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Did EPO use really kill some riders?

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Oct 16, 2010
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Fair point wrt Mathieus results.

To speculate more efficiently about performance benefits we would need to know (a.o.) if he and Jakobs were doing transfusions prior to doing EPO, or maybe even simultaneously.

In any case it is interesting that Jakobs and Mathiue apparently could afford it.
And since it wasn't viewed upon as doping why would anybody who had access to it refuse to take it?

Eventually this also lends some support to the hypothesis that the increased deaths among Dutch and Belgian cyclists were EPO related after all.

If Smeets wrote about this in 2009, it's disappointing that not a single journo picked it up and pursued the story.

I'm also increasingly curious what Jean Nelissen had to say about EPO in his 1989 book.
 
Aug 29, 2016
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While the story about Gert Jakobs and Mathieu Hermans using rEPO in 1989 fits nicely into the timeframe of doping use, the story isn't that straightforward. Here is the smoking gun quote for everyone to read from the website http://www.gertjakobs.nl about Jakobs admitting his rEPO use in 1989:

In 2009 gaf hij in het boek Het laatste geel van Mart Smeets toe dat hij in de Ronde van Frankrijk van 1989 epo heeft gebruikt. Epo stond in 1989 nog niet op de dopinglijst, dus hij heeft de dopingregels er niet mee overtreden.
https://www.gertjakobs.nl/over-gert/

At first look, this indeed seems like a valid confession even when it isn't written by the cyclist himself. The problem is that Jakobs doesn't necessarily tell anything like it in the book Het Laatste Geel in 2009. The book has been quoted by English and Dutch sources in various places in the Internet concluding that he admitted using rEPO in 1989, but it seems that a very few people of these have actually read the book. In addition, there are dissenting opinions on what he actually tells to Mark Smeets. Here is one version from a 2013-Dutch article, whose author apparently was familiar with the book:

Jakobs bekende zelf aan Mart Smeets dat hij tijdens zijn tijd bij Festina in 1993 doping had gebruikt. "Ik gooide het meteen op tafel, dan was ik er gelijk vanaf. Dat werkt echt beter." Volgens Jakobs was dat de eerste keer dat hij naar dopinggebruik werd gevraagd.
http://www.nu.nl/wielrennen/3009537/jakobs-bekentenis-nelissen-laat.html
(And yes, one can easily find sources vouching for the claim that he admitted rEPO in 1989)

Gert Jakobs also mentions that he used rEPO "during his Festina-time" in his 2012-biography Meesterknechtin context that I read as his introduction to doping products (while he claims mistakenly that rEPO wasn't on the banned list at that time). The book's few EPO-pages are easily accessible through Google Books, so perhaps one can find the actual reference to the 1989 rEPO use.

The minimum one can conclude is that there are serious discrepancies in his alleged "admission" of rEPO in 1989 made in 2009. If it didn't take place, this raises the obvious question -- Why is there this "admission" on this website connected so strongly to him? Or did he indeed admit rEPO in 1989 to Mark Smeets as many sources claim?

I can't say anything to one way or another and as I am not native Dutch-speaker, there may be mistakes here and there in my reading of the material.

Here is the quote where on which the "implicit admission" of rEPO use in 1989 by Mathieu Hermans is based from the same book, quoted by another Dutch website:

Oud-sprinter Hermans had destijds als ploegarts de Spaanse dokter Eufemiano Fuentes, momenteel de spil in Operacio Puerto, het grote bloeddopingschandaal. 'Je weet toch wie onze ploegarts was?', vraagt Hermans aan Smeets. 'Die kende het product.' Op de vraag of hij het zelf heeft gebruikt: 'Het was toen niet verboden. Laat ik het zo stellen: Ik heb mijn sport op een nette manier bedreven. Mag ik het zo zeggen?'
http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf18062009_065

One could read this quote in a way that Fuentes provided rEPO to Mathieu Hermans when they were in the same team Caja-Rural around 1988, but as there is no timeframe mentioned nor the provider from whom Hermans got his hormone (if the "admission" by Hermans is even about rEPO), there is difficult to conclude one way or another from this source alone. As seen above, While rEPO was banned by the early 1990s, it has been now-and-then referred as "not banned" even after 1990 because it wasn't tested at all.
 
Re: Re:

Aragon said:
Very little debate here, as I wouldn't be surprised if some of the rEPO circulating in 1989 did find its way into the hands of athletes as the availability improved significantly when compared to 1987 or 1988. Difficult to take any position on the Ljunqvist-Beckett debate, perhaps the product was difficult to obtain when Swedes were conducting the injection phase of their 1991 EPO-study during the spring of 1989.
Btw, although that's offtopic here, but if it's true that the supply of EPO was limited in the early years (which I guess makes sense considering the complexity of production), it's all the more despicable that athletes used it to cheat in their sport while depriving legitimate patients from getting it who needed it for their survival.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Aragon said:
While the story about Gert Jakobs and Mathieu Hermans using rEPO in 1989 fits nicely into the timeframe of doping use, the story isn't that straightforward.
He admits it on his own website. Admissions don't get a whole lot more straightforward than that.
Whether you think he's lying is a different matter.

