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Coppi and Bartali, possibly pushing the EPO time line back?

Jul 10, 2010
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scribe said:
It was invented in 1906

Not. Sorry, the hypothetical deduction of it's possible presence was proposed in 1906. It wasn't isolated until the late 1970's, and then in an R&D environment, in quantities so minute as to be not available for any practical use. Wikipedia has a nice, quick read of an article with the history of EPO.

Practically speaking, EPO did not hit the sports world until the 1990's - about 1993 as I recall. Some forms of blood doping had been going on for quite some time at that point (about 20 years?) - but had a very radical reputation - and most athletes (not at the Olympic level) did not mess with this. The early 1990's was a sea change moment in sports vis-a-vis doping. Before? High risk, dubious results, a non-doper could beat a doper. After? Low risk (or risk limited to delayed, long-term risk), extreme results, non-dopers couldn't beat a doper two levels below them.

All that said, there are herbs that are significantly potent in this area, and riders from 1906 or even earlier could have benefited from them. Cocaine is derived from the coca leaf. I've heard the khat leaf gives a similar, altho much smaller, affect. Ephedra (now banned) is an herb. It has some very definite benefit. **** quai has been shown in studies to produces a similar effect to EPO - but more limited (about a third as effective). Ephedra and **** quai are from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Another practice from TCM, acupuncture, can aid red blood cell production (altho I don't know if it can do this in a healthy individual. It can help anemic individuals).

Coppi would not have had access to speed until later in his career. Speed, if I recall correctly, was a WW2 development. He would have had cocaine tho, and some other botanicals, but how much value the others were? Idk, but I don't think much.

One has to remember, as well, that it wasn't until Greg Lemond made it happen that riders started to get real financial compensation. By the time LA gained the podium in Paris, the Tour winner could get to be a well-to-do sportsman. By the time he took his last Tour, the top riders were getting rich, and the lieutenant's were making a good living. In the time of Coppi, or Merckx, or Hinault, the top 5 riders were barely well-paid. Normal riders didn't do it just for the money. Now it's getting to be like basketball, football, or baseball. Money makes a big difference in motivation.
Feb 14, 2010
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MacRoadie said:
Well, why not.

At some point the mensa candidates will be telling us Pheidippides couldn't have run from Marathon to Athens without EPO...

EPO, Meh, everyone's been doing it forever. Drive through please.

Anti - Mensa? Ouch :confused: