• We're giving away a Cyclingnews water bottle! Find out more here!

EPO is apparently useless

Page 5 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
May 26, 2010
19,530
0
0
Just to re-jog some memories. On Motorola Armstrong was bitching how they were getting hammered by other teams. Stephen Swart was using EPO on Motorola so i guess Armstrong was as well. It was not until he joined up with Ferrari that he got his big improvement. Taking EPO to get maximum performance enhancement is probably a fine tuned method.
 
Using EPO improperly is probably useless, similar to most other performance enhancing drugs.

But you have one guy carefully monitoring an athlete, adjusting doses, and looking at data. You have another guy randomly putting in random doses into random people, crossing his fingers, and hoping for a result.

One would expect the two guys to have very different results.
 
May 26, 2010
19,530
0
0
Re:

DanielSong39 said:
Using EPO improperly is probably useless, similar to most other performance enhancing drugs.

But you have one guy carefully monitoring an athlete, adjusting doses, and looking at data. You have another guy randomly putting in random doses into random people, crossing his fingers, and hoping for a result.

One would expect the two guys to have very different results.
Yep and giving a bunch of amateurs some epo and timing a climb is not the method the pros use. :lol:
 
Jul 10, 2009
580
0
0
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
MatParker117 said:
Escarabajo said:
Here we go again!!!
The study actually showed that while EPO is a benefit when used in shorter events such as the 4 or 800 meters after a 130km plus bike ride the riders that received EPO were on average seventeen seconds slower than those who didn't.
And there is no reason to believe EPO would ever slow someone down. This smells like a confounding factor, maybe those that got EPO did not prepare as well.
There was one bodybuilder who was ticked off about the whole steroid noise, as if that was the 100% factor for their success. He said "why don't people inject themselves with steroid and sit in front of the TV with chips and soda and expect muscles to grow? We work hard, we spend hrs in the gym!!" The PED is only one item, you have to still push the body so it adapts and adjusts (compensation period). The PED will cause the PED to make unusual and quick adjustments after you push it, one of the reasons its not fair. Besides all that you need a very good PED doctor to get the best from PED. Lance had the best and made him exclusive.
 
May 21, 2010
538
0
0
EPO Doesn't Work

Somebody on another forum I'm on put this up. Apparently it came out June 29, 2017. The original study was published in Lancet but here's two summaries:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/06/29/lance-armstrongs-drug-choice-epo-doesnt-work-scientists-claim/

https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-06/tl-tlh062817.php

I can see there are already a lot of problems with the way the study and testing were implemented but I thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion.


Mods if this topic has already been introduced somewhere else feel free to move or delete.
 
Jul 6, 2016
351
0
0
Re: EPO Doesn't Work

Elagabalus said:
Somebody on another forum I'm on put this up. Apparently it came out June 29, 2017. The original study was published in Lancet but here's two summaries:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/06/29/lance-armstrongs-drug-choice-epo-doesnt-work-scientists-claim/

https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-06/tl-tlh062817.php

I can see there are already a lot of problems with the way the study and testing were implemented but I thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion.


Mods if this topic has already been introduced somewhere else feel free to move or delete.
From the moment these scientists announced their research I knew from the beginning it was going to be a farce. They looked for "reasonably good trained cyclists" whom had to undergo a couple of tests and a final race upon Mont Ventoux. And they gave 'm some EPO injections from time to time.

Just stupid. Like that you're never going to discover the real plusvalue of EPO: faster recovery after maximum exercise and therefore a significant step up in training potential.
 
Aug 29, 2016
261
19
3,060
Re: EPO Doesn't Work

Pennino said:
From the moment these scientists announced their research I knew from the beginning it was going to be a farce. They looked for "reasonably good trained cyclists" whom had to undergo a couple of tests and a final race upon Mont Ventoux. And they gave 'm some EPO injections from time to time.

