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Darwin's Dream

Jul 28, 2009
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From Cavenna to Fuentes via Ferrari we have been privy to the evolution of the grand tour. Desgrange viewed the perfect tour as that which only one finished, the riders and their medical support did not concur.

In golden days of our craft, alcohol imbibed or applied percutaneously warmed the muscles and eradicated thoughts of retirement. Amphetamines then increased desire and psychological ability, occasionally beyond physical capability and capacity en Provence.

Our first supreme champion wowed the world and eclipsed all others with his achievements. Paltry attempts at controls disqualified him from the giro but the governing body remained impartial.

Corticosteroids and anabolic compounds improved recovery between maximal efforts in grand tour stages resulting in some of the closest and most entertaining grand tours in decades. Swiss lawmakers reaped popularity benefits in the new world and the rouleur continued to abuse/misuse resulting in a higher than average lifelong chance of malignancy.

The late eighties brought EPO in its original form and spanish medical support commended year round enhancement of haematocrit and oxygen delivery with immunity from prosecution, as no test existed.

EPO continued to produce winners through the nineties, to the detriment of riders whose bodies developed antibodies even before the renal failure community had recognised that this phenomenon occurred.

In 1999 a new philosophy was unleashed and every individual tooth in the cog was sharpened, as a result one man's wheels turned faster and climbed harder. At the same time the test for EPO became reality and the manipulation of haematocrit moved on for those who had the infrastructure to train at altitude, microdose EPO and harvest blood for autologous transfusion 6 weeks prior to a grand tour. Remember
with this method there is no need to take further drugs during the tour.

Certain riders were not content with the level playing field which existed until 2006. Initially in Italy, a new undetectable drug was released to riders and year round enhancement was back.

Without UCI involvement the drug company released the compound details to WADA and the careless were caught. This year, the italian medical community believed that the CERA test was not particularly sensitive and naively they used CERA to elevate haematocrit prior to donation. Unfortunately, the blood transfused at three strategic points during the tour were positive for CERA.

Leading programmes have continued to use the microdose method with impunity, but only a few have access to the required medical expertise to dope a whole team without detection.

My initial posts hinted at the latest trial compound but what could one achieve with 5 kg weight loss?
 
Jun 16, 2009
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"the manipulation of haematocrit moved on for those who had the infrastructure to train at altitude, microdose EPO and harvest blood for autologous transfusion 6 weeks prior to a grand tour"

How could this have then been a level playing field?
 
Jul 28, 2009
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Lance a boil?

lance's blood values are sufficiently ambiguous to neither prove or disprove autologous blood doping. Is that not why he works with bruyneel etc?

The Vuelta is the dopers tour however and a proven autologous blood doper will win it!
 
Jun 18, 2009
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mitochondrion said:
Lance a boil?

lance's blood values are sufficiently ambiguous to neither prove or disprove autologous blood doping. Is that not why he works with bruyneel etc?

The Vuelta is the dopers tour however and a proven autologous blood doper will win it!

DO you really believe this? ....or do you mean "sufficiently ambiguous given the ridiculously high thresholds set by the UCI"?
 
Jul 28, 2009
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Within a legal environment, lance's values are entirely within the UCI legal framework and could be explained away by dehydration and training etc. We can not prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was the recipient of an autologous blood transfusion during the tour, whatever we may believe.

But he was THIRD...