Froome-and-how-he-was-almost-killed-by-a-hippo.html

but has the following point been discussed?

Those fields were riddled with bilharzia, the debilitating parasitic infection which affected all three brothers for years and which seriously stunted Chris’s first years as a professional.
OK, at this point, it's difficult to sort out fact, from fiction, from possibly inaccurate reporting... :eek:

But if "all three brothers" suffered from it "for years" then who was the first of them to figure that out, and when? If one of his siblings beat him to the conclusion, then why the delay in Chris's own likely diagnosis (and treatment)? Or do the brothers Froome owe all of their good health to the UCI? :rolleyes:
 
CF: Bilharzia – it’s a water-borne disease, which I found that I had it in December last year. It feeds on your red blood cells, for a cyclist, it was a nightmare. I must have touched some contaminated water somewhere in Africa. I probably had it for year before I found it. That just drained my immune system. I was always getting little colds and coughs, nothing serious, but it always kept me from being at 100-percent fitness.
i'm no doctor, but what do red blood cells have to do with his immune system? white blood cells are what make up the immune system. or did he mean white blood cells? what the hell?

i only noticed this because i was once diagnosed with a lowered immune system do to a low WBC count.
 
Nov 6, 2009
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Stradebianche said:
Here you go :
“TUEs are a rather personal issue, but I am able to say I do not have any TUEs during this Tour,” Froome said. “Hopefully I will not have any.”

From here;
http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/07/news/froome-confirms-no-tue-still-treated-for-bilharzia-parasite_295548
them two highlighted parts for me scream out to me. When he says "this tour", does that mean he has had TUE's for previous races?

and then he says he "hopefully" wont need any for this tour. Again, that means, in my opinion anyway is that he has had TUE's in the past, and more than likely he has one at the ready in case he fails a random test.

Its a bloody joke
 
Jul 10, 2013
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He does not cure it on purpose so the parasites keep the blood values fluctuation. Thus blood passport is useless and can't be used for Froome. Thus he can do anything one could do pre Bloodpassport.

Theory alternative to Aicar & GW1516 and Froome being a super-responder.
Or he is just clean and a top3 greatest cycling talent in history.
 
chrisb said:
them two highlighted parts for me scream out to me. When he says "this tour", does that mean he has had TUE's for previous races?

and then he says he "hopefully" wont need any for this tour. Again, that means, in my opinion anyway is that he has had TUE's in the past, and more than likely he has one at the ready in case he fails a random test.

Its a bloody joke
I guess maybe he is referring to if a saddle sore or something comes along then it might necessitate the need??
Odd thing to say though..
 
Hold On

Just found this meta-study of cure rates of schistosomiasis from studies across Africa.

http://www.plosntds.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pntd.0001321#pntd-0001321-t002

A two-dose cure is more effective than a single-dose depending on the severity of the disease. Is it TWICE the cure? No. But, two doses has a slightly higher cure probability. Severe cases appear to get the two-dose treatment.

Basically, unless the guy is actively seeking out places to re-infect himself, it reads like the disease can be tracked in the body and the cures available are swift and very effective.
 
May 26, 2009
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patswana posted some interesting info in one of the may threads regarding, Badzilla. They should be added here if they aren;t already.
 
Almeisan said:
He does not cure it on purpose so the parasites keep the blood values fluctuation. Thus blood passport is useless and can't be used for Froome. Thus he can do anything one could do pre Bloodpassport.

Theory alternative to Aicar & GW1516 and Froome being a super-responder.
Or he is just clean and a top3 greatest cycling talent in history.
Yes, like we hoped Lance was.
I can come up with only one name for the top-3. The others never rode clean, or against too doped riders for us to ever tell.
 

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