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BMC statement on Frei A EPO positive

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I think it's probably worth listening to the riders who have doped, telling how they avoid it, and taking it at face value. Since probably very few of us have ever tried to mask the particular dosages they're using.

They're doing this under the supervision of experienced doctors living this stuff every day. It's practical versus theoretical and we'll never know all the variables about what they do and their training loads.
 
red_flanders said:
I think it's probably worth listening to the riders who have doped, telling how they avoid it, and taking it at face value. Since probably very few of us have ever tried to mask the particular dosages they're using.

They're doing this under the supervision of experienced doctors living this stuff every day. It's practical versus theoretical and we'll never know all the variables about what they do and their training loads.

Only problem is that the only riders "who avoid detection" who's stories we hear are the ones who actually don't avoid detection in the end...
 
Apr 27, 2010
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I was just thinking, that if I was a pro rider and I hated the culture of doping and wished everyone could just be clean, but had to dope to stay competitive, wouldn't I write anonymous letters to doping authorities to give them some insight as to how to better bust people? Do you think this happens? Or perhaps the riders can't really provide any more insight on how to better bust people, and the real breakthrough needs to come from science and advanced detection.. hrm.
 
santacruz said:
I was just thinking, that if I was a pro rider and I hated the culture of doping and wished everyone could just be clean, but had to dope to stay competitive, wouldn't I write anonymous letters to doping authorities to give them some insight as to how to better bust people? Do you think this happens? Or perhaps the riders can't really provide any more insight on how to better bust people, and the real breakthrough needs to come from science and advanced detection.. hrm.

And risk getting busted yourself and losing your career as a pro? ... Just saying
 
Aug 6, 2009
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luckyboy said:
Working together with whoever makes CERA was a good idea - putting the markers in.

I think that was just a rumour. They test for the CERA itself, not for some marker that's been put in for that specific purpose.
 
Cerberus said:
I think that was just a rumour. They test for the CERA itself, not for some marker that's been put in for that specific purpose.

You're right. As usual something got lost in translation between scientist and journalist... They we're given details about the drug early on, so they could develop a test for it sooner... No markers. That would in itself be a wholly different ethical discussion: Putting extra chemicals into a medicine (with any possible side effects)...
 
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CERA is a much larger molecule than EPO its binding to the hormone receptors are pretty unique (the PEG if I remember correctly - polyethylene glycol). It also lasts about 20times as long as standard EPO. I think Roche spoke to WADA about it while it was in trials (so maybe 2006ish). They certainly didn't add a marker deliberately, it just happens to be that the binder is unique and can easily be spotted. Aside from the binding it is pretty similar to standard EPO type substances.
CERA's only advantage over EPO is that it only needs to be injected every fortnight or so instead of daily. On the downside it is easily detectable and can be seen for a long time!
 
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luckyboy said:
Was it? Well it'd be a good idea if they did it (with new drugs) then :p

Never gonna happen.

Big Pharma may provide extra notice and extra research data to an agency like WADA but with so much of these drugs going out the back door, and being replicated in places like Russia/Eastern Europe/China, this is not something that will likely happen. The fundamental problem, especially in the US, is the FDA trials that go into approving a drug, and adding a "marker" or other "tracking" compound or trace element has created problems with allergies, reactions, and contraindications with other medicines. Most medicines tend to be pretty bare bones, from a chemical standpoint.

The only reasons Big Pharma customizes a medicine, at a chemical formula level, is to patent protect it, to assure purity and in detection of counterfeits.
 
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And risk getting busted yourself and losing your career as a pro? ... Just saying

how hard can it be to write an anonymous letter? you could even make it fun by wearing a hat and a trench coat, cutting up magazine letters perhaps? you type something up at kinkos, print it out, voila... or get an old typewriter, and uhmm type it up, voila! i'm so good at being an anonymous tipster, if only i could get that riding like a pro thing down...
 
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El Imbatido said:
Thomas Frei interview:

Original version

Google translate version

Quite a few interesting answers, if you can translate the google translate rubbish

Thanks for the interview! Interesting material, especially this section, which rather confirms what I thought. It's almost as if the riders have turned to decentralized cells, to limit connectedness, implication by association/participation and exposure when some are caught:

[...] heute ist Doping die Sache jedes Einzelnen. Was sie wirklich meinen, ist eine andere Sache. Ich versichere Ihnen: Ich habe nie erlebt, dass ein Chef mich aufforderte zu dopen – aber ich habe auch nie erlebt, dass ein Fahrer gefragt wurde, warum er plötzlich schnell ist.