At first look, this indeed seems like a valid confession even when it isn't written by the cyclist himself.
On a booking website, you write about yourself in the third person. Sure, we may assume it was ghostwritten, but that is true for about 99% of all biographic cycling literature, and we usually don't go around saying "well Thomas Dekker didn't write it himself did he".
So this here on Jakobs' booking site is indeed a valid confession...at first look, and at second look as well.

As long as it says what it says on Jakobs' booking site, we're dealing with a rather straightorward admission of EPO use in 1989, regardless of what it literally says in Smeets' book.
Again, whether you think he's lying is a different question. That possibility cannot be completely excluded, but it's a bit of a stretch.

Well done digging up that Mathieu quote. From what I can tell, that's about as explicit as an implicit admission can get.
 
Sep 8, 2009
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If thosee dutchies used it in 1989, they used it wrong. Good they're alive at least.

I still regard as true epo pioneers: rominger, bugno, chiappucci, argentin, indurain, chioccioli...
 
Apr 3, 2011
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Tienus said:
Hermans was a sprinter who did not care about the gc. In 1989 he did manage to win a stage in the tour and four stages in the vuelta.
I would not be surprised if he was on epo in 1988 as it was his best year with 24 victories of which 6 vuelta stages.
What at irony- I remember early discussions about "those dirty climbers/GC guys, while "our favourite" sprinters are clean because they don't need EPO.

And here you go: already the very first known user was a sprinter.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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jens_attacks said:
If thosee dutchies used it in 1989, they used it wrong. Good they're alive at least.

I still regard as true epo pioneers: rominger, bugno, chiappucci, argentin, indurain, chioccioli...
Aren't you showing a bit of a Conconi-bias here?
Although Conconi's case has been most publicized, he certainly wasn't the only coach dabbling in EPO in the early period, as Tienus' posts have shown and as you can also gather from the Donati report in which Vanmol is named as one of the pioneers.
Of course I see what you mean, in that those Conconi guys seem to have been the first to really reap the maximum benefits of EPO.
However, a certain American athlete, working a.o. with the above-mentioned Vanmol, can't be discarded either in that respect. Winning the TdF three times, twice after almost losing his life, riding with one kidney, severe anemia and chronic pollen allergies, that is quite a feat.

On a side, I'm also curious about Hampsten's 88 Giro.
Could easily be down to ordinary blood bags. But still, his links to Max Testa and Eddie B put the door wide open for early EPO suspicions.
 
Jan 30, 2016
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http://articles.latimes.com/1990-06-02/sports/sp-143_1_performance-enhancing-drug
Rob J. Pluijmers, a sportsmedicine doctor involved with Dutch cyclists for 15 years, admitted last week in Salt Lake City that he knows three professionals taking EPO, a recombinant hormone used to treat anemia. He refused to name the athletes, but this is the first official acknowledgement that athletes are using the drug.

I suspect he knew more than just three cyclist.
In 1977 he was only the second to start a four year sportsmedicine study in the Netherlands. When he finished there was no full time job for him and he ended up working for a pharmaceutical company (possibly Organon Teknika as it was close to where he lived). His job was to guide clincal research in the cardiovasculair area.
http://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?query=pluijmers&page=1&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_gte_+%2201-01-1984%22%29&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_lte_+%2231-12-1984%22%29&coll=ddd&identifier=ddd%3A010565346%3Ampeg21%3Aa0388&resultsidentifier=ddd%3A010565346%3Ampeg21%3Aa0388

http://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?coll=ddd&query=pluijmers&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_gte_+%2201-01-1984%22%29&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_lte_+%2231-12-1985%22%29&page=2&identifier=KBNRC01%3A000027894%3Ampeg21%3Aa0090&resultsidentifier=KBNRC01%3A000027894%3Ampeg21%3Aa0090

Pluijmers was the doctor of the Dutch national speedskating team (kernploeg) in the eightees. As such he worked with Yvonne van Gennip but also with Hein Vergeer, Leo visser and Gerard Kemkers. He was also working for the national olympic team and the National cycling team (amateur I pressume). In pro cyling he was at least involved with the teams Skala-Skill, superconfex and PDM.

Mathieu Hermans was working with him. A couple of days before the 89 tour he thought he had appendicitis. Instead of going to a hospital his trainer drove him at 0400 to Pluijmers.
http://leiden.courant.nu/issue/LLC/1989-06-26/edition/0/page/13?query=pluijmers%20poppel&period=1985-1990&sort=relevance

Gert Jacobs
http://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?query=%28+pluijmers%29&page=3&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_gte_+%2201-01-1987%22%29&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_lte_+%2231-12-1989%22%29&coll=ddd&identifier=ddd%3A010963409%3Ampeg21%3Aa0247&resultsidentifier=ddd%3A010963409%3Ampeg21%3Aa0247

Jean-Paul van Poppel
http://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?coll=ddd&query=%28pluijmers+poppel%29&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_gte_+%2201-01-1980%22%29&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_lte_+%2231-12-1998%22%29&identifier=KBNRC01%3A000028688%3Ampeg21%3Aa0119&resultsidentifier=KBNRC01%3A000028688%3Ampeg21%3Aa0119

Jelle Nijdam
http://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?coll=ddd&query=%28pluijmers+lemond%29&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_gte_+%2201-01-1618%22%29&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_lte_+%2231-12-1995%22%29&identifier=ddd%3A010962448%3Ampeg21%3Aa0322&resultsidentifier=ddd%3A010962448%3Ampeg21%3Aa0322

The results of these athletes between 87 and 89 have been very good.

