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Do all of the top riders do drugs or dope?

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Do all the top riders dope/ take drugs?

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May 13, 2009
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I voted yes, but it's really not a good question.

What I think is true that a large part (>80%) of the top finishers in big races (GT, one-week races, classics etc.) have at one time or another breached the WADA code of conduct. It could be something simple like a testosterone patch, intravenous injections, insulin or Hgh. Not necessarily a full blood doping program. Just something wrong.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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IntheMidwest said:
Until recently there was no test for HGH. HGH dramatically improves recovery and will make a difference between winning and losing in a stage race hands down.

In training, faster recovery = more training = better cyclist. With this approach one might not have the need for drugs in the actual race - barring stage races.

If you were a pro, would you use a product that bears virtually zero risk and ultimately ensures that you can pay the mortgage?

First off, from what is know of the hGH test, it can only catch an athlete who has injected the stuff within a handful of hours of when the sample is collected, so its applicability as a deterrent is highly suspect. As well the efficacy of the test is still at question, with little to no peer-reviewed documentation out there to showcase how and how well the test works.

Second, your recovery hypothesis is correct but incomplete as it relates to who doping can work or impact a performance. Blood vectors, blood boosting, TUE's for inhalers, stimulants, all have a play in the equation, beyond your recovery aspect. You are talking about building the foundations, yet have ignored raising the roof/ceiling, and don't even touch making the lights brighter.

Third, I think that question you ask, answers itself depending on who is the athlete. Athletes are human beings, and humans have some common wiring for certain moral dilemmas. To best answer that, the athlete must search his ethics for what kind of person they are and want to be, as well as weigh the risks. In the sense that they won't b caught, such as during the early to late 90-s when there was no EPO test and eventually only an arbitrary threshold for rbc at 50%, then you can easily answer that by saying "Yes" as even riders with strong views, like a Frankie A., succumb to the dilemma and take the cure to keep paying the bills.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Cobblestones said:
I voted yes, but it's really not a good question.

What I think is true that a large part (>80%) of the top finishers in big races (GT, one-week races, classics etc.) have at one time or another breached the WADA code of conduct. It could be something simple like a testosterone patch, intravenous injections, insulin or Hgh. Not necessarily a full blood doping program. Just something wrong.

You use the word "wrong". Tell me, if you care to, apart from breaking the written rules, what about it is being "wrong"?

This gets to the heart of the issue and indignation. thanks.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Hugh Januss said:
Why I resent it then is the pressure that it puts on young riders with talent, if they want to be a pro they have no choice but to join the same warped world. I come in contact with kids, in my shop, on my team, and high school MTBers, sometimes very talented ones come along. It is hard for me to encourage them to strive for that level with the suspicions I have of what it takes to get there.

+1 to all that you said.

I think it is an issue that must be breeched and addressed early to alleviate the pressure. It comes down to guidance, and since you sound like you do care, you can be a champion for strong decision making and priorities for the young riders in making sound decisions about tough choices.

There will always be what I think to be the few outliers but you "know" what it takes. Explain it to them, advise them of the risks, lead by example in the sense that compromising ones ethics and/or morals and gaining from it is measured by most as hollow gain. I appreciate that you put yourself in a spot to be that voice and as a change-agent, you are a key pivot. Ask them what kind of person they want to really be, considering all the options they have in life. More than likely, "doped up professional cyclist" or "pack-fodder, clean professional cyclist" is maybe not as high on their list once they have a complete understanding.
 
Feb 2, 2010
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Colm.Murphy said:
First off, from what is know of the hGH test, it can only catch an athlete who has injected the stuff within a handful of hours of when the sample is collected, so its applicability as a deterrent is highly suspect. As well the efficacy of the test is still at question, with little to no peer-reviewed documentation out there to showcase how and how well the test works.

Second, your recovery hypothesis is correct but incomplete as it relates to who doping can work or impact a performance. Blood vectors, blood boosting, TUE's for inhalers, stimulants, all have a play in the equation, beyond your recovery aspect. You are talking about building the foundations, yet have ignored raising the roof/ceiling, and don't even touch making the lights brighter.