Just stupid. Like that you're never going to discover the real plusvalue of EPO: faster recovery after maximum exercise and therefore a significant step up in training potential.
While the faster recovery - hypothesis makes intuitive sense on some level, the scientific proof that it exists is totally nonexistent and the consensus view of the scientific community is that key mechanism of blood doping (RBC infusion or ESAs) is through elevating arterial oxygen content. I am not even aware whether people vouching for the mechanism mean that it is beneficial to exercise with artificially elevated total hemoglobin so a cyclist can produce more power (watts) at given heart rate or that he/she can elevate the hematocrit if there is elevated plasma level (ie. fallen hematocrit) during period of heavy training.

There actually exists some anectodal references to the mechanism. Jonathan Vaughters mentioned the recovery mechanism in passing quite recently ("What I have anecdotally noticed is that while people are taking erythropoietin — while I was taking erythropoietin — there is certainly an increased training load possibility"), Tyler Hamilton recalls that during early USPS 2001 training camp at Tenerife "Michele was giving microdoses of EPO every couple of days, usually evenings" and the Danish report on cycling doping informs us that according to one rider "[t]he substance was typically used in connection with intensive training in February prior to the new season as well as 4 – 6 weeks before major races including the Tour de France".

That having written, I can't recall seeing a single reference to the mechanism in the peer-reviewed scientific literature nor has any of the up to a few hundred scientist participating in the rEPO-research since 1989 found the line of inquiry tempting enough to follow it.
 
Jul 18, 2010
934
0
0
Look at any list of the 100 fastest ascents of Alpe d'Huez and count from the top to the first rider you can be reasonably certain wasn't running on EPO. The accounting methods they use vary so the lists tend to be different (once you get beyond Pantani's hematocrit >60 performances) but I haven't found one yet that I don't get to at least #45 before there's so much as a glimmer of possibility. On some I get through the entire 100 without finding a potentially EPO-less name.

I like this guy's approach. He averages the top five Alpe d'Huez times from each Tour. By this method, EVERY post-Lemond tour has been faster than ANY pre-Indurain tour.



There was no direct test for EPO from 1991 through 1999, only the (indirect) hematocrit test. Neither was there any test for "plasticizers," which hint at having received a transfusion, so riders were able to flaunt the Hct testing by receiving a saline solution IV before reporting for drug testing. Teams posted a lookout in hotel lobby to sound the alarm at the approach of the WADA "vampires," which sent suspect riders to ground until they could receive their IV to dilute their RBC concentration.

So EPO use was rampant. At least six times in this period, Marco Pantani's Hct tested greater than 50, once >60. He made the quickest climb of Alpe d'Huez ever recorded in the '95 TdF, and based on testing after the Giro and the TdF, his Hct likely was 57-58 at the time. Early season testing indicates Il Elefantino's natural Hct was in the low 40s.

1998 was the year of the Festina scandal, which resulted in teams coming under increased scrutiny, particularly their support activities.

2000 was the year the EPO test was created. By some accounts, 2003 was when EPO began being "microdosed" but it definitely was in use while FLandis was riding for USPS. And the Biological Passport was introduced in 2007. Which didn't mean riders had to stop doping, only that their values could not vary substantially from the doping level in use when their baseline was taken.
 
Aug 17, 2016
34
0
0
Re:

vedrafjord said:
This is why we have meta-analysis of studies, and why reproducibility is so important. You can 'prove' anything with a one-off study: smoking is good for you, vaccines cause autism, a lake in California contains arsenic-based life...
Smoking releases Nicotine into the body which acts as a form of Chemotherapy which kills off cancer cells. That's just a fact. Hence it's being good for you. The other chemicals in smoke are what does for you.

Also MMR caused Autism in some children. That is beyond any dispute and those ruined lives shouldn't be forgotten. Just because pathetic americans are terrified of measles doesn't mean they should have been allowed to poison the rest of us.

As for California, It wouldn't surprise me. Apparently there's even a sup-species of human.
 