Pluijmers also had some involvement on the intraliped / epo afair.
http://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?query=pluijmers+pdm&page=1&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_gte_+%2201-01-1988%22%29&cql%5B%5D=%28date+_lte_+%2231-12-1998%22%29&coll=ddd&identifier=ddd%3A010637360%3Ampeg21%3Aa0544&resultsidentifier=ddd%3A010637360%3Ampeg21%3Aa0544

edit: 3rd link changed to correct one
 
Oct 16, 2010
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nice!

great anecdote from Mathieu.

So in 1989 Pluijmers is Jakobs' "trust doctor".

Nijdam praising Pluijmers as the man behind his success in 1987 is interesting as well.
"He gave me some schemes that helped me reduce my muscle fatigue"
 
Mar 6, 2009
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Re: Re:

sniper said:
jens_attacks said:
If thosee dutchies used it in 1989, they used it wrong. Good they're alive at least.

I still regard as true epo pioneers: rominger, bugno, chiappucci, argentin, indurain, chioccioli...
Aren't you showing a bit of a Conconi-bias here?
Although Conconi's case has been most publicized, he certainly wasn't the only coach dabbling in EPO in the early period, as Tienus' posts have shown and as you can also gather from the Donati report in which Vanmol is named as one of the pioneers.
Of course I see what you mean, in that those Conconi guys seem to have been the first to really reap the maximum benefits of EPO.
However, a certain American athlete, working a.o. with the above-mentioned Vanmol, can't be discarded either in that respect. Winning the TdF three times, twice after almost losing his life, riding with one kidney, severe anemia and chronic pollen allergies, that is quite a feat.

On a side, I'm also curious about Hampsten's 88 Giro.
Could easily be down to ordinary blood bags. But still, his links to Max Testa and Eddie B put the door wide open for early EPO suspicions.
Can you define working with Van Mol because there is very little to suggest that LeMond worked with Van Mol other than apparently receiving a shot from him at the Giro. I don't think Van Mol ever claimed LeMond as a athlete of his either. Can you show the big links between Van Mol/LeMond other than Van Mol being ADR team doctor?

Also, why would Hampstens Giro win be supicious(other than the normal questions re GT winner). He was 4th in the 86 Tour(white jersey winner), won the Tour of Switzerland in 86/87 and was regarded as one of the best climbers in the peloton winning a mountainous Giro. His win was actually built on the infamous Gavia stage in which it was more a question of survival against the conditions than beating the other contenders. Him and Breukink finished something like 5 minutes ahead of the next riders on that stage so it became a two horse race. If it had been a normal stage, things might have worked out differently, regardless it was Jean Francois Bernard who was considered the strongest rider in that Giro but had to drop out due to injury.

Your lack of knowledge on that Giro is adundantly clear.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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that 88 giro is known as one of the toughest ever.
what's your point?

as for Lemond and Vanmol, do you know another rider who received iron injections from Vanmol during a GT?
what more do you wanna know?
And for the sake of Lemond's credibility I do hope Vanmol was his doc in 1989.
if Vanmol wasn't, then who was? His father in law? Jacome? lol.

Also recommend you to (re)read esafosfina's posts to inform yourself about what the Lemond Vanmol relationship may have entailed.
he was closer to the game than you and me.

And don't tell me Lemond didn't need a doc.
He was sick both in 1989 and 1990 by his own admission, suffering from anemia, allergies, mysterious infections.
Was also overweight. Didn't care too much about his diet according to insiders.
Didn't stop him from winning the Tour in those years, beating a wide variety of steroid and blood dopers.
Raw talent I tell you.
 
Mar 6, 2009
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sniper said:
that 88 giro is known as one of the toughest ever.
what's your point?

as for Lemond and Vanmol, do you know another rider who received iron injections from Vanmol during a GT?
what more do you wanna know?
And for the sake of Lemond's credibility I do hope Vanmol was his doc in 1989.
if Vanmol wasn't, then who was? His father in law? Jacome? lol.

also read esafosfina's posts. he was closer to the game than you and me.
A climber winning a mountainous Giro is hardly surprising, it is blindlingly obvious. Dont know how that can be considered overly suspicious. It would be if it had been a route with lots of flat TT miles and Hampsten won.

That 88 Giro was one of the most mountainous ever, but that had a lot to do with how easy the routes had become in the Moser/Saronni era. The Giros of the 70/80s were infamous for being designed with the Italian heroes in mind, which meant less climbing as neither Moser/Saronni were the best climbers with the nadir being the cancellation of the Stelvio stage in 84 to suit Moser over Fignon. It got so embarassing that as soon as Moser retired in 87, the routes started to get more difficult with more climbing. When the Italians started to dominate, they designed more and more mountainous routes to suits the likes of Pantani/Gotti/Simoni etc.