Third, I think that question you ask, answers itself depending on who is the athlete. Athletes are human beings, and humans have some common wiring for certain moral dilemmas. To best answer that, the athlete must search his ethics for what kind of person they are and want to be, as well as weigh the risks. In the sense that they won't b caught, such as during the early to late 90-s when there was no EPO test and eventually only an arbitrary threshold for rbc at 50%, then you can easily answer that by saying "Yes" as even riders with strong views, like a Frankie A., succumb to the dilemma and take the cure to keep paying the bills.


Well I can respectfully see your points however:

1.) That's because the test is new, you're stating the obvious as was I when I said that a test now exists where as it did not before. Generally, 72 hours is thought to be the window so I've been told. I'm not going to prove it, but that's what I generally have been told.

2.) Again, your right, however, I wasn't talking EPO or blood boosters, that will not provide the same recovery as HGH injected directly into the muscles after a hard effort or day. Stimulants and inhalers? Really? I would put them in the same class as red bull and at the pro level they make absolutely no difference at all - think about that - Compare a stimulant to EPO. Maybe in a CAT 4/5 race, not at the TdF. And no, no pro will attempt to "build the foundation" in the middle of a stage race - only maintain it.

3.) If you were an accountant and calculators were illegal, but you will not get caught using one (as you clarify in your first point), would you use a calculator in your work. Same with cyclists. Some drugs to a professional endurace athelete is literally the calculator to an accountant.


I respect your opinions however, these above are simply clarification of my previous post.:D
 
Jul 14, 2009
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Colm.Murphy said:
I think it is an issue that must be breeched and addressed early to alleviate the pressure. It comes down to guidance, and since you sound like you do care, you can be a champion for strong decision making and priorities for the young riders in making sound decisions about tough choices.

There will always be what I think to be the few outliers but you "know" what it takes. Explain it to them, advise them of the risks, lead by example in the sense that compromising ones ethics and/or morals and gaining from it is measured by most as hollow gain. I appreciate that you put yourself in a spot to be that voice and as a change-agent, you are a key pivot. Ask them what kind of person they want to really be, considering all the options they have in life. More than likely, "doped up professional cyclist" or "pack-fodder, clean professional cyclist" is maybe not as high on their list once they have a complete understanding.

Don't know if you noticed but MSR was 298k of racing in rain,wind and hills. When people get to the big leagues and it's no longer a serious hobby, life turns very different. All the pack fodder and race to a moral high ground things just don't happen. Most cyclists resumes read something like...lots of wins,look at this award,that award, all smiles positive feedback and pretty girls ,Turned 20 went pro life turns to hell. Guys racing for 10+ years with NO result. Whole cycling career up to the pros filled with pats on the back and once you jump in it, can be kicks in the nads for a decade. Thank god for twitter so US,UK and Canadian racers can tweet about stomach viruses and flat tires.What they should tweet is workload went up by 1000%,pressure by 5000% and everybody's still judging me by the local boy standout standards. What should a Dr prescribe for your body after 298 of race pace while you are in bus on your way to Spain? The UCI should have a answer by now. No more amateur standards for pro racers.Euro FB,Rugby, US NBA,NFL,MLB would all be completely out of business with this level of scrutiny. Thank god their federations try and keep the sports alive.Every other big pro sport leaves little question as to the huge difference between what you do in the yard with your friends and what is happening on a pro pitch. The UCI better pull their head out of the whole before the sport takes another credibility dip. For the love of the sport adopt some reasonable standards
 
Feb 21, 2010
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IntheMidwest said:
Well I can respectfully see your points however:

2.) Again, your right, however, I wasn't talking EPO or blood boosters, that will not provide the same recovery as HGH injected directly into the muscles after a hard effort or day. Stimulants and inhalers? Really? I would put them in the same class as red bull and at the pro level they make absolutely no difference at all - think about that - Compare a stimulant to EPO. Maybe in a CAT 4/5 race, not at the TdF. And no, no pro will attempt to "build the foundation" in the middle of a stage race - only maintain it.

3.) If you were an accountant and calculators were illegal, but you will not get caught using one (as you clarify in your first point), would you use a calculator in your work. Same with cyclists. Some drugs to a professional endurace athelete is literally the calculator to an accountant.


I respect your opinions however, these above are simply clarification of my previous post.:D

I don't think you get what benefit you obtain when you have dosed with EPO. You can ride "less hard" to maintain the same speed. Less hard riding means less impact on body and less need to recover from. It absolutely impacts effort, fatigue and recovery. I don't claim they are all equal, but they all have a role. Given the choice of only one, endurance athletes will always choose blood manipulation before hGH.