Aug 29, 2016
261
19
3,060
Re:

This was what one CN-contributor wrote roughly a year ago about the Dutch criticism of the rEPO-studies:
Merckx index said:
Their arguments against an EPO effect can be summarized as:

1) EPO, by increasing red blood cells and Hb, can increase V02max, but V02max is only one of three key components in performance, and the others—lactate threshold and efficiency—may be more important for elite athletes.
2) Most studies of EPO have not been carried out on elite professional athletes, for obvious reasons
3) Elite athletes spend only a small fraction of the time in most races at high exercise intensity, e.g., in mountain top finishes in GT stages.
On point two, it should be emphasized that while there is practically zero studies involving elite athletes with rEPO, there actually is with autotransfusions. Here is a quote from me from Letsrun-website where the rEPO-literature was discussed quite recently:

While I generally do sympathise with the Dutch approach, the [Dutch rEPO review] isn't perfect. If one goes beyond the rEPO research and takes a look also on the autotransfusion studies, there actually does exist scientific research that some parameters (Vo2MAX, time-to-exhaustion) are elevated when national elite runners are subjected to blood doping. There were two Canadian studies in late 1970s (published in 1980 and 1986) where national elite level athletes were recruited as subjects, with some participants being national record breaking runners and some individuals having relative Vo2MAX figures as high as 86 ml/kg/min. The subjects were reinfused with 900 ml and 1350 ml of earlier stored blood and their Vo2MAX values were elevated by 5 % and by some 6.5 % respectively. By visually going through the meta-analysis chart provided by Sawka (1987), it seems that even the participants with the highest initial Vo2MAX figures had their values elevated, in some case beyond 90 ml/kg/min.
The online version of the blood doping meta-analysis by Michael Sawka referred above is available online in the link below and the chart referred on page 21:

http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA166522
(a download link)

Interestingly Sawka and his coauthors point out that while 29 out of 30 participants had their Vo2MAX values elevated after blood reinfusion, there was a tendency that well-trained athletes were less responsive to this effect:
Individuals with an initial aerobic fitness between 50 to 65 ml/kg/min experience approximately twice the increase in maximal oxygen uptake after erythrocyte reinfusion compared to individuals with lesser or greater fitness.
I've noticed this pattern in some other data also.
 
Aug 29, 2016
261
19
3,060
Re:

Djoop said:
Most important question of this -excuses le mot- study is why these people wanted to report falsehoods about EPO.
I am not sure about their motives, but I am not sure either why I haven't seen any attempts from anyone to debunk the earlier scientific papers by Heuberger, Kuipers, Lodewijkx or Cohen on the GT speeds or on the other rEPO-related matters.

It is 100 % clear that the Dutch researchers won't convince a lot of athletes to end their rEPO use nor is it likely that organisations are going to reinstate Armstrong's seven victories based on their findings. In any case, I don't find it too fruitful to question people's motives and possibly portray every connection in the most sinister light. It reminds me when I objected in another forum the tendency of some contributors to clearly cherrypick annual data about runners' performance in order to prove that rEPO gives magical performance boosts in short periods of time and neglect evidence to the contrary in same series. Mainly by pointing out these types of errors, I was described among other things the following:

- "Lance Fanboy",
- "obviously pro-doping",
- "a pretentious self-proclaimed 'expert'",
- "defender of a career doper",
- "naïve",
- "Russian doping sympathizer",
- "trying to undermine & minimize the effects of EPO & steroids",
- "supports PED use with Russian track & distance runners"
 
Jul 23, 2012
676
0
0
Re: Re:

Aragon said:
Djoop said:
Most important question of this -excuses le mot- study is why these people wanted to report falsehoods about EPO.
I am not sure about their motives, but I am not sure either why I haven't seen any attempts from anyone to debunk the earlier scientific papers by Heuberger, Kuipers, Lodewijkx or Cohen on the GT speeds or on the other rEPO-related matters.