I would imagine as Van Mol was team doctor, that lots of riders received vitamin/iron injections. Have you even read Paul Kimmage Rough Ride or even anything related to cycling, because if you think LeMond was the sole recepient of injections, you are in for a shock. AFAIK, LeMond never had an official doctor in the sense of Conconi/Ferrari etc. How ironic that one of the current arguments is that teams dont need doctors and only have them for doping purposes. LeMond didnt have a doctor yet you view him as super suspicious.

Let me draw a timeline for LeMond/Van Mol. LeMond had a dual contract with ADR/Coors Light in 89. He stayed in the US over the winter of 88/89. He didnt arrive in Europe until the start of March having raced the Tour of Americas finishing 3rd for Coors Light. Barely days after arriving in Europe, he finished top 15 in Het Volk, then went to finish Tirreno-Adriatico in top 10 and got in a break royale at Criterium International with Fignon, Indurain, Mottet, Madiot, Roche finishing 4th overall.

He was going very well and then his form deserted him almost overnight. From riding with big hitters in March, he was nowhere at Flanders. Less than 2 weeks later, totally demoralised about his sudden loss of form, he packed up and went back to the US ready to quit the sport. Didnt train for 3 weeks but then started to train for the Trump tour which he rode for Coors light. Returned to Europe a few days before the start of the Giro, then we have his one official interaction with Van Mol. Straight after the Giro returned to the US for Nationals with Coors Light, before returning for a stage race in Spain prior to the Tour. I think LeMond himself said he met Van Mol for the first time at the Giro.

So where/when was the big connection with Van Mol?
 
Oct 16, 2010
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What big connection? There was no big connection.
There was dubious treatment by a more than dubious doc in a - from a "first epo user" perspective - dubious time frame, involving a rider from the US (where EPO is alleged to have surfaced among athletes) who won the TdF 3 times despite diseases and of whom there exists a rumor that he used EPO and that he doped.
I am confident you too see the need to question that episode.

Right now, if you ask objectively for which rider there are the most indications that he was one of the first EPO users, besides Jacobs and MAthieu, it would be Lemond. Sorry, that's a simple fact. There is no other rider, to my knowledge, about whom similar rumors (about pioneering EPO in the peloton) circulate or have circulated.
Do you?
That doesn't mean he did pioneer EPO. There is no proof of that, maybe not even evidence (depending a bit on one's personal definition of 'evidence'). It just means that there is reasonable suspicion.
Hence I asked Jens Attacks whether he is suffering from a Conconi bias when he lists those Italians as EPO pioneers. The knowledge we have about EPO objectively points towards Americans being the pioneers.

--------

As for Hampsten, I'm not saying Hampsten's win was *overly* suspicious. Not more or less suspicious than other GT wins. It gets interesting in the context of the suspiciion - expressed by at least two different newspaper articles - that American athletes were the first to use EPO.
So don't get me wrong. The question whether Hampsten doped in 1988 isn't really of any interest to me. Not worth debating over.
For me the interesting question is did he merely use blood bags and steroids, or was he one of those American athletes that are alleged to have pioneered EPO.

-----

Lemond did have a doctor. In fact he *needed* a doctor. He was sick. And although he was sick, he wanted to ride. And he did ride. In fact he won the TdF twice.
So he either had a doctor, or he wasn't sick after all. Your call.
And although had money, he wanted more, and was under big pressure to perform, he said it himself multiple times quite explicitly. The money thing was nothing he was overly ashamed of.
I'm just saying, if you think Vanmol wasn't one of his docs, the story only gets worse for Lemond because it sort of compels the conclusion that he was having his 'diseases' (allergies, infections, etc.) treated by his father in law (or maybe even by Jacome), something Lemond defenders have tried hard to deny over and over again.
(Or, again, maybe you think he wasn't sick after all?)

The current discussion about team docs centres around the view (which I share) that if a rider is sick he shouldn't ride. If Lemond really was sick then he shouldn't have ridden. But instead he decided to receive injections in order to ride. With considerable success.
 
Mar 6, 2009
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sniper said:
What big connection? There was no big connection.
There was dubious treatment by a more than dubious doc in a - from a "first epo user" perspective - dubious time frame, involving a rider from the US (where EPO is alleged to have surfaced among athletes) who won the TdF 3 times despite diseases and of whom there exists a rumor that he used EPO and that he doped.
I am confident you too see the need to question that episode.

Right now, if you ask objectively for which rider there are the most indications that he was one of the first EPO users, besides Jacobs and MAthieu, it would be Lemond. Sorry, that's a simple fact. There is no other rider, to my knowledge, about whom similar rumors (about pioneering EPO in the peloton) circulate or have circulated.
Do you?
That doesn't mean he did pioneer EPO. There is no proof of that, maybe not even evidence (depending a bit on one's personal definition of 'evidence'). It just means that there is reasonable suspicion.
Hence I asked Jens Attacks whether he is suffering from a Conconi bias when he lists those Italians as EPO pioneers. The knowledge we have about EPO objectively points towards Americans being the pioneers.

--------

As for Hampsten, I'm not saying Hampsten's win was *overly* suspicious. Not more or less suspicious than other GT wins. It gets interesting in the context of the suspiciion - expressed by at least two different newspaper articles - that American athletes were the first to use EPO.
So don't get me wrong. The question whether Hampsten doped in 1988 isn't really of any interest to me. Not worth debating over.
For me the interesting question is did he merely use blood bags and steroids, or was he one of those American athletes that are alleged to have pioneered EPO.

-----

Lemond did have a doctor. In fact he *needed* a doctor. He was sick. And although he was sick, he wanted to ride. And he did ride. In fact he won the TdF twice.
So he either had a doctor, or he wasn't sick after all. Your call.
And although had money, he wanted more, and was under big pressure to perform, he said it himself multiple times quite explicitly. The money thing was nothing he was overly ashamed of.
I'm just saying, if you think Vanmol wasn't one of his docs, the story only gets worse for Lemond because it sort of compels the conclusion that he was having his 'diseases' (allergies, infections, etc.) treated by his father in law (or maybe even by Jacome), something Lemond defenders have tried hard to deny over and over again.
(Or, again, maybe you think he wasn't sick after all?)

The current discussion about team docs centres around the view (which I share) that if a rider is sick he shouldn't ride. If Lemond really was sick then he shouldn't have ridden. But instead he decided to receive injections in order to ride. With considerable success.
Did LeMond have a GP as a doctor, probably but did he have a specialist sports doctor like Ferrari/Conconi, not that we know off. Perhaps that was why they were so poor at diagnosing his issues, perhaps that is the difference in going to your GP about something and having a specialist Doctor at your service.

Cyclist's careers depend on them competing so I think to have them not compete without legitimate medicine is silly. Imagine if people were to stay off work at every little sniffle or niggle, they would soon become unfavourable. In cycling it is magnified even more as you lose form etc. One silly sickness that could be genuinely treated, could end a career.

You can go on about rumours all you want but I think most people can see those rumours were built on nothing more than speculation as evidenced by that newspaper article. There will always be suspicion around top athletes whether they are clean or not. No doper can ever believe a clean athlete could beat them so in their mind, they have to be doping as well. They simply could not justify their own drug use if a clean athelte can beat them. That is why Giles Delion was disliked so much in the peloton, he proclaimed himself as clean and the others hated it because it made them feel ashamed to be beaten by a clean athlete, doper mentality. What happens when people get jealous, they start stories and rumours. Human nature.

I am pretty sure if you took a poll of first EPO users in the peloton, the names would be the same as Jens_Attacks listed, Bugno, Rominger, Chiappucci, Argentin, Indurain etc. They might not have actually been the first users but most would suggest they were the first successful users.

For the record, those articles say US athletes, not cyclists, so considering the terms athletes covers any number of sportspeople, there is no possible way of discerning that they were cyclists. That is complete and utter wishful thinking on your behalf. Also, Hampsten had success before EPO, so again if he was an EPO pioneer, it did not improve him much. As I pointed out and you ignored, Hampstens success in 88 was built on survival of the Gavia stage more than being the best rider in the Giro. He hardly had amazing results 89-90.

Your whole premise of LeMond being an EPO pioneer is built around the same things that have always been put forward.

The Van Mol iron injections
His return to form

Everything else is clutching at straws, from a newspaper alleging LeMond was an EPO user based on nothing more than specualtion, american, rich and a rumour amongst riders that was likely built on the same type of speculation and which you consistenly refuse to address my explanation for. There is not a single other poster who puts much faith in those straws other than you which says a lot.

From the time I started following cycling, the Italian renaissance of 90/91 was viewed as the EPO arrival. LeMonds transformation was viewed as a return to form of a top rider who sorted out his health issues. Because he never managed his pre-shooting level, EPO never really figured as everyone saw the difference in performances. As I followed cycling at that time, that was the reality, not some skewed re-imagining of what happened.
 
Re: Re:

Irondan said:
sniper said:
btw, according to Mathieu Hermans' wiki, Hermans implicitly admitted to EPO use in 1989, just like Jakobs in Smeets' book:
In 2009 gaf hij in het boek Het laatste geel van Mart Smeets impliciet toe dat hij in de Ronde van Frankrijk van 1989 epo heeft gebruikt .

In 2009 in Smeets' "Het Laatste Geel" he implicitly admitted to using EPO in the TdF of 1989
For the record, in 1989 Hermans finished last in the TdF GC. I'm not shitting you.
1989: Rode Lantaarndrager in de Ronde van Frankrijk
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathieu_Hermans
It's interesting that Hermans used EPO in the 89 Tour de France but came in dead last...

The Lantern Rouge, reserved for the rider that can barely hang on and make all the time cuts.

Does this mean Hermans was a non-responder to EPO?

Maybe it just means that he was not a donkey but a pony that was made into a racehorse, capable of hanging in there with the best in the world but only just barely. I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud because I'm kind of shocked that Hermans placing at the 89 Tour was so low when he was doped to the gills with the wonder drug that would go onto fuel the next two decades worth of Tour champions.

Why did he not respond to EPO??

I guess this just goes to show how dangerous EPO is with some riders dying in their sleep after using it and some riders not responding at all. Back then, in 89 they really had no idea what they were dealing with.
This is the difference...guys like Riis Ulrich Pantani Virunque, virtual non talents, who never trained a day in their life, but super responded to EPO, and Hemanns, who trained his heart out...and got lantern rouge...sweaten bullets, every day....while the evil Lance...just dated rock stars, and killed it.
 
Oct 21, 2015
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pmcg76 said:
Let me draw a timeline for LeMond/Van Mol. LeMond had a dual contract with ADR/Coors Light in 89. He stayed in the US over the winter of 88/89. He didnt arrive in Europe until the start of March having raced the Tour of Americas finishing 3rd for Coors Light. Barely days after arriving in Europe, he finished top 15 in Het Volk, then went to finish Tirreno-Adriatico in top 10 and got in a break royale at Criterium International with Fignon, Indurain, Mottet, Madiot, Roche finishing 4th overall.

He was going very well and then his form deserted him almost overnight. From riding with big hitters in March, he was nowhere at Flanders. Less than 2 weeks later, totally demoralised about his sudden loss of form, he packed up and went back to the US ready to quit the sport. Didnt train for 3 weeks but then started to train for the Trump tour which he rode for Coors light. Returned to Europe a few days before the start of the Giro, then we have his one official interaction with Van Mol. Straight after the Giro returned to the US for Nationals with Coors Light, before returning for a stage race in Spain prior to the Tour. I think LeMond himself said he met Van Mol for the first time at the Giro.
Wow. LeMond has told so many porkies about 1989 that I think he actually believes them. His fanboys certainly do. Just look at what you write and ask yourself if it makes a lick of sense: LeMond was mixing it up with the royalty of the sport, holding his own and then some, but suffered a downturn in form, which happens to all endurance athletes from time to time, and he was about to quit the sport. Really? LeMond's vaunted knowledge of training did not include the concept of over training?

The problem with LeMond is he is the maker of his own myth. He has always been willing to lie and exaggerate if it makes him look better. Instead of a bit of sickness or over training causing him take a break to recover then rebuild his form, it became an existential crisis that had him days away from retiring in disillusionment. He will say anything to big himself up. If you think he would not lie about something that would be detrimental to his image, like Van Mol, then you are a fool.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Re: Re:

DamianoMachiavelli said:
pmcg76 said:
Let me draw a timeline for LeMond/Van Mol. LeMond had a dual contract with ADR/Coors Light in 89. He stayed in the US over the winter of 88/89. He didnt arrive in Europe until the start of March having raced the Tour of Americas finishing 3rd for Coors Light. Barely days after arriving in Europe, he finished top 15 in Het Volk, then went to finish Tirreno-Adriatico in top 10 and got in a break royale at Criterium International with Fignon, Indurain, Mottet, Madiot, Roche finishing 4th overall.

He was going very well and then his form deserted him almost overnight. From riding with big hitters in March, he was nowhere at Flanders. Less than 2 weeks later, totally demoralised about his sudden loss of form, he packed up and went back to the US ready to quit the sport. Didnt train for 3 weeks but then started to train for the Trump tour which he rode for Coors light. Returned to Europe a few days before the start of the Giro, then we have his one official interaction with Van Mol. Straight after the Giro returned to the US for Nationals with Coors Light, before returning for a stage race in Spain prior to the Tour. I think LeMond himself said he met Van Mol for the first time at the Giro.
Wow. LeMond has told so many porkies about 1989 that I think he actually believes them. His fanboys certainly do. Just look at what you write and ask yourself if it makes a lick of sense: LeMond was mixing it up with the royalty of the sport, holding his own and then some, but suffered a downturn in form, which happens to all endurance athletes from time to time, and he was about to quit the sport. Really? LeMond's vaunted knowledge of training did not include the concept of over training?

The problem with LeMond is he is the maker of his own myth. He has always been willing to lie and exaggerate if it makes him look better. Instead of a bit of sickness or over training causing him take a break to recover then rebuild his form, it became an existential crisis that had him days away from retiring in disillusionment. He will say anything to big himself up. If you think he would not lie about something that would be detrimental to his image, like Van Mol, then you are a fool.
Some years ago Oldman who, fwiw, knew Greg personally, said this:
My point was simple-his injury impact short term were similar to other traumatic injuries. Cyclists learn to live with punctured lungs, broken femurs, ribs, etc. His heroism is a product of his book, the media and your adulation. Other riders have overcome as much, if not more. It doesn't add credence to his opinions or his indictment of other riders. Learn to separate the hype from the fact. By the way, many men talk alot when they drink. Greg is not different.
viewtopic.php?p=63258#p63258
I thought that was well said.
 
Mar 6, 2009
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Re: Re:

DamianoMachiavelli said:
pmcg76 said:
Let me draw a timeline for LeMond/Van Mol. LeMond had a dual contract with ADR/Coors Light in 89. He stayed in the US over the winter of 88/89. He didnt arrive in Europe until the start of March having raced the Tour of Americas finishing 3rd for Coors Light. Barely days after arriving in Europe, he finished top 15 in Het Volk, then went to finish Tirreno-Adriatico in top 10 and got in a break royale at Criterium International with Fignon, Indurain, Mottet, Madiot, Roche finishing 4th overall.