I think you do not understand the benefit of high levels of caffeine on performance. It is palpable. Inhalers too, for lung volume, lung surface area, stimulation, etc. They are used/abused because they work. To a large extent, it could be viewed as professionally irresponsible to NOT take advantage of these items, as they are ready and available and make the difference in mentality, sharpness and aggressiveness at the end of a 5-6 hour race. Foundation, Ceiling, Lights. All have a role.

When everyone is doing just about the same things, maximizing each and every one of them comes into play. We are talking about athletes who are only the slightest percentage off of each other. Advantages are everywhere, and will be exploited, don't discount them.

your #3, yes, agreed. not sure where your "however" there contrasts with my comment. ?
 
Feb 2, 2010
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fatandfast said:
Don't know if you noticed but MSR was 298k of racing in rain,wind and hills. When people get to the big leagues and it's no longer a serious hobby, life turns very different. All the pack fodder and race to a moral high ground things just don't happen. Most cyclists resumes read something like...lots of wins,look at this award,that award, all smiles positive feedback and pretty girls ,Turned 20 went pro life turns to hell. Guys racing for 10+ years with NO result. Whole cycling career up to the pros filled with pats on the back and once you jump in it, can be kicks in the nads for a decade. Thank god for twitter so US,UK and Canadian racers can tweet about stomach viruses and flat tires.What they should tweet is workload went up by 1000%,pressure by 5000% and everybody's still judging me by the local boy standout standards. What should a Dr prescribe for your body after 298 of race pace while you are in bus on your way to Spain? The UCI should have a answer by now. No more amateur standards for pro racers.Euro FB,Rugby, US NBA,NFL,MLB would all be completely out of business with this level of scrutiny. Thank god their federations try and keep the sports alive.Every other big pro sport leaves little question as to the huge difference between what you do in the yard with your friends and what is happening on a pro pitch. The UCI better pull their head out of the whole before the sport takes another credibility dip. For the love of the sport adopt some reasonable standards

Excellent post and excellent points. Domestiques often get overlooked as well. If anyone has use for a recovery product it's them. These guys are all over the place all day(back and forth to the car) and simply do not have the luxury of sitting on until the helicopters show up. Try that in a stage race that's 3 weeks long, over some of the largest mountains in the world. Or try being a leadout guy for your sprinter but you still have to get his *** over the poggio, as in MSR, then help the train at the end. Pack fodders aren't the "lucky clean ones" as some may suggest. It's a tough *** sport regardless the cyclists' roll.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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fatandfast said:
Don't know if you noticed but MSR was 298k of racing in rain,wind and hills. When people get to the big leagues and it's no longer a serious hobby, life turns very different. All the pack fodder and race to a moral high ground things just don't happen. Most cyclists resumes read something like...lots of wins,look at this award,that award, all smiles positive feedback and pretty girls ,Turned 20 went pro life turns to hell. Guys racing for 10+ years with NO result. Whole cycling career up to the pros filled with pats on the back and once you jump in it, can be kicks in the nads for a decade. Thank god for twitter so US,UK and Canadian racers can tweet about stomach viruses and flat tires.What they should tweet is workload went up by 1000%,pressure by 5000% and everybody's still judging me by the local boy standout standards. What should a Dr prescribe for your body after 298 of race pace while you are in bus on your way to Spain? The UCI should have a answer by now. No more amateur standards for pro racers.Euro FB,Rugby, US NBA,NFL,MLB would all be completely out of business with this level of scrutiny. Thank god their federations try and keep the sports alive.Every other big pro sport leaves little question as to the huge difference between what you do in the yard with your friends and what is happening on a pro pitch. The UCI better pull their head out of the whole before the sport takes another credibility dip. For the love of the sport adopt some reasonable standards

Buddy, you and I both know it.

My comment to Hugh is in the context of those young riders who are not in a race or situation like that. Knowing what goes on and keeping it from a young, talented, aspiring "hobbyist" racer is what would be irresponsible and is what leads to the resentment and moral indignation.

I appreciate your view, and, as it is, most on this forum need a big dose of real world, dirty lense, differentiation between the "fantasy" world they think cycling is, with the "Romance", "Serenity" and "Glamour" that gets put forth, and what it really is. Shocking gasps when they find it is as dirty, heinous, political and filled with liars and cheaters where their heroes and respected characters once were. As shocking, it is just like almost every other professional industry we all generally succumb to work in to live, make ends meet and feed our families.