Also interesting is the section that implies that not everyone dopes and riders realize that so they have to be careful:

Wenn die andern merken, dass du dopst, kehrt die Stimmung. Plötzlich sind sie keine Doping-Gegner mehr, sie reden mit dir über Dosierungen[...]
Heute kann man es sauber zu den Profis schaffen, ich habe das ja auch geschafft

and the parts about the motivation to dope:

Du stehst vor einem riesigen Berg, du siehst nicht, wie es weitergehen soll. Der Ehrgeiz zerfrisst dich, du willst mehr sein als ein Helfer.[...] Die Frage ist, wie viel Geduld man hat und wie man mit dem Druck zurechtkommt, dass ja der Vertrag verlängert werden muss

and it's rather cheap (on a salary of 120,000 Francs = 110,793.12$ p/a):

Ich gab weniger als 10 000 Franken aus (9,232.76$)
 
In CN interview:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/frei-explains-the-motivation-behind-his-doping

These two parts got my attention:

As for himself, he said that he started his pro career clean. "Then came the hard stage races, and I learned that injections were used for recovery. Everything was legal, but I still didn't want any of it. But at some point it started [for me], because everybody does it. The doctor gives you the first shot, and then it isn't long until you give yourself the first illegal shot."

He is implying there ir organize doping still (Which I already know, but some in this forum don't beleive that).

And this:

"From the bosses you only hear, 'We don't want any doping cases.' But what they really mean is something else."

So they managers and coaches know what is going on.;)

ORGANIZED DOPING!
 
Escarabajo said:
Joe Papp can tell you about that (Sorry Joe). Legally? How. That was meant to be for specific purposes like Cancer patients. I don't how can somebody get a TUE for EPO (???).

It looks like it is very easy to buy in the internet. I heard somebody said that Leogrande got his EPO very cheap. Chinese are willing to lower the price on the EPO for their profit.

Irrespective of my involvement in trafficking EPO, depending on where you are in the world, it can either be very difficult or very easy to buy.

In the USA, for example, it is not easy to buy because you can't just walk into a pharmacy and get it. You have to buy it on the black market or import it from somewhere else. Likewise, it's very difficult to obtain in Italy, and can only be had on the black market, or from corrupt pharmacists or hospital staff (which I'd consider black market). If you actually need EPO b/c you're going through chemo, it's not likely that you could be racing a bike at the same time, or that you'd be willing to divert your EPO to your cousin the bike racer, because you'd need it just to function. So, that takes us back to black market or importation.

No TUE for EPO b/c anyone using it for legit medical needs isn't going to be racing...

That said, in Brazil or Chile or Russia or Switzerland, you can simply buy it from a pharmacy.
 
RTMcFadden said:
Specific Gravity doesn't really factor into it, provided they use the whole sample. The first step of the analytical process is to concentrate the sample by filtering, which removes the water. From my experience, SG is used as an integrity check during sample collection. Once had a guy on parole, with mandated drug testing, provide a sample that failed SG. First bad sign. Second bad sign was that it wouldn't freeze. The sample turned out to be Pine-Sol.

I think BroDeal is on to something here. By capturing less that the total void volume from the time of injection, or by using an aliquot of the sample collected, you reduce the overall amount of drug available for detection. So even with a concentration step, you limit your detectability. In addition, from the information I've read, the clearance of rEPO by the kidneys is not well understood, so there may be an issue there.

Specific Gravity (and pH) are checked during the sample collection process by the Doping Control Officer as a "field check" to ensure that the sample hasn't been manipulated. This takes places after the sample has been collected, split into two (the "A" and the "B"), and sealed in the actual transport vessels.

The DCO checks both the pH the SG of the residual urine left in the collection vessel to ensure it falls w/in whatever the WADA parameters are. If it doesn't, the DCO is supposed to compel the athlete to provide a new sample (even if it takes three more hours of waiting for the athlete to rehydrate and urinate again), and the DCO is expected to be even more vigorous in observing the sample provision to prevent corruption of the process...

For those of you who've never been drug-tested for sport, there is an accurate guide, with pictures, here. (ignore the irony of the sport providing the info :D)

As I'm not traveling or competing now, but am still in the USADA RTP for OOC testing, and the UCI whereabouts pool, I still get tested. The same DCO has conducted all of my sample collections, and I have to say that he's a well-trained, unflappable, professional. The guy is a PhD-holding professor at a local university, and handles all of the local OOC tests (there are a few other elite athletes in various Olympic movement sports living and training in Western PA who occasionally get selected for control). One time, though, during the '08 Olympics, actually, I had a supervisor from Colorado Springs come out along with a DCO-in-training...holy awkward. lol
 
"As for himself, he said that he started his pro career clean. "Then came the hard stage races, and I learned that injections were used for recovery. Everything was legal, but I still didn't want any of it. But at some point it started [for me], because everybody does it. The doctor gives you the first shot, and then it isn't long until you give yourself the first illegal shot."
What are those legal injections he's talking about that are used for recovery?
 
maltiv said:
What are those legal injections he's talking about that are used for recovery?

Vitmains and stuff. If you look a the original (linked further up) article where the quotes are taken from it details different substances done. AFAIK they also normally rehydrate with a drip...
 
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Escarabajo said:
He is implying there ir organize doping still (Which I already know, but some in this forum don't beleive that).

And this:



So they managers and coaches know what is going on.;)

ORGANIZED DOPING!
He's not implying anything. He is clearly stating that there is tacit acceptance, but not organized doping. And he's probably telling the truth. If he was walking the company line he wouldn't have said anything about tacit acceptance.
 