He was going very well and then his form deserted him almost overnight. From riding with big hitters in March, he was nowhere at Flanders. Less than 2 weeks later, totally demoralised about his sudden loss of form, he packed up and went back to the US ready to quit the sport. Didnt train for 3 weeks but then started to train for the Trump tour which he rode for Coors light. Returned to Europe a few days before the start of the Giro, then we have his one official interaction with Van Mol. Straight after the Giro returned to the US for Nationals with Coors Light, before returning for a stage race in Spain prior to the Tour. I think LeMond himself said he met Van Mol for the first time at the Giro.
Wow. LeMond has told so many porkies about 1989 that I think he actually believes them. His fanboys certainly do. Just look at what you write and ask yourself if it makes a lick of sense: LeMond was mixing it up with the royalty of the sport, holding his own and then some, but suffered a downturn in form, which happens to all endurance athletes from time to time, and he was about to quit the sport. Really? LeMond's vaunted knowledge of training did not include the concept of over training?

The problem with LeMond is he is the maker of his own myth. He has always been willing to lie and exaggerate if it makes him look better. Instead of a bit of sickness or over training causing him take a break to recover then rebuild his form, it became an existential crisis that had him days away from retiring in disillusionment. He will say anything to big himself up. If you think he would not lie about something that would be detrimental to his image, like Van Mol, then you are a fool.
Perhaps you could enlighten us about all these porkies LeMond told about 1989. The timeline is based on actual facts so not sure why you think it is somehow unrealistic. Apart from that 6 week period in Spring(during which his form evaporated)when was he potentially working with Van Mol?

LeMond had been trying to come back for all of 88 but kept being frustrated by injuries, illness. He went from competing with the bigs guns to nowhere in the space of a week in spring 89. Perhaps it was down to overtraining, but considering the workload LeMond could take before his shooting, that also seems unlikely. Regardless. it is easy to understand how an athlete who thinks they have returned to form then see that form just vanish, it is demoralising, especially afte a year of constant setbacks. Then you try another comeback and you are getting dropped by guys in the mountains that you once crushed, I dont think it would be a stretch at all to pack the sport in if you dont think you can make it back to your natural level.

Indeed,I can think of a certain cyclist who also tried a comeback after a life threatning illness and was about to pack it in because the comeback didnt go well, and that was after one attempt. Apparently, a beer and a break saved their career. Who could that be I wonder?

How many comeback attempts should be made before someone calls it quits.
 
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Has it ever been stated anywhere what the 'anti-anemia' treatment he received twice in 1989's Tour was?
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Norks74 said:
Has it ever been stated anywhere what the 'anti-anemia' treatment he received twice in 1989's Tour was?
Lemond's own version (which in fact is an abstraction of a variety of different versions) is that he received iron shots, three in total I think in the 'official' version (if there is one).
Unfortunately there are several contradictory versions of what happened. If you put them all together, it is not clear (a) who diagnosed his anemia (some accounts say it was Jacome, others say Vanmol); or (b) how many injections Lemond got exactly, when he got them, and who administered them.

Lemond's last version of it is given in the Kimmage interview from 2009(?) I think. Here is the 3rd part which is about the iron shots: https://web.facebook.com/2Rmag/posts/534227359949423?comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22O%22%7D&_rdr
As you see even Kimmage wasn't sure. (Kimmage: "I always thought it was Jacome [who did the injections]". Lemond: "It was Vanmol"). Loads of vague stuff and eyebrowraisers there.
Like why the hell would Lemond need Otto's help when his wife Kathy, a nursing student and daughter of David Morris MD, was there with him in Italy.
I had to figure out how to get Otto to help me, because I could not do it myself.
Don't tell me Kathy and Greg didn't know how to inject a needle, but Jacome did.
And so apparently Vanmol did the first injection, but then we don't get to hear who did the other two injections.

It's all vague and not straightforward.
One shot? Two shots? Three shots? Needle adverse? Otto, Vanmol, Vanmol, Otto?
And it puts some new 'facts' about Lemond on the table, like the chronic kidney infections as a kid that nobody knew anything about previously.
Then there is anohter story about LEmond that he'd been riding around with only one kidney, though again nobody exactly knows where that story comes from, or when he lost the other kidney, or how it relates to his chronic kidney infections.
Another story where his kidney (the one remaining kidney?) got damaged in the shooting.
Etc. Nothing really adds up here and nobody knows the real story(ies). It's all rather consistent with somebody who's been making stuff up as he went along.

Personally I also find it funny that Kathy Lemond needed to hold Greg's hand in that Kimmage interview, and when the topic goes to the iron injections, she basically answers for Lemond whilst conveniently deflecting away from the "when?" question.
To Froome fans, that interview setting must sound rather familiar.

I'd love to see the press release where Lemond discloses the iron shots for the first time, and I've asked for it many times but it seems untraceable.
Note that the iron shots themselves contradict other Lemond interviews where he says he never took anything other than vitamin pills. And in the Kimmage interview he says "I never succumbed [to the needle]", whereas one minute later he's telling kimmage about the iron shots. Mkay.

Here's a link to an article (translation included) where Vanmol describes how he treated two anemic ADR riders in 1988. ttp://forum.cyclingnews.com/viewtopic.php?p=1896069#p1896069
One of those anemic riders was Planckaert who later admitted to using EPO. In his admission he says he used it only in 1991, but note that the year 1988 was perhaps Planckaert's best year ever.
Vanmol himself was later fingered by Sandro Donati as one of the early EPO enablers besides Conconi and Ferrari.
In the above linked article from 1988 Vanmol also says he thinks testosterone should be legal.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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That's quite a narrative you've built...