Your comment: "All the pack fodder and race to a moral high ground things just don't happen."

Exactly, and this is why the audacity of outright hypocritical programs like HIGHROAD and Garmin, and the followers being placated with their message, stuttering and stammering their moral righteousness is so, quite frankly, entertaining (and shocking). It is what they "need", what they "must hear". The dream is real! See! The romance of the "Classics", JV's sideburns and sycophant wisdom, Stapleton's "corporate compliance" ...... vomit. marketing vomit.

I like that you reference some American sports leagues. Imagine a baseball team that took the course of Highroad or Garmin? Think that could happen, or that fans would respond and almost religiously "embrace" those "clean" teams? Not like these desperate cycling kooks need to embrace the thought.
 
Feb 2, 2010
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Colm.Murphy said:
I don't think you get what benefit you obtain when you have dosed with EPO. You can ride "less hard" to maintain the same speed. Less hard riding means less impact on body and less need to recover from. It absolutely impacts effort, fatigue and recovery. I don't claim they are all equal, but they all have a role. Given the choice of only one, endurance athletes will always choose blood manipulation before hGH.

I think you do not understand the benefit of high levels of caffeine on performance. It is palpable. Inhalers too, for lung volume, lung surface area, stimulation, etc. They are used/abused because they work. To a large extent, it could be viewed as professionally irresponsible to NOT take advantage of these items, as they are ready and available and make the difference in mentality, sharpness and aggressiveness at the end of a 5-6 hour race. Foundation, Ceiling, Lights. All have a role.

When everyone is doing just about the same things, maximizing each and every one of them comes into play. We are talking about athletes who are only the slightest percentage off of each other. Advantages are everywhere, and will be exploited, don't discount them.

your #3, yes, agreed. not sure where your "however" there contrasts with my comment. ?


Sorry, disagree with your view on EPO. EPO does not make things easier or "less hard" as you claim. It's still hard as it would be without it, however, the body can keep going beyond it's natural limit because with an artifically increased HCT more oxygen is available to the working muscle. If an athlete is capable of pushing their body beyond their natural genetic limitations the need for recovery products INCREASE, not the opposite.

Your theory is backwards, the harder you go the more damage you do, and blood maniputation will allow a cyclist to go much harder than without it. EPO doesn't make a cyclist go faster with less force, so in other words, a cyclist can't climb a mountain faster using less watts if they did using more watts simply because their on EPO.
 
Sep 21, 2009
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Hard to believe some of the top riders are clean if the performance enhancing effects of some substances are as dramatic as it's been told. A clean rider would never be a top rider. Other posters on this thread have just reinforced my opinion with very well reasoned arguments.


Unfortunately, starting a new poll is beyond my basic skills in this forum. But I'd like to know if people here really think that fans have any role to play or any influence in the anti-doping fight. You may call it farce instead of fight if you like :D
 
Aug 6, 2009
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ImmaculateKadence said:
All good points, but it speaks to a level cynicism toward the sport.
"CYNIC, n.
A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be." - The Devils Dictionary.
ImmaculateKadence said:
There are several top pros that I don't suspect at all. Others I have my suspicions but no assumptions; it's more of a "it wouldn't surprise if" kind of thing.

Call me naive [You're naive. :p] but I haven't reached that point where I assume or think all top pros are doped.
I hope you're right, but I just think the benefits of doping are to large for anyone to compete at the absolute top clean. Just in 2006 Landis won the tour on doping despite finishing around number 100 in his earlier Tours. in 2007 Rasmussen tore everyone to pieces aided by some form of EPO (Can't recall which). Perhaps the Bio-passport has improved things, but even if it has that doesn't mean it has improved enough for clean riders to be competitive. I don't think for example that Rasmussens blood values would have been actionable.
 
IntheMidwest said:
Sorry, disagree with your view on EPO. EPO does not make things easier or "less hard" as you claim. It's still hard as it would be without it, however, the body can keep going beyond it's natural limit because with an artifically increased HCT more oxygen is available to the working muscle. If an athlete is capable of pushing their body beyond their natural genetic limitations the need for recovery products INCREASE, not the opposite.

