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If controls were perfect, no one would dope

Mar 13, 2009
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Logical fallacy: never have had a positive control = clean.

doping is a rational decision

a rider dopes to subvert regulations and beat the controls

a rider does not dope, knowing he has something in his system liable to register in a control

if a rider has something in his system, that will test positive, he steps out of the OOC pool, goes offline, til the substance has passed through his system.

Rasmussen went AWOL, to train highly doped, and get the strength for one month later, the effects of that doping were to last for a prolonged period.


riders to never test positive: Basso, Riis, Ullrich, Zabel, Vandenbroucke, Valverde, Schleck.
 
This is a good thread. As I have said many times before, the real problem with testing is the false negatives, which I estimate to be about a 70:1 ratio. This being, for every 71 tests done on a doped athlete, only one is statistically likely to be considered positive. Of course I have no figures on this, but am making I think a logical estimate on all the confessions, dopers caught otherwise, etc. having followed the sport closely for some time.

Some people like the one positive and you're banned for life punishment, but I think the problem with that is that it's not the severity of punishment that acts as a deterrent to doping, it is (or would be) the certainty of punishment. Hence, if dopers knew that by doping they would be very likely to get caught every time, they wouldn't dope (often). The UCI, and some fans, would have you believe this is so, but they've been saying this for several years, and it's been proven to be the exact opposite time and again.

Eliminate, or cut way, way down, the false negatives, and you'll see much less doping.

The other layer that needs to be changed is corruption. But that's another topic.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
This is a good thread. As I have said many times before, the real problem with testing is the false negatives, which I estimate to be about a 70:1 ratio. This being, for every 71 tests done on a doped athlete, only one is statistically likely to be considered positive. Of course I have no figures on this, but am making I think a logical estimate on all the confessions, dopers caught otherwise, etc. having followed the sport closely for some time.

Some people like the one positive and you're banned for life punishment, but I think the problem with that is that it's not the severity of punishment that acts as a deterrent to doping, it is (or would be) the certainty of punishment. Hence, if dopers knew that by doping they would be very likely to get caught every time, they wouldn't dope (often). The UCI, and some fans, would have you believe this is so, but they've been saying this for several years, and it's been proven to be the exact opposite time and again.

Eliminate, or cut way, way down, the false negatives, and you'll see much less doping.

The other layer that needs to be changed is corruption. But that's another topic.
how do you define false negative. When there is some substance, but not meeting threshold?

Or when the substance has passed too many half lives, and is invisible.

I would contend, perhaps the former may be around your estimate. If it is the latter, the false negative rate, is far higher than 70:1. Looking north of 1000:1.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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can add:

doping works

doping has risk-reward function, highly skewed in its favour




if one wishes to get into the potency of doping, there is a myriad of sources, but the effect is unquestionable.
 
Jul 21, 2009
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I see an analogy here with drink driving.

If cars wouldn't start until you passed a breathalyser test (assuming it could be configured so the person doing the test had to be the driver), no one would drink drive.

Also, since random breath testing was introduced in the early-mid-1980s (I'm talking Australia), I believe the incidence of drink driving has reduced significantly, but not totally. There will always be people who think they can get away with it (your risk-reward function).
My question is, how can we measure if the incidence of doping in the peloton has reduced since systematic random testing has been introduced? Is this being measured?
 
Aug 6, 2009
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TrudyTas said:
I see an analogy here with drink driving.

If cars wouldn't start until you passed a breathalyser test (assuming it could be configured so the person doing the test had to be the driver), no one would drink drive.

Also, since random breath testing was introduced in the early-mid-1980s (I'm talking Australia), I believe the incidence of drink driving has reduced significantly, but not totally. There will always be people who think they can get away with it (your risk-reward function).
My question is, how can we measure if the incidence of doping in the peloton has reduced since systematic random testing has been introduced? Is this being measured?
I don't think there's any reliable way to do that. The closest thing that I can think of is when they develop a test for a new substance like CERA. They caught Kohl and Riccardo on that score, but Sastre, Evans, Schleck and others didn't test positive. Of cause there's no way to know for certain whether that is because they're actually clean or because they we're simply not using CERA specifically, but test for substances that the riders think are undetectable is the best way to estimate true doping that I can think of.

That's of cause also why they should test the 2008 Giro samples for CERA. Testing for CERA after the 2008 Tour is far less productive because the riders know that it can be detected now. Sure Di Luca and Astarloza apparently didn't get the memo, but most will have.