Here's the primary source (as in, the first published article) discussing Greg Lemond's iron injections. That was in July 1989. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/cycling/longterm/1998/tour/articles/89winner.htm

The next article that mentions this is in December, 1989 http://www.si.com/vault/1989/12/25/121301/le-grand-lemond-greg-lemond-1989-sportsman-of-the-year-rewrote-his-own-legend-with-a-heroic-comeback-and-a-magnificent-finish-in-the-tour-de-france

This is the primary source that makes a passing mention of anemia. http://people.com/archive/beating-the-clock-and-all-the-odds-cyclist-greg-lemond-triumphs-in-the-tour-de-france-vol-32-no-6/

All sources agree that he was diagnosed as anemic during the Tour of Italy. Furthermore, Otto Jacome's involvement can be summed up as: "There, too, he faltered. In the first mountain stage LeMond lost eight minutes to the leaders. His masseur, Otto Jacome, who has been a friend of the LeMond family since Greg was 15, took one look at him afterward and said, "You are white. You need iron.""

It continues: "Again LeMond had his blood tested. This time he was diagnosed as anemic, and his doctor immediately gave him an injection of iron. "I was riding myself into the ground," LeMond says. "I was pushing so hard that I was eating into my muscles."" - highly suggesting that he was suffering from overtraining as well as anemia. Please note that the diagnosis was via blood test and that the iron was injected by his doctor.

Which doctor was that? "So the team doctor gave LeMond an injection of iron". The team doctor. We know that Yvon Van Mol was one of the team doctors, but I can't find any sources listing all of ADR's doctors or who was at the Tour of Italy with Greg.

How many injections did he have? Two. " LeMond had a second injection of iron".

So there you go. Two shots of iron to fix anemia as diagnosed and prescribed by an un-named team doctor. Jacome was not involved. This is as consistently reported by three major sources.

John Swanson

Edit: fixed a formatting error
 
Jul 5, 2009
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I should mention that there is a book, ISBN 9781937715304 titled Etape that was published in 2014 that says it was three injections delivered by Van Mol. Given that this account is 25 years after the event, I would place more weight on the three major articles (Sports Illustrated, Washington Post, People Magazine) being accurate on two rather than three injections. There's no way to evaluate the likelihood that Van Mol was the doctor in question. However, his is the only doctor's name associated with the "event".

In summary, it's an interesting anecdote about how Lemond had to overcome another health related hurdle on his way to victory in 1989.

John Swanson
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Many thanks for the links and the reference to the 2014 book.
Very informative. I'll have a look at those in the coming days.

I didn't build any narrative.
As I said, the problem is that there seem to have been multiple narratives and I have no idea what the real narrative is.
That's confirmed by your links.

Two shots or three shots? Nobody knows. You say it was likely two, because that was the original story.
This is from the Kimmage interview linked above:
So Yvan took a blood test and said ‘Well, three shots are not going to hurt you. But it’s a treatment of three. And you need it today, three days and three days.’
That's quite a detailed recollection of events.

And then the kidney issues.
There seem to have been multiple issues mentioned across different interviews/books, but again I've never seen any kind of coherent account of what he actually suffered from and (since) when.
 
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If it helps, think of a major world event that happened in the early 90's. Say the Berlin wall coming down. Scribble down as many details as you can think of. Then go and verify those details. I bet a large percentage of those perceived details are incorrect. Twenty five years is a long time. The three sources (that I could find) from within a few months of the event are all consistent. Diagnosed anemia via blood test. Two shots. Team doctor, who is probably Vanmol but not confirmed.

As for narrative: "Like why the hell would Lemond need Otto's help when his wife Kathy, a nursing student and daughter of David Morris MD, was there with him in Italy." - you're constructing a story here that has nothing to do with what we actually know. It's the same with: "Note that the iron shots themselves contradict other Lemond interviews where he says he never took anything other than vitamin pills. And in the Kimmage interview he says "I never succumbed [to the needle]", whereas one minute later he's telling kimmage about the iron shots. Mkay." - when clearly, receiving necessary medication is vastly different to "succumbing to the needle". Vastly, vastly different. And you know that.

You've also trotted out the one kidney thing time and again. The only piece of journalism I have seen on the subject is where Greg talks about having chronic kidney infections which required the use of intravenous (there's those needles again) antibiotics. As far as I know you are the only one who has speculated that he has "kidney disease" or that his kidneys either don't function or are missing.

But you already know all this.

John Swanson
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Lemond is widely quoted on the internet as somebody who won the TdF with one kidney. I'm surprised you're putting that in my mouth when in fact it's all over the web.
We've gone through the kidney issues multiple times.
Let's not go there again, unless you can finally tell me what he was and wasn't suffering from, with links preferably.

The other thing is: in the Lemond thread as well as from Lemond himself, I've hear the following argument multiple times: "if the Giro injections were EPO, why would I mention them myself straight after the race?"
Now where is that interview where he mentions the injections himself straight after the Giro.

If that Washington Post article from July 89 is indeed the first mention of the injection, as you say, then the above argument is apparently a load of bollox.
 

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