Your theory is backwards, the harder you go the more damage you do, and blood maniputation will allow a cyclist to go much harder than without it. EPO doesn't make a cyclist go faster with less force, so in other words, a cyclist can't climb a mountain faster using less watts if they did using more watts simply because their on EPO.

Your theory does not take into account the realities of racing. Riders spend 90+% of their time going the same pace that everyone else is going.
 
May 13, 2009
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Colm.Murphy said:
You use the word "wrong". Tell me, if you care to, apart from breaking the written rules, what about it is being "wrong"?

This gets to the heart of the issue and indignation. thanks.

wrong=breaking written rules. Simple as that. I don't want to go into morality or relativism. It's wrong to break the rule. Can I understand why riders do it? Absolutely, but it's no excuse as far as I'm concerned.
 
Feb 2, 2010
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BroDeal said:
Your theory does not take into account the realities of racing. Riders spend 90+% of their time going the same pace that everyone else is going.

I don't disagree with that. However, I do disagree with Colms' theory that EPO make riding "less hard". On EPO a rider can do things that he would not be able to otherwise do, but by no means is it easier and by no means does it come without an increased recovery need.
 
Colm.Murphy said:
Exactly, and this is why the audacity of outright hypocritical programs like HIGHROAD and Garmin, and the followers being placated with their message, stuttering and stammering their moral righteousness is so, quite frankly, entertaining (and shocking). It is what they "need", what they "must hear". The dream is real! See! The romance of the "Classics", JV's sideburns and sycophant wisdom, Stapleton's "corporate compliance" ...... vomit. marketing vomit.

I like that you reference some American sports leagues. Imagine a baseball team that took the course of Highroad or Garmin? Think that could happen, or that fans would respond and almost religiously "embrace" those "clean" teams? Not like these desperate cycling kooks need to embrace the thought.

I always said that Garmin could do fine with their "results don't matter, clean cycling does" philosophy as long as they were being sponsored by a rich guy; but as soon as they moved into the big leagues, with corporate sponsors, then the team would have to face reality. Results do matter. Even beyond keeping the sponsors satisfied with the occasional win, they need reasonable results just to get race invites. Funny enough--and by pure coincidence I am sure ;)--shortly after bringing aboard major sponsorship, the team had two nobodies vault into the top five of the TdF in consecutive years.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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IntheMidwest said:
Sorry, disagree with your view on EPO. EPO does not make things easier or "less hard" as you claim. It's still hard as it would be without it, however, the body can keep going beyond it's natural limit because with an artifically increased HCT more oxygen is available to the working muscle. If an athlete is capable of pushing their body beyond their natural genetic limitations the need for recovery products INCREASE, not the opposite.

Your theory is backwards, the harder you go the more damage you do, and blood maniputation will allow a cyclist to go much harder than without it. EPO doesn't make a cyclist go faster with less force, so in other words, a cyclist can't climb a mountain faster using less watts if they did using more watts simply because their on EPO.

Look, it is needless to debate this but I am quite certain in my position. EPO makes riding, let's say, at the same speed up the same grade, easier than without. It comes down to the ability to carry more oxygen into the muscle, which maximized its use, not over capacity of the muscle. Put another way, without EPO, or a higher volume of O being delivered, your muscles are not at max, only the cells getting oxygen are at max, thus pumping out lactic acid once anaerobic.

Yes, you can get to a higher level, and the effort (perception of effort) is still the same at that max as the previous, undoped max, but the speed/power is higher, thus it follows that the perception of effort at your previous max, would be less, or in my terminology "easier".

I never said your go faster, with less effort. I said, in essence, the same output would be perceived as "easier".

You keep going back to what is "Needed". If you are doping, and trying to become as fast as possible, you need all of it. Like I've been saying. If an endurance athlete could choose only ONE thing to manipulate, it would be the ability to carry/uptake oxygen, thus blood manipulation.
 
IntheMidwest said:
I don't disagree with that. However, I do disagree with Colms' theory that EPO make riding "less hard". On EPO a rider can do things that he would not be able to otherwise do, but by no means is it easier and by no means does it come without an increased recovery need.

Chicken or egg argument here. EPO allows you to do more work, so until that point in a race when you need to do maximum work, it is easier.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Cobblestones said:
wrong=breaking written rules. Simple as that. I don't want to go into morality or relativism. It's wrong to break the rule. Can I understand why riders do it? Absolutely, but it's no excuse as far as I'm concerned.