It is 100 % clear that the Dutch researchers won't convince a lot of athletes to end their rEPO use nor is it likely that organisations are going to reinstate Armstrong's seven victories based on their findings. In any case, I don't find it too fruitful to question people's motives and possibly portray every connection in the most sinister light. It reminds me when I objected in another forum the tendency of some contributors to clearly cherrypick annual data about runners' performance in order to prove that rEPO gives magical performance boosts in short periods of time and neglect evidence to the contrary in same series. Mainly by pointing out these types of errors, I was described among other things the following:

- "Lance Fanboy",
- "obviously pro-doping",
- "a pretentious self-proclaimed 'expert'",
- "defender of a career doper",
- "naïve",
- "Russian doping sympathizer",
- "trying to undermine & minimize the effects of EPO & steroids",
- "supports PED use with Russian track & distance runners"
I disagree. If it proved definitively to be a myth then the placebo effect will end with it.
 
Re: Re:

buckle said:
Aragon said:
Djoop said:
Most important question of this -excuses le mot- study is why these people wanted to report falsehoods about EPO.
I am not sure about their motives, but I am not sure either why I haven't seen any attempts from anyone to debunk the earlier scientific papers by Heuberger, Kuipers, Lodewijkx or Cohen on the GT speeds or on the other rEPO-related matters.

It is 100 % clear that the Dutch researchers won't convince a lot of athletes to end their rEPO use nor is it likely that organisations are going to reinstate Armstrong's seven victories based on their findings. In any case, I don't find it too fruitful to question people's motives and possibly portray every connection in the most sinister light. It reminds me when I objected in another forum the tendency of some contributors to clearly cherrypick annual data about runners' performance in order to prove that rEPO gives magical performance boosts in short periods of time and neglect evidence to the contrary in same series. Mainly by pointing out these types of errors, I was described among other things the following:

- "Lance Fanboy",
- "obviously pro-doping",
- "a pretentious self-proclaimed 'expert'",
- "defender of a career doper",
- "naïve",
- "Russian doping sympathizer",
- "trying to undermine & minimize the effects of EPO & steroids",
- "supports PED use with Russian track & distance runners"
I disagree. If it proved definitively to be a myth then the placebo effect will end with it.
No it won't.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27755279

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3008733/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28452193
 
Aug 29, 2016
261
19
3,060
Re: Re:

buckle said:
I disagree. If it proved definitively to be a myth then the placebo effect will end with it.
A few quick points:

1) There is no clear definition when something is "definitively proven to be a myth" particularly when there is always the quite convincing anecdotal literature about the efficacy of rEPO.
2) As there are limitations in every scientific inquiry, it always leaves the door open for a possibility for athletes to think that there are some parts the researchers overlooked or that they extrapolated their results to elites when they shouldn't have done that.
3) There are so many variables in cycling and there are always some seemingly unexplained fluctuations in performances, so whenever you are left behind the peloton, there is always that creeping feeling that the joke is on you and others are still benefitting from rEPO, particularly if they come from the Netherlands.

I still think that is a tactical mistake from part of the scientific community not to react in any way to the other inquiries from the Dutch researchers. Maybe it is not that they don't want, but simply that they can't. Even the CIRC-report just mentioned the Dutch paper Tour, Giro, Vuelta: Rapid Progress in Cycling Performance Starts in the 1980s in one sentence (pp. 32-33) and just preferred the subjective opinions of former cyclists over the conclusions of the paper.
 
Jul 23, 2012
676
0
0
Re: Re:

Aragon said:
buckle said:
I disagree. If it proved definitively to be a myth then the placebo effect will end with it.
A few quick points:

1) There is no clear definition when something is "definitively proven to be a myth" particularly when there is always the quite convincing anecdotal literature about the efficacy of rEPO.
2) As there are limitations in every scientific inquiry, it always leaves the door open for a possibility for athletes to think that there are some parts the researchers overlooked or that they extrapolated their results to elites when they shouldn't have done that.
3) There are so many variables in cycling and there are always some seemingly unexplained fluctuations in performances, so whenever you are left behind the peloton, there is always that creeping feeling that the joke is on you and others are still benefitting from rEPO, particularly if they come from the Netherlands.

