Dr. Bellocq's "Hormone Rebalancing Therapy"

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Mar 19, 2009
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Fortyninefourteen said:
In 1988, I was at a dinner with some people from Look, including Hinault. Among may topics discussed, he shared that he was a believer in homeopathic products as supplements. (notwithstanding Dr Mabuse.... )

The subject of dopnig never really came up, but it was clear to him that his tendinitis could have been successfully treated at onset with anti-inflammatory products that were considered banned at the time. We all know that he had serious surgery that luckily went well, but he did go through a complete repositioning from Claude Genzling who was able to make the biomechanical changes to relieve the loads on the tendon. he was still great, but not who he was before the surgery.

He went on to say that he felt that cyclists should be followed more closely by empowered medical authorities that would determine if the use of some banned products would be the best course of action to treat injury. Never once in the conversation was there a nuance of enhancing performance. Always about keeping injuries and health related down-time to a minimum.

Bearing in mind that an argument could be made about keeping hematocrit hiigh for 'health purposes', the nature of doping in that era was still about output, not recovery.

In today's world, hormone rebalancing is clearly doping. But in the 80's, it may have been seen as very 'passive' health management.

Looking at the famous JV bee sting incedent, a compelling argument can be made that he would have gotten the shot had he walked into an emergency room anywhere in France. But since he rides a bike in the TDF, he would be deprived of basic health care available to anyone.

All of this to say that in the context of the 80's, where there was nothing like EPO, aranesp, and all the other 5hit they are ingesting today.....we should be mindful that a statement made about 'rebalancing' was along the lines of staying within healthy boundaries, and not from a mindset of cheating.

Yes, slippery slope and all of that ......I am not advocating doping by any means, but the cheaters have effectively eliminated the ethical therapeutic use of products that would otherwise be the first course of treatment for some conditions.
Some people here probably remember the HGH shortages back in the 1970s and 1980s. There weren't enough cadavers to extract the stuff from so suppliers turned to gorillas. There were a lot of stories back then about athletes using gorilla HGH, which was pretty crazy (not to mention the toll it took on the poor gorillas). Eventually recombinant HGH became available later in the 1980s so there was no more sucking it out of dead human or gorilla pituitary glands.

But I do agree that a bright line was drawn before and after oxygen vector drugs, as has been discussed here in the Clinic ad nauseum. The problem there is that EPO is a hormone so it would slot right into a "rebalancing" regimen.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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but the rebalancing theory, is a nice smokescreen, for unscrupulous coaches to start a surreptitious doping regime, and begin a slippery slope
 
As far as "re-balancing" goes, the issue is simple. The body can re-balance with proper diet and rest.

If the body is being strained by sport, "re-balancing" involves ingestion of artificially induced hormones that shut down the body's normal production of said hormones.

The question is, what are the long-term consequences of such "therapeutic" use?

I believe the science isn't as advanced as some might think. Yes, hormones can aid in recovery and in certain instances, create a whole new athlete. But the long-term consequences are still up for debate, as are the ethics of such use and abuse.

As an example, there have been a couple of athletes that have gone to Germany for blood platelet therapy. Kobe Bryant had this procedure done on his knee and almost won the NBA scoring title. Brandon Roy, the Portland Trailblazers guard who was forced to retire at the age of 26 because he basically had no more cartilage in his knees, went for the procedure and will attempt to play again.

The benefits of this type of therapy have been heralded, but not so much the long-term prognosis. The procedure itself does nothing to address or alleviate the problem of worn-out cartilage or cartilage removed via surgery due to injuries. What this does is mask the pain temporarily, and in the long run some doctors feel it could make a bad injury worse over time, because basically what you are playing on is bone-on-bone.

Until there is a treatment that involves cartilage replacement and/or cartilage regeneration, this type of "re-balancing" could very well hurt players in the long run.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Berzin said:
I believe the science isn't as advanced as some might think. Yes, hormones can aid in recovery and in certain instances, create a whole new athlete. But the long-term consequences are still up for debate, as are the ethics of such use and abuse.

As an example, there have been a couple of athletes that have gone to Germany for blood platelet therapy. Kobe Bryant had this procedure done on his knee and almost won the NBA scoring title. Brandon Roy, the Portland Trailblazers guard who was forced to retire at the age of 26 because he basically had no more cartilage in his knees, went for the procedure and will attempt to play again.
The youth doctor from Quebec that Tiger sought "therapy". Australian footballers get sent to Germany for the similar injections in their hamstrings
 

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