ETA: You can also measure the speed with which specific mountains are climbed. It's a highly imperfect measure, but slower climbs could be an indication af clean(er) riders.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I think some riders are more careful of when they dope so it is un detectable if that is possible (i'm no doping expert). Though i do beleive some riders are clean. I do believe some riders get their results from just hard work and dedication. I can't believe that everyone cheats. i wouldn't follow the sport if i thought that.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Agreed - the risk/reward is still heavily slanted toward the athlete.

But reading the posts of riders on this site they do fear getting caught and certain situations cause a great deal of anxiety.

Whenever I hear an athlete saying the whereabouts system is an invasion of privacy - that relates to me something that a doping athlete is fearful of.

It was also interesting - and disheartening - to read the posts on US Pro's and U23's in Europe. With much less controls the risk/reward is very high - and it seems many are taking complete advantage of that.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Most of it I believe has to do with money, fame, status which fuels corruption. Doping in cycling could easily be toned down & blood doping could be stopped with total blood volumes.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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BigBoat said:
Most of it I believe has to do with money, fame, status which fuels corruption. Doping in cycling could easily be toned down & blood doping could be stopped with total blood volumes.

One area I was pleased that got a mention within the article was the many who take PED's just to keep up and retain a job.

Who robs Petrol Stations? or Liquor stores?
A millionaire with a house paid off and 2 cars outside their palatial home? No - the desperate - trying to sustain a megre existance.
The millionaire may be on the fiddle too - tax or banking scams- but they rarely get caught or have the penalties enforced.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Didn't want to start a new thread - surprisingly we don't have a lump-all Kohl Matschiner thread - so I thought it would be apt to post it here.

Kohl and Matschiner, independently of one another, stated that they collected samples to have them tested (avg cost between 150-500E) by employees working for labs that are affiliated with WADA.

They could then better estimate better how to dose testosterone and EPO.

So even if tests are 'infallible', you can still circumvent it in a way by knowing the upper/lower limits that would detect a certain drug. All tests work with certain ranges to declare a positive (correct?), to accomodate physicial differences between people, so microdosing is still an option, which works miracles if you know the exact bandwith...

If lab employees test samples for as low as 500E, what would they do if you paid 25000E?

Original Article in dutch HERE
 
joe_papp said:
Great read, Thanks Joe.

Some parts of the article sounds like Big Boat talking:

...In 1997, because there was no test for r-EPO (that would not come until 2001), the Union Cycliste International (UCI), the sport’s governing body, set an HCT limit for men of 50 percent. Shortly afterward, riders figured out that they could go higher than 50, then thin their blood at test time with a technique already allowed and routinely practiced: injections of saline water for rehydration. Presto change-o.

This is Jonathan Vaughters talking:

Jonathan Vaughters, a former teammate of Armstrong’s, crunched the numbers for me this way: “The big advantage of blood doping is the ability to keep a 44 percent HCT over three weeks.” A “clean” racer who started with a 44 percent HCT, Vaughters noted, would expect to end up at 40 percent after three weeks of racing because of natural blood dilution and the breakdown of red blood cells. “Just stabilizing [your HCT level] at 44 percent is a 10 percent advantage.”
Somebody remembers if Hematocrit dropped for Wiggins during the Tour?
It is important to note from this that just by keeping the hematocrit constant the riders are already gaining a lot. If Lance Crit level is 40% baseline and he keeps it at 44% all the time he is gaining those 4 points (which he says is due to altitude training) and the additional 6-8 points if his baseline were to drop during the 3 week. This is very nice reading.

I little off topic but it was related to the article.

As for the actions that the author recommends, most of the things are already been done, or proposed or put in action but not really applied in the real world. An example has been the money that the riders have to return from their earnings. I don't think that is going anywhere. Internal team testing has been used by the teams to adjust their doping programs (Astana and Saxo Bank and maybe others, who knows.). I am not sure about the effectiveness of these solutions.

In my opinion the best solutions has been the Bio Passport (It just needs improvement and fine tuning) and retro testing tools to punish the cheaters. We also need to encourage the whistle blowers a little more instead of punishing them. The other related solution is creating baseline for the Power Output numbers. Probably in the future once the equipments are methods are more sophisticated and more reliable.

My 2 cents.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Isn't a tolerance level sort of allowing the riders to dope within a limit? Maybe it isn't such a bad rationalization of what the riders are going to do anyway and help them manage it at a safer level.

I'd like to see no blood doping at all, but it is nearly impossible to detect with certainty, with so-called micro-dosing.