I still think that is a tactical mistake from part of the scientific community not to react in any way to the other inquiries from the Dutch researchers. Maybe it is not that they don't want, but simply that they can't. Even the CIRC-report just mentioned the Dutch paper Tour, Giro, Vuelta: Rapid Progress in Cycling Performance Starts in the 1980s in one sentence (pp. 32-33) and just preferred the subjective opinions of former cyclists over the conclusions of the paper.
If doping relies on placebo does that mean doping only works in horse racing because the trainer believes in it and can communicate this belief to the horse?
 
Aug 29, 2016
261
19
3,060
Re: Re:

buckle said:
If doping relies on placebo does that mean doping only works in horse racing because the trainer believes in it and can communicate this belief to the horse?
Perhaps you should address that question to someone who believes that "doping relies on placebo" as I have never anywhere stated that. My response was only to address the question whether the Dutch rEPO-sceptic researchers would "convince a lot of athletes to end their rEPO use" (as stated in the original post), and I am not fully convinced that they would do that based on the three reasons I stated.
 
Jul 29, 2016
365
0
0
yes, EPO is apparently useless :)

http://forums.sherdog.com/threads/must-read-explanation-of-sports-doping-scientific.2936025/

interview with Mr. Heredia

e.g.:

"Heredia: With precision. You want an example? Everyone talks about epo. Epo is fashionable. But without adding iron, epo only works half as well. That’s the kind of thing you have to know. There are oxygen carriers that make epo work incredibly fast – they are actually better than epo alone. I call my drug “Epo Boost.” I inject it and it releases many tiny oxygen molecules throughout the body. In that way you increase the effect of epo by a factor of ten."
 
Apr 7, 2015
395
0
0
Just wait until a Norwegian study surfaces that state EPO does indeed work but only during summer months.
 
Aug 29, 2016
261
19
3,060
Re: Re:

Even when there was very little discussion on the Mont Ventoux - study conducted by the Dutch research team (Heuberger et al.) when the news broke a few months ago, The Lancet has now published six letters where the conduct of the study has been criticized on various grounds such as uncontrolled conditions during the time trial, questionable Vo2MAX testing protocol, whether the results can be extrapolated to elites and that fifteen-year-old epic climbing records remain unbroken etc.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanhae/article/PIIS2352-3026(17)30105-9/fulltext
(copy-paste that if the link doesn't work or google "erythropoietin on cycling performance" and you should find the material)

The letters are easily readable, short, informative and pretty interesting to read particularly when authors include well-known physiologists such as Michael Joyner, Carsten Lundby and Michael N. Sawka.

As usual, Heuberger and his colleagues have published their response and (among other things) pointed out that many people had misunderstood their intentions, that people thought that they would've wanted to take rEPO away from the doping list, when their primary motive was to discourage its use. They can also refer to the (thus far) un-debunked Dutch research on the time improvements of rEPO vs. pre-rEPO eras where no miraculous 1990 can be seen.
 
Re: Re:

Aragon said:
There is a brand new paper by the Dutch rHuEPO-skeptic researchers focusing this time on the speed trends of one day classics. Unsurprisingly Hein Lodewijkx concludes that there was nothing totally out of the ordinary in the speed trends of the 1990's:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329707998_No_Faster_Performances_in_the_'Epo_Years'_in_Classic_One-Day_Cycle_Races_and_World_Championships
I would have said there is insufficient data to be able to spot a pattern, bearing in mind all the variables. It's difficult enough with Grand Tours, where you have twenty-odd stages each race to bulk the data out.

Once, amused by someone trying to use stats to claim the Classics were cleaner, I pulled this together, and proved whatever I wanted.
 
Aug 29, 2016
261
19
3,060
Re: Re:

I think the work of these Dutch guys would be also appear more trustworthy if they could show us what a "doped era" would look like in their analysis. I think it would interesting if someone provided them with a series of data where one time period speeds have been altered 2-3 % above the real values and to see if they see a red flag there after their Bayesian approach with all the CANOVAs and ANOVAs.

On the other hand, if even a 10-15 % artificial boost would vanish among the other noise in their linear regressions, I think it could be a good moment to conclude that their material isn't worth pretty much anything.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts