General Doping Thread.

Just like the General News Thread: if anyone has a question or a small bit of news that doesn't really need it's own thread.

Anyone know if Piepoli's suspension started in Jan 09, or if it was dated back to the Tour 08? Also, has he retired?

:eek:
 
Aug 6, 2009
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I have a few questions. I'm asking because I need some details that are buried in the Contador threads, but I can't wade through them all-

1) What were the levels of plasticizers found in Contadors' blood?

2) Who broke this story? Was it the German journalist who also revealed the positive clenbutarol test?

3) Was this the same journalist who got an initial flat denial about the positive test for clenbutarol from Pat McQuaid?

4) Which lab did the testing that produced the clenbutarol positive?

3) Who is officially in charge of sanctioning Contador? Is it the UCI, WADA or the Spanish Cycling Federation?
 
Jun 22, 2010
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Berzin said:
I have a few questions. I'm asking because I need some details that are buried in the Contador threads, but I can't wade through them all
1) 480 ng
2) yes
3) yes
4) "Sporthochschule Köln" aka "The Cologne Lab"
3) The Spanish Federation
 
Just readin Whittle's book Bad Blood (written 07), and it says..

"by the end of 06, no less than five of LA's teammates - Andreu, Hamilton, Heras, Landis and one other anonymous former US Postal rider - had either tested positive or admitted to doping"

This'll probably be pretty obvious, does anyone know who this is?


Also, how come we always hear of Italy's Olympic committee (CONI) handing out bans, rather than their cycling federation (FCI)? In Spain we always hear of RFEC, but never their Olympic committee (COE).
 
Jul 29, 2010
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luckyboy said:
Just readin Whittle's book Bad Blood (written 07), and it says..

"by the end of 06, no less than five of LA's teammates - Andreu, Hamilton, Heras, Landis and one other anonymous former US Postal rider - had either tested positive or admitted to doping"

This'll probably be pretty obvious, does anyone know who this is?


Also, how come we always hear of Italy's Olympic committee (CONI) handing out bans, rather than their cycling federation (FCI)? In Spain we always hear of RFEC, but never their Olympic committee (COE).
Vaughters, no? He did 'confess' to Paul Kimmage, although that article was not written until the '07 Tour...
 
I was bored and reading about the Festina affair on Wikipedia when I saw this:
November 28, 1998: The results of the analysis of the samples taken from the nine Festina riders are known and are subsequently released and revealed evidence of Human Growth Hormone, amphetamines, steroids, corticoids and Erythropoietin (EPO). In eight of the nine riders test positive for synthetic EPO. The results of the ninth rider (Christophe Moreau) were indeterminate but Moreau had already admitted use of EPO. Traces of amphetamines were found in the samples of Moreau, Pascal Hervé, Laurent Brochard and Didier Rous.
Apparently these were blood, urine and hair samples, and HGH and EPO were detected. In 1998. Am I missing something? Is there any reason why hair samples are not used for anti-doping tests?
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Berzin said:
I have a few questions. I'm asking because I need some details that are buried in the Contador threads, but I can't wade through them all-

1) What were the levels of plasticizers found in Contadors' blood?

2) Who broke this story? Was it the German journalist who also revealed the positive clenbutarol test?

3) Was this the same journalist who got an initial flat denial about the positive test for clenbutarol from Pat McQuaid?

4) Which lab did the testing that produced the clenbutarol positive?

3) Who is officially in charge of sanctioning Contador? Is it the UCI, WADA or the Spanish Cycling Federation?
FYI, the guys that broke the Contador story are the same guys who broke the Kloden/Frieburg story a while back
 
luckyboy said:
Just readin Whittle's book Bad Blood (written 07), and it says..

"by the end of 06, no less than five of LA's teammates - Andreu, Hamilton, Heras, Landis and one other anonymous former US Postal rider - had either tested positive or admitted to doping"

This'll probably be pretty obvious, does anyone know who this is?


Also, how come we always hear of Italy's Olympic committee (CONI) handing out bans, rather than their cycling federation (FCI)? In Spain we always hear of RFEC, but never their Olympic committee (COE).

Speaking of former US postal teammates doping, anyone saw the interview on Sky news with Barry, where he is asked about the Landis allegations and that Landis has "made claims that you doped" and he replies to the question asking about his doping with, "you know, the whole Landis situation is very unfortunate" :confused:

Guilt by omission in my eyes.

ps great idea this thread. Lets hope it doesnt descend to the usual, fanboys v haters going 40 pages as to who was the last celebrity Lance banged.
 
Interview with that guy, you know, the one with the plasticizers test
(Evil Google Translate version)

I think it's pretty discouraging to hear someone who's supposed to be in the know, in the vanguard of the fight against doping, be so naive.

...right now there's a method that, depending on the plasticizer traces found in urine tests, allows, "at a minimum, to suspect whether someone did a blood transfusion with a high probability, if not to be completely sure. And the other way around, for all those individuals with a negative test result, it allows us to say they surely have not doped with a transfusion", he added.
This assumes no one can beat the test.
"the bags in which the blood is stored must have a plasticizer to keep the red blood cells stable, so that they remain active when they're reinfused into the body", which means "they reinfuse the blood plus the plasticizers from the bag."
This assumes no other kinds of bags can exist, even though many people have posted here about not-so-new blood bags that leave no plasticizer traces.
He specified that the organism eliminates these plasticizers "in a day or two, but for that time they show up in the urine in very significant amounts"
At most, if there were no plasticizer-free bags, this would mean the riders would have to alter their transfusion schedules. No more easy rest day transfusions. Big deal.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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What happened to the Giro 2008 retests for CERA?:confused: I read that there were a number of suspect samples (6 riders?) but did anything ever come of them?
 
Feb 14, 2010
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Frosty said:
What happened to the Giro 2008 retests for CERA?:confused: I read that there were a number of suspect samples (6 riders?) but did anything ever come of them?
I followed the story for ages, but never saw that it actually happened. This is the last I heard of it:

Italian investigators suspect six or seven riders who competed in the 2008 Giro d’Italia of having used the third generation form of EPO, CERA, in the race, and are awaiting further confirmation.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the Padua public prosecutor Benedetto Roberti had ordered 82 samples to be analysed at the Italian Olympic Committee's “Acqua Acetosa” anti-doping laboratory. These samples were seized by Italian police earlier this year, and follow on from several positive tests for CERA taken after the race.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:CgvnrPba6ksJ:www.velonation.com/News/ID/2104/New-CERA-suspected-from-2008-Giro-while-undetectable-ozone-doping-pinpointed.aspx+2008+giro+d'italia+cera&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a&source=www.google.com

Since the thread is up, I'll post a quick rant about Travis Tygart's AP interview, repeated around the world with various titles including the term "flip-flop"..

But Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said authorities must not be afraid of "bringing down our heroes" if they have cheated and wants Spain's Contador dossier fully reviewed by international bodies.
And the seven time Tour de France champion???

"Clearly what has been reported was a flip-flop -- there was a one-year agreement [ban] and then there were statements from the prime minister ... and then there is a zero sanction," Tygart said when attending an anti-doping conference in London this week. "I don't know what the right outcome is, I haven't seen the evidence, but from a perception standpoint, something is not right there.
As he said, he obviously hasn't seen the evidence, or read anything beyond the headlines. There was never a one year agreement. The Competition Committee sent Contador a preliminary proposal that was never meant to be public. He was then to have ten quiet days to submit additional defense documents or arguments. That didn't happen because someone leaked it to the press, and Contador was informed by a journalist before he even received the letter. There was no cause and affect from the tweet by Zapatera, who had actually taken the time to read Contador's documents before coming to the conclusion.

Regardless of the outcome, there is a process in place now at this level that should give all of us comfort that WADA -- the independent agency -- is ultimately overseeing the decision."

He added: "If they don't review the case you will be hearing from me again."
So there's a hierarchy, with the UCI accountable to WADA, and if they don't do the right thing, Mr. Tygart steps up to do something or other in a case that, thankfully, is none of his business?

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=6234223

Mr. Tygart, the RFEC Final Resolution is available in English. It's an awful lot of pages to have evolved from a simple message of 140 characters or less. Oh yeah, there were also numerous studies and opinions by experts who actually put in the time and effort.

http://www.albertocontadornotebook.info/ResolutionContador.pdf
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Anyone read this?

http://www5.economist.com/node/18386141

Blood transfusion
Painted out
How to disguise red blood cells so that their blood group is invisible

Mar 17th 2011 | from the print edition

Any colour as long as it’s red

THERE are 29 possible combinations of human blood groups, and for a patient to be given a safe transfusion the right one needs to be available.[...]
 
Apr 13, 2010
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theswordsman said:
Since the thread is up, I'll post a quick rant about Travis Tygart's AP interview, repeated around the world with various titles including the term "flip-flop"..



And the seven time Tour de France champion???



As he said, he obviously hasn't seen the evidence, or read anything beyond the headlines. There was never a one year agreement. The Competition Committee sent Contador a preliminary proposal that was never meant to be public. He was then to have ten quiet days to submit additional defense documents or arguments. That didn't happen because someone leaked it to the press, and Contador was informed by a journalist before he even received the letter. There was no cause and affect from the tweet by Zapatera, who had actually taken the time to read Contador's documents before coming to the conclusion.



So there's a hierarchy, with the UCI accountable to WADA, and if they don't do the right thing, Mr. Tygart steps up to do something or other in a case that, thankfully, is none of his business?

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=6234223

Mr. Tygart, the RFEC Final Resolution is available in English. It's an awful lot of pages to have evolved from a simple message of 140 characters or less. Oh yeah, there were also numerous studies and opinions by experts who actually put in the time and effort.

http://www.albertocontadornotebook.info/ResolutionContador.pdf
You know, when I read the article I thought exactly the same thing and was just about to post something somewhere.

Then I thought; "Nah, Swordsman gonna come out and post something spot on - might as well let him handle it".

I especially like your last point - it's not OK for someone else to opine on the case, but it's perfectly alright for him to tell WADA what to do?
 
Apparently these were blood, urine and hair samples, and HGH and EPO were detected. In 1998. Am I missing something? Is there any reason why hair samples are not used for anti-doping tests?
This is a very strange passage. There was no official EPO test until 2001, and of course the test for HGH is even more recent. There was no reference in the passage to hair samples, maybe you are referring to something said earlier in the article? A hair test could certainly be carried out, it just couldn’t be used as evidence for a sanction. The prime evidence in the case, of course, was in the trunk of the car.


This is intriguing, but it would not help dopers. In the first place, the HBT works by identifying not only certain antigens on red cells, but also their absence. So coated cells would send up a red flag immediately. The HBT would identify a population of cells with none of the minor antigens on the panel at all. And even if it didn't, these cells could easily be identified by other means, as long as WADA knew to look for them.
 
Yes, the hair tests were mentioned earlier:
July 23, 1998: Nine riders and three officials from Festina are taken into police custody. (...) Festina riders (Richard Virenque, Pascal Hervé, Didier Rous, Alex Zülle, Armin Meier and Laurent Dufaux) are questioned in Lyon and held in police custody. Police announce that they will also question the Rabobank and Casino teams.[17] The nine Festina riders were escorted to a hospital and obligated to undergo extensive tests and sample giving such as blood, hair and urine samples.[18]
(...)
November 28, 1998: The results of the analysis of the samples taken from the nine Festina riders are known and are subsequently released and revealed evidence of Human Growth Hormone, amphetamines, steroids, corticoids and Erythropoietin (EPO).
Take into account these were police tests, not UCI or FFC tests. I guess this has something to do with what many people have said, namely that the real problem with antidoping tests is the high rate of false negatives due to the thresholds used, not so much with the tests themselves. The police will have nothing of it, so when they get to test riders they nail them left and right.
 
Nov 24, 2010
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Financial side of doping

What I would like to know and generally is all the financial breakdown of doping and the associated entities paying the bills.

A: what are the breakdown of costs associated with

1: doping controls

2: samples tested at labs and does that cost vary

3: samples stored long term

4: Which entity or entities pay for 1 & 2 or 3

-----------------------------------------------------

Which entity or entities pay for a case. If I may use AC as an example:

AC pays his legal staff.

Do RFEC hire lawyers and who pays for them.


If a case is appealed to CAS, who pays the lawyers of the UCI or WADA, or is that determined by final judgement.


Some posters wish for previous samples from races years ago to be retested for say CERA. I mean this would be a financial burden to entity A or A + B.

I find the financial side of doping fascinating. Maybe I am on my Pat Malone!

One rider claimed 500 controls in his career to date. Well 500 * A(1 + 2) could add up to what cycling cannot afford!

There may have been a previous thread with this type of info?
 
luckyboy said:
Also, how come we always hear of Italy's Olympic committee (CONI) handing out bans, rather than their cycling federation (FCI)? In Spain we always hear of RFEC, but never their Olympic committee (COE).
Because the FCI aren't any better than RFEC (anybody remember di Luca's three-month out-of-season ban?), but as an Olympic sport CONI also are able, should they choose, to adjudicate on cycling cases. The Spanish Olympic committee aren't interested in pursuing cycling matters because as far as they're concerned that's what RFEC is there for; in Italy lots of parallel power structures stepping on each others' toes is just part of the scenery.
 
This idea about trying to blacklist riders coming back from bans by not allowing them to earn any points doesn't sound too great. Why not just extend bans or give out bans for life seeing as this'll pretty much force riders out. On the other hand, points aren't everything, and teams will be able to get the riders cheaper and still get the sponsor exposure with victories etc..

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/uci-looks-for-new-rules-to-discourage-doping
 
luckyboy said:
This idea about trying to blacklist riders coming back from bans by not allowing them to earn any points doesn't sound too great. Why not just extend bans or give out bans for life seeing as this'll pretty much force riders out. On the other hand, points aren't everything, and teams will be able to get the riders cheaper and still get the sponsor exposure with victories etc..

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/uci-looks-for-new-rules-to-discourage-doping
What about the 4-year ban? if you put that with the blacklist of ex-dopers together- there you have a really good motivation for Pro Teams to part ways with the UCI. Can you imagine a Pro Team investing loads of money on a rider that suddenly fails a test and is basically out of the game for 4 full years? that's a half-life time career just ruined.... Pat is indeed making more enemies & the situation easier for the next cycling federation to emerge
 
Jun 22, 2010
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I thought I would drop down a few thoughts on doping controls and cost etc. My background is not in doping control at all, however I have spent many years working in the fresh produce and food industry and one of the my primary roles during that time has been pesticide use in foods and residue detection. If you are wondering what the connection between the two might be, they are both concerned with detecting inorganic chemicals that breakdown over time in organic substances.

Pesticide residue testing is exactly the same science as dope testing. A sample is taken, it has to be handled in certain ways to ensure the sample is clean. A small amount of the sample is taken for the actual test and the remains of the original sample are kept for re-testing, if the original test comes back with an MRL (maximum residue level) exceedence, for a doping test read positive.

If you look at how residues of pesticides, or doping products are detected, unfortunately its not an exact science and also relies on the skill of the chemist doing the analysis to interpret the results. Residue detection is usually done by gas or liquid chromatography, or mass spectrometry. Essentially what this means is that the sample is split out into a spectrum of peaks, with certain peaks corresponding to the presence of certain elements, depending on the height of the peaks gives an indication of the level of the chemical in the sample. If the peak is not quite right, or slightly in the wrong place, it is then open to interpretation and can either lead to a false positive, or a false negative.

For pesticide residue testing, its an interesting situation, mostly because we are looking for the presence of chemicals below a certain threshold, the MRL. When pesticides are applied to a crop of fruit or vegetables, there is normally what is termed a harvest interval. This is the period a grower has to wait between applying the pesticide and harvesting it. This allows the plant to metabolise the product and break it down to a level that wont leave a residue in excess of an MRL. For some chemicals, this is a long period 21 days or so, for others it can be 24 hours and for others the product is broken down immediately and essentially indetectable.

When we test for residues, there are multi-screen tests that pick up on a wide range of products, but not all, as there are specific compounds that need specific tests for. Therefore unless you are knowledgeable of what products have been used, you could miss a potential residue by not testing for it. Also, depending on what you want your residue testing to show, you can target the timing of testing through the season to either avoid having any positive results, or to have plenty of positive results. i.e if I want to show that a grower is producing clean residue results for fungicides, I would do all my testing when I know that the crop is not at risk from disease and these chemicals would not be used, or I would do a multi-residue test that shows 150 or so products tested for but no positives, but doesn’t actually test for the compound I know the grower has used, so great from a PR, customer appeasement perspective, but failing to target the actual issue. Does this sound familiar to anyone when thinking about drug testing!!

The last thing to think about is the level of accuracy of results. When we look at residue testing, we work on the limit of determination (LOD). This is the minimum level we can guarantee the results are accurate. As residue levels get to a very low level, it becomes more difficult to accurately and confidently report a result. Therefore all labs used for testing have to be able to report to an agreed minimum level. It will come as no surprise that some labs which are very good and have newer apparatus can accurately detect residues far below this limit, however, any residues detected below the LOD are ignored, as that is the agreed minimum level of accuracy. Therefore many residues which are present are ignored because they are below agreed standards. This is very similar to the Contador / Clenbuterol situation where most labs wouldn’t have picked up the residue and this would never have hit the press!!

A bit more info can be found on epo testing here

http://www.doping.chuv.ch/files/epobyms_04.pdf

In terms of costs, I dont know whether doping labs charge a lot more, because the sport will bear the costs, however from a standard residue testing point of view, costs would be as follows:
Single multi-screen residue test (around 150 compounds) £200
If testing for a specific compound not covered in a multi screen test, you would be looking at between £50-£100.
 
Radders said:
If you look at how residues of pesticides, or doping products are detected, unfortunately its not an exact science and also relies on the skill of the chemist doing the analysis to interpret the results. Residue detection is usually done by gas or liquid chromatography, or mass spectrometry. Essentially what this means is that the sample is split out into a spectrum of peaks, with certain peaks corresponding to the presence of certain elements, depending on the height of the peaks gives an indication of the level of the chemical in the sample. If the peak is not quite right, or slightly in the wrong place, it is then open to interpretation and can either lead to a false positive, or a false negative.
You would have had fun during the Landis trial and appeal, when a lot of questions were raised about the identity and intensity of certain peaks.

Also, depending on what you want your residue testing to show, you can target the timing of testing through the season to either avoid having any positive results, or to have plenty of positive results. i.e if I want to show that a grower is producing clean residue results for fungicides, I would do all my testing when I know that the crop is not at risk from disease and these chemicals would not be used, or I would do a multi-residue test that shows 150 or so products tested for but no positives, but doesn’t actually test for the compound I know the grower has used, so great from a PR, customer appeasement perspective, but failing to target the actual issue. Does this sound familiar to anyone when thinking about drug testing!!
Are you saying that this actually goes on in the pesticide-testing industry? Scary if true. At least dopers are only trying to help themselves, granted that they hurt the prospects of competitors, but pesticide "doping" has the potential to do far more harm.

however, any residues detected below the LOD are ignored, as that is the agreed minimum level of accuracy. Therefore many residues which are present are ignored because they are below agreed standards. This is very similar to the Contador / Clenbuterol situation where most labs wouldn’t have picked up the residue and this would never have hit the press!!
I assume the agreed standards are set so that lower levels are considered safe for the consumer. But then again, when considered long-term effects, there may not be such a thing as a safe level. The analogy to the threshold question is very interesting.

In terms of costs, I dont know whether doping labs charge a lot more, because the sport will bear the costs, however from a standard residue testing point of view, costs would be as follows:
Single multi-screen residue test (around 150 compounds) £200
If testing for a specific compound not covered in a multi screen test, you would be looking at between £50-£100.
This is interesting information. You might also comment on th amounts needed to test for so many different substances.
 
Jun 22, 2010
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Merckx index said:
You would have had fun during the Landis trial and appeal, when a lot of questions were raised about the identity and intensity of certain peaks.
Because this is the subject of interpretation, then its a point that is arguable in court. It would be their most credible line of defence in trying to show a false positive.



Merckx index said:
Are you saying that this actually goes on in the pesticide-testing industry? Scary if true. At least dopers are only trying to help themselves, granted that they hurt the prospects of competitors, but pesticide "doping" has the potential to do far more harm.
It has happened in the past, more through ignorance of how to correctly identify product to target and the most likely times of the year that a product might be used in a certain country of origin. However it also shows that anyone with a reasonable amount of understanding of testing could perform a huge number of tests and always return clean results - 'Our produce is the most tested produce in the world, we've never failed a test', does that sound familiar?



Merckx index said:
I assume the agreed standards are set so that lower levels are considered safe for the consumer. But then again, when considered long-term effects, there may not be such a thing as a safe level. The analogy to the threshold question is very interesting.
Correct, the lower levels are always set for human safety and factored for average daily intake of a certain product. My point was that certain labs which only reach the minimum standard could return a 'clean' result, whereas labs with better equipment could detect a residue, even if it was below the threshold.



Merckx index said:
This is interesting information. You might also comment on th amounts needed to test for so many different substances.
Suprisingly little ie just a few ounces, however when you normally take a larger sample to ensure that its representative of the crop ie if I was testing apples, I could just use one apple, but I could be very lucky / unlucky as that might be the one apple that does, or doesnt have a residue. What you would normally do is take a sample of say 20 apples from a shipment from a grower, all the apples would be pulped to a homogenous mixture and the sample taken from that.
 

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