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Cerberus said:
He's not implying anything. He is clearly stating that there is tacit acceptance, but not organized doping. And he's probably telling the truth. If he was walking the company line he wouldn't have said anything about tacit acceptance.

That's what I got from the German article. IMO CN didn't really do a good job conveying the message, mainly because they took very short quotes out of context.

Später nicht mehr?

Bei den Profis fuhr ich lange mit Wasser und Brot. Dann kamen harte Rundfahrten, ich lernte, dass zur Regeneration mit Infusionen gearbeitet wird. Glykogen, Vitamine, Nährstoffe, Magnesium. Alles legal, trotzdem wollte ich nichts davon. Aber irgendwann fängt es an, alle machen es ja. Der Arzt setzt dir die erste Spritze, und von da ist es nicht weit, bis du dir selber die erste illegale Spritze setzt.

Dann kommt EPO?
Du stehst vor einem riesigen Berg, du siehst nicht, wie es weitergehen soll. Der Ehrgeiz zerfrisst dich, du willst mehr sein als ein Helfer.

The sequence of questions implies IMO that he first reluctantly started using regeneration infusions (which I thought were illegal, unless in case of emergency). After the first, legal injections, done by the doctor, it is an easy step to injecting illegal substances.

It probably also depends on the definition of 'organized'. Is tacit knowledge of doping (ie 'he [Frei] has never experienced that a rider was asked the question why one suddenly got so fast') the same as active participation (a la Willy Voet, the doping courier)?
 
Wanting to stop but can't?

Bala Verde said:
Thanks for the interview! Interesting material, especially this section, which rather confirms what I thought. It's almost as if the riders have turned to decentralized cells, to limit connectedness, implication by association/participation and exposure when some are caught:


Also interesting is the section that implies that not everyone dopes and riders realize that so they have to be careful:


and the parts about the motivation to dope:


and it's rather cheap (on a salary of 120,000 Francs = 110,793.12$ p/a):


I'm not surprised that he articulates a feeling of relief at being caught, almost a liberation. He says that once having started doping, the only way out is with a positive test:

Jetzt, da Sie überführt wurden und Sie gestanden haben, sind Sie erleichtert?
Now that you have been convicted and have been you, you will be relieved?
Ja. Yes.
So doof das klingt: Wenn man mal mit Doping begonnen hat, ist der einzige Ausweg die positive Probe. So stupid that sounds, if one has even begun with doping, is the only way the positive sample.

Someone yesterday asked me if I would have continued doping if 1) I hadn't been caught and 2) Whistle had gone ahead and offered me the lucrative contract they promised for 2007 when the team was to be registered in San Marino or wherever.

My response:

[font=&quot]"I don’t think it would have mattered if I’d gotten a huge contract or not, b/c my subconscious had already done me in – I believe that I subconsciously wanted to get caught b/c it was the only way I would stop doping. I consciously don’t think that I could have brought myself to the point of stopping, b/c it facilitated my continued participation in elite cycling in Europe. But I didn’t want to continue and remember a moment of self-reflection when I recoiled at the fact that I had become more adept at injecting myself w/ an IV than most nurses."[/font]

What can you do with riders like this after they've gone positive? Do you try to flip them and prey on their own self-loathing in hopes of turning them publicly against doping and the riders they know who remain undiscovered, or do you just banish them without study, intending to make a harsh example to others of what happens when an athlete is caught? My own situation not withstanding, I'm starting to see this as more of addiction-related condition, rather than just a question of greed. When someone wants to stop (as Frei implies) but can't, and even says that only testing positive would halt the individual's cheating...maybe you're banging your head against a wall trying to appeal to the ethical or moralistic aspect of a rider's personality in encouraging him to stop?
 
I have to say I like how Frei is handling this. I think it's pretty much how a fan would want someone who tests positive to react. The peloton is another matter though. Will Frei be one of those cast out for being too open?
 
Cerberus said:
He's not implying anything. He is clearly stating that there is tacit acceptance, but not organized doping. And he's probably telling the truth. If he was walking the company line he wouldn't have said anything about tacit acceptance.

I'd agree with this. I think the days of organised doping are behind us, save for a handful of teams. But he does seem to suggest that riders are fending for themselves, and that managers couldn't care less. What they don't want is people being caught. It's the old do what you want, but you're on your own if you get caught.
 
joe_papp said:
[snip]
What can you do with riders like this after they've gone positive? Do you try to flip them and prey on their own self-loathing in hopes of turning them publicly against doping and the riders they know who remain undiscovered, or do you just banish them without study, intending to make a harsh example to others of what happens when an athlete is caught? My own situation not withstanding, I'm starting to see this as more of addiction-related condition, rather than just a question of greed. When someone wants to stop (as Frei implies) but can't, and even says that only testing positive would halt the individual's cheating...maybe you're banging your head against a wall trying to appeal to the ethical or moralistic aspect of a rider's personality in encouraging him to stop?

Joe, given your comparison to an addiction, do you believe it's possible for a former doper to return clean and stay clean? I've no doubt many return intending to be clean, but when the old temptations start coming....

Basically, I'm thinking David Millar here, as he said very similar things about his positive (the subconcious wanting to get caught etc.)