On this note, what is your view on the American baseball issue with steroids, though they (nor hGH, Andro, etc) were not explicitly against the sporting rule, by the letter?

I'd point out that it is criminal law issue to obtain/possess some of those substances without a prescription but it appears that was easy enough to get around.

The greater force here is the governing body's willingness to create strict rules, creating a narrower path for athletes to follow.

@inthemidwest, where are you missing the concept that if you can do the same work with less effort, the impact on recovery time goes down.

Imagine, two riders - same size, one fit (higher hematocrit), on not-so-fit (lower hematocrit). They both ride at 40km/h for an hour. Fit rider holds, say 165bpm for the hour, burns, say, 2000kcal. Un-fit rider has to hold 185bpm and burns 3500kcal.

Which one will have the greater need for recovery? The greater perception of effort?
 
Feb 2, 2010
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Colm.Murphy said:
Look, it is needless to debate this but I am quite certain in my position. EPO makes riding, let's say, at the same speed up the same grade, easier than without. It comes down to the ability to carry more oxygen into the muscle, which maximized its use, not over capacity of the muscle. Put another way, without EPO, or a higher volume of O being delivered, your muscles are not at max, only the cells getting oxygen are at max, thus pumping out lactic acid once anaerobic.

Yes, you can get to a higher level, and the effort (perception of effort) is still the same at that max as the previous, undoped max, but the speed/power is higher, thus it follows that the perception of effort at your previous max, would be less, or in my terminology "easier".

I never said your go faster, with less effort. I said, in essence, the same output would be perceived as "easier".

You keep going back to what is "Needed". If you are doping, and trying to become as fast as possible, you need all of it. Like I've been saying. If an endurance athlete could choose only ONE thing to manipulate, it would be the ability to carry/uptake oxygen, thus blood manipulation.

I see, I can understand what you mean and was not trying to give a lesson in exercise science or anything. I can see your point and agree with you, if I were going to do just one, blood boosting would be it as it is hands down far more beneficial than HGH would be. However, I think I would go with autogolous transfusions as it would be the route of the least risk.:)
 
Feb 21, 2010
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IntheMidwest said:
I see, I can understand what you mean and was not trying to give a lesson in exercise science or anything. I can see your point and agree with you, if I were going to do just one, blood boosting would be it as it is hands down far more beneficial than HGH would be. However, I think I would go with autogolous transfusions as it would be the route of the least risk.:)

Transfusions have all sorts of health risks, from a purely medical view. It is surely not something an athlete could pull off on their own without significant medical training and access to very specialized equipment, which is not sold in a neighborhood pharmacy or medical supply. Blood storage is tricky and not for someone to experiment with by re-infusing questionable blood, lest y have a death wish. Didn't Contador have a blood clot/aneurysm in his brain that required surgery? wow. surprise.

Extraction schedules, training volume, measuring how fast your blood regenerates, transfusion schedule for max gain of results, no wonder Fuentes had so many clients. Recall the Hamilton training guide papers? Getting it right, and not tipping the "off-scores"... gotta have professional help.

As has been posted ad nauseum, micro-dosing with blood vectors is virtually undetectable, yields the necessary boost and creates a generally harmonious blood profile, as long as the athlete is consistent. It is also expensive and has side effects that need professional monitoring.

As it is, the system is clearly easy enough to game. Pair some micro-dosing with dynEPO with small amounts of hGH and Test, train like crazy and race at the front, with plenty of caffeine and your puffer in your pocket.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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I voted 'don't know', even though PED use is obviously still prolific in pro cycling. Here's why:

There are so many examples of people like Kohl making a sudden transition from relative obscurity to the podium. If he was on a comprehensive/optimal medical program to start with, he wouldn't have been able to get a sudden performance increase from PEDs.

Either Kohl was previously cleaner than the top GT performers, which is why he couldn't perform at that level or Kohl was on a more comprehensive program than other top GT performers when he made it onto the podium.

They might all be doing something, but there's evidence that they're not all doing the same thing.
 
as has been stated more eloquently by others, this sport is so hard, doping is a fact of life at the highest level. i don't like people harming themselves for their
job, but everyday working folks do that too. they drink too much coffee, eat bad food, have lousy commutes, crappy bosses. it all takes a toll on your health.
i still enjoy bike racing, especially my own, or watching some really fast guys duke it out on a big climb or sprint.