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Did EPO use really kill some riders?

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Apr 20, 2012
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The deaths of Draaijer, Oosterbosch and Connie Meyer were not related to EPO use but somehow they became part of that myth. It is strange people can keep on hammering on 20 DEATHS IN HOLLAND AND BELGIUM with na actual evidence whatsoever.

I am the widow of John Draaijer and wants a correction is posted on the story of John. There are lies and misinformation in the story . You must properly perform your research before saying things that are not true . The biggest nonsense that I would have said that John had used EPO . Der Spiegel Well ... NEVER . I have never talked to Der Spiegel , and I would not say that because it is not true . Also that no autopsy was performed . REALLY DO ! ! I wanted to know what a man could kill in his prime at age 27 It was a heart defect (congenital ) recorded six weeks before his death by Dr . Huyge ( eminent cardiologist ) in Eindhoven with his approval . They just did not think it could be fatal. John was " pure nature " and used nothing . In fact, he was in the room with Raoul Alcala at the Three Days of Dunkirk and I was there. They received each day after the race a syringe . Vitamins said the support worker . Both John and Raoul injected him into the mattress ( the syringe was later checked whether he was or was not used) . John was an honest living for his passion . Not sully his name with inaccuracies .
The reaction of Draaijers widow, not too long ago.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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Fearless Greg Lemond said:
The deaths of Draaijer, Oosterbosch and Connie Meyer were not related to EPO use but somehow they became part of that myth. It is strange people can keep on hammering on 20 DEATHS IN HOLLAND AND BELGIUM with na actual evidence whatsoever.


The reaction of Draaijers widow, not too long ago.
...and yet it was clear that something *new* was going on in the spring of 1990.
 
Nov 10, 2009
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Fearless Greg Lemond said:
The deaths of Draaijer, Oosterbosch and Connie Meyer were not related to EPO use but somehow they became part of that myth. It is strange people can keep on hammering on 20 DEATHS IN HOLLAND AND BELGIUM with na actual evidence whatsoever.


The reaction of Draaijers widow, not too long ago.
I believe I still have that paper from L'EQUIPE which I mentioned earlier, I'll try to dig it out tomorrow.

(At the same time I would understand that his widow could get fed up with the story being retold so many times)
 
Jan 11, 2013
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I have some recollections on some of these names. The numbers vary from 7, to numbers into the 50's. I don't think any deaths have been directly proven to having been caused by EPO, but there are strong suspicions in a lot of cases. Halapzok (although apparently he had a heart defect that had been detected previously), Casada, Zanette, Oosterbosch, Draaijer to name a few...they are all certainly suspicious.

My recollections are that Greg and Kathy Lemond said Draaijers widow called them the night her husband died and blamed EPO. Happy to be corrected if my memory is wrong.

I also recollect Oosterbosch was still racing as an amateur when he died.

I think Gert DeVlaeminck died of a heart attack after crashing into a tree during a race.

Willy Voet has a list of names of riders who died young in 'Breaking the Chain'.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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classic1 said:
Willy Voet has a list of names of riders who died young in 'Breaking the Chain'.
On the very last page:

It may perhaps never be proven that doping caused deaths. But the opposite will never be proven either. So I think of all the riders whose hearts just gave up.

The Spaniard Vicente Lopez-Carril - 37.
Belgian Marc de Meyer - 32
Belgian Geert de Walle - 24
Dutchman Bert Oosterbosch - 32
Pole Joachim Halupczok - 27
Paul Haghedoornen, once champion of Belgium - 38
Dutchwoman Connie Meijer - 25

I think of these cyclists, whom I knew well, and I think of the others, who may have died with less fanfare as they were out training. Together with them, cycling's heart has stopped beating. How many more lives must be lost before the sport of cycling faces up to its nemesis and finally comes clean?

-Willy Voet
 
Think of it like a murder trial (Oscar Pistorius, anyone?). The defense does not have to prove that the defendant didn’t do it. The defense really doesn’t have to prove anything. All the defense has to do is cast sufficient doubt on the prosecution’s story of how it happened.

EPO, better known as Mr. Edgar Allen Poe, is on trial here for murder, indeed for serial killings. The author of this article, Mr. Poe’s attorney, has not proven that his client is innocent, and that’s not his aim. He’s just cast considerable doubt on the evidence that Mr. Poe is guilty, viz.:

1) no autopsies have been performed (Robbie’s point, but turned around against the prosecution). If the cause of death is unknown, it’s impossible to conclude with certainty that the deaths are consistent with Mr. Poe’s known M.O.—or in fact, with any M.O.

2) the number of sudden, unexplained deaths in the years in which Mr. Poe was at large do not appear to be any greater than the number in subsequent years, when Mr. Poe was on probation or even under house arrest.

3) The prosecution has not convincingly demonstrated that Mr. Poe had the strength to commit these brutal murders.

4) Observations by witnesses of Mr. Poe when he was allowed to roam at large have not shown him ever actually to commit a murder.

None of this proves Mr. Poe is innocent. After all, one of the witnesses testifying on behalf of Mr. Poe claimed he was as harmless as OJ, and we all remember how innocent OJ was.
 
Merckx index said:
Think of it like a murder trial (Oscar Pistorius, anyone?). The defense does not have to prove that the defendant didn’t do it. The defense really doesn’t have to prove anything. All the defense has to do is cast sufficient doubt on the prosecution’s story of how it happened.

EPO, better known as Mr. Edgar Allen Poe, is on trial here for murder, indeed for serial killings. The author of this article, Mr. Poe’s attorney, has not proven that his client is innocent, and that’s not his aim. He’s just cast considerable doubt on the evidence that Mr. Poe is guilty, viz.:

1) no autopsies have been performed (Robbie’s point, but turned around against the prosecution). If the cause of death is unknown, it’s impossible to conclude with certainty that the deaths are consistent with Mr. Poe’s known M.O.—or in fact, with any M.O.

2) the number of sudden, unexplained deaths in the years in which Mr. Poe was at large do not appear to be any greater than the number in subsequent years, when Mr. Poe was on probation or even under house arrest.

3) The prosecution has not convincingly demonstrated that Mr. Poe had the strength to commit these brutal murders.

4) Observations by witnesses of Mr. Poe when he was allowed to roam at large have not shown him ever actually to commit a murder.

None of this proves Mr. Poe is innocent. After all, one of the witnesses testifying on behalf of Mr. Poe claimed he was as harmless as OJ, and we all remember how innocent OJ was.
The last paragraph made this my favorite post in the forum.
 
Sep 8, 2009
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i don't believe those numbers either but i certainly do believe that at least one rider died or developped big complications like thrombosis because of the use. which is enough to understand that it if one should use it, he must do it only under the watch of a real doctor.
 
Dec 13, 2012
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It can't be proven however I think we can be sure to say that EPO played a large role in a number of deaths.
 
Nov 10, 2009
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classic1 said:
....

My recollections are that Greg and Kathy Lemond said Draaijers widow called them the night her husband died and blamed EPO. Happy to be corrected if my memory is wrong.

...
I can't remember where I put thos "doping" clippings (that's what happens when you start putting things in order) of the 90's but I don't know if it's really necessary.
 
Aug 4, 2009
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Chalupczok didn't die because of EPO but because of heart stroke. At that moment he was a retired cyclist who was not allowed to do any kind of sport due to medical reasons. Unfortunatly he died durning friendly soccer match with kids if memory serves me well
 
May 19, 2010
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classic1 said:
I have some recollections on some of these names. The numbers vary from 7, to numbers into the 50's. I don't think any deaths have been directly proven to having been caused by EPO, but there are strong suspicions in a lot of cases. Halapzok (although apparently he had a heart defect that had been detected previously), Casada, Zanette, Oosterbosch, Draaijer to name a few...they are all certainly suspicious.

My recollections are that Greg and Kathy Lemond said Draaijers widow called them the night her husband died and blamed EPO. Happy to be corrected if my memory is wrong.

I also recollect Oosterbosch was still racing as an amateur when he died.

I think Gert DeVlaeminck died of a heart attack after crashing into a tree during a race.

Willy Voet has a list of names of riders who died young in 'Breaking the Chain'.
Kathy LeMond doesn't mention EPO here, but she might have done so before.

Just a few years earlier, we were all in our kitchen getting ready to leave the house to go out with the Draaijer’s. While waiting for the babysitter to arrive Anna-Lisa started telling about how tired Johannes had been and that PDM had decided that he had a testosterone deficiency. Both Greg and I reacted the same, “What? Of course he does. He’s racing. Greg is depressed most Mondays after a long race ends and it is totally normal to be low on testosterone after a big race.” She informed us that Johannes was now on a hormone supplementation program. The young couple had been told by team management that he needed it.
Anna-Lisa finally agreed to go back to Holland by herself to meet with PDM management. She left the house shaking and nervous and a bit disconnected.

She said she’d call me when she knew what was going on.

She called that night. She told me that Johannes had died with the heart of a 70 year old man, it was “shredded.” She had made an agreement with PDM but did not share the details with me.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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To make blood thicker can only harm our body. How is it harmfull? Are most of those deaths related to the use of EPO and other drugs? We can guess that they are in many cases part of it.
 
Nov 10, 2009
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poupou said:
To make blood thicker can only harm our body. How is it harmfull? Are most of those deaths related to the use of EPO and other drugs? We can guess that they are in many cases part of it.
So much so that polycythemia is a major health problem even among the descendants of people established at altitude in the Andean altiplano for over 10 000 years (you would think that evolution would have started to protect them in some way from the deleterious effects of their type of "adaptation" to altitude).

The disease is now known as CMS, before it was called Monge's disease.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_mountain_sickness
 
Mar 8, 2010
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Fearless Greg Lemond said:
The deaths of Draaijer, Oosterbosch and Connie Meyer were not related to EPO use but somehow they became part of that myth.
May be they were not directly caused by EPO but how do you know they are not related ?
PDM a dutch team started using EPO in 1989 (they used it during the Tour de France). Sander the PDM team doctor started dealing EPO in Limburg. Draajier was part of the team and Oosterbosch was leaving next door and suddenly a few months later both of them die of a heart attack.
It was so unrelated that few years later KNWU ordered an enquiry related to blood doping about their deaths and some other riders death.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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I don't believe any serious pro riders ever died of epo as long as riders like briceno are still alive.
 
Aug 18, 2012
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Le breton said:
So much so that polycythemia is a major health problem even among the descendants of people established at altitude in the Andean altiplano for over 10 000 years (you would think that evolution would have started to protect them in some way from the deleterious effects of their type of "adaptation" to altitude).

The disease is now known as CMS, before it was called Monge's disease.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_mountain_sickness
Good point, I wasn't aware of this before but it shows that long term EPO use is bad. In general I'd say EPO is a safer drug long term.

As far as the idea of many deaths at the start of the EPO revolution, I believe there are too many coincidences for this not to be the case, multiple deaths in one team, guys connected to soignéurs who were known traffickers etc. As well as the science and mechanism adding up.
 
Aug 18, 2012
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Fearless Greg Lemond said:
The deaths of Draaijer, Oosterbosch and Connie Meyer were not related to EPO use but somehow they became part of that myth. It is strange people can keep on hammering on 20 DEATHS IN HOLLAND AND BELGIUM with na actual evidence whatsoever.


The reaction of Draaijers widow, not too long ago.
This neither proves not disproves that he used EPO. It is more than possible that his wife doesn't want to tarnish his memory by having him branded as a cheat.

There's a huge list of bodybuilders with physiques that are unattainable naturally who when they have heart problems blame it on congenital defects. Death heavily influenced by doping being blamed on a congenital defect is as common as saying improved performance due to doping was a result of improved nutrition.

neineinei said:
Kathy LeMond doesn't mention EPO here, but she might have done so before.
Certainly contradicts later statements by Draajers widow
 
Aug 18, 2012
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SundayRider said:
Pantani was supposedly facing a lifetime of blood related health issues.
Apparently during an accident in 1995 whilst in a stable condition with no open wounds his hematocrit dropped from 60% to 15%.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2004/mar/07/cycling.features

This is the weirdest story I've heard.

Everyone knows steroids shut down natural testosterone production but the effects of exogenous EPO on endogenous production I thought were minimal although dependent on the brand used.
 
Nov 10, 2009
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Ryo Hazuki said:
I don't believe any serious pro riders ever died of epo as long as riders like briceno are still alive.
AH! That's how you distinguish serious pro riders from dead ones.

Anyway, 63% for Briceño is far below Guarachi's usual 69%.

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=13915

If I follow your line of reasoning, the fact that my grandmother's blood pressure was measured by her Dr. above 300 mm Hg should mean that no serious person ever died from any high blood pressure induced medical condition.
 
Dec 13, 2012
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Briant_Gumble said:
Apparently during an accident in 1995 whilst in a stable condition with no open wounds his hematocrit dropped from 60% to 15%.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2004/mar/07/cycling.features

This is the weirdest story I've heard.

Everyone knows steroids shut down natural testosterone production but the effects of exogenous EPO on endogenous production I thought were minimal although dependent on the brand used.
Not the brand, I would guess it would be how long you use it for.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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Le breton said:
AH! That's how you distinguish serious pro riders from dead ones.

Anyway, 63% for Briceño is far below Guarachi's usual 69%.

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=13915

If I follow your line of reasoning, the fact that my grandmother's blood pressure was measured by her Dr. above 300 mm Hg should mean that no serious person ever died from any high blood pressure induced medical condition.
fact is there are places in this world where riders dope so hard they ride around 65% for years with no stopping ever and no doctors to check. yet no riders die in these countries. epo and doping in general as bad for your health is incredibly overrated. that's the point I'm trying to make
 
Aug 10, 2010
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Ryo Hazuki said:
fact is there are places in this world where riders dope so hard they ride around 65% for years with no stopping ever and no doctors to check. yet no riders die in these countries. epo and doping in general as bad for your health is incredibly overrated. that's the point I'm trying to make
Maybe European riders should move to those places, if doping's so safe there.
 
Feb 10, 2010
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Briant_Gumble said:
Apparently during an accident in 1995 whilst in a stable condition with no open wounds his hematocrit dropped from 60% to 15%.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2004/mar/07/cycling.features

This is the weirdest story I've heard.

Everyone knows steroids shut down natural testosterone production but the effects of exogenous EPO on endogenous production I thought were minimal although dependent on the brand used.
Except he, like most dopers, are on a cornucopia of drugs. Drugs to carry more oxygen, drugs to thin blood, drugs, drugs, drugs. Was it Willy Voet's book that listed what was found in the car? And now the latest disclosures from John Hendershot. It was, and probably is still a rolling pharmacy.

There was a veiled point that Joe Papp made somewhere about seeing doctors. Your doctor would get blood test results, they'd be off the charts crazy, and they would have to be good enough to come up with a safe therapy for some other health issue. The opposite side of that observation is JV1973 made a comment about testing potential Garmin riders in a very specific time after a good result. It suggests he knows enough about the blood test metrics to know what is not doping.

In that context, you should not be surprised at whatever strange conditions affect some elite athletes.
 

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