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Is EPO currently being used at Major tours

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The best semi recent (2019) article I've read about the state of play: https://www.cyclingnews.com/features/biological-passport-have-dopers-found-ways-to-beat-it/
Thanks for this. The issue seems to be tests can't be conducted frequently enough at the right times of day to return an adverse finding. This is mentioned by the Sunweb manager.

The other thing about the ABP that many fans (including here) don't seem to understand is the ABP doesn't detect substances. It only measures changes in reticulocyte levels (new red blood cells). So saying the peloton has discovered a new undetectable drug misses the point.

To boost performance you need to boost the amount of RBCs because that is how the body transports oxygen from the lungs to the legs. Hence use of any new drug can be detected as a change in the blood profile no matter if the substance itself isn't detectable. So EPO micro dosing can be used to hide the spikes when blood is withdrawn and reinfused before important races. But it all comes back to testing frequency and timing.
 
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Newer stuff like HBOCs, which we do know about and have the advantages of being faster acting and have a lower glow time? Seems like the Clinic is living in the past...
Thanks for this. The issue seems to be tests can't be conducted frequently enough at the right times of day to return an adverse finding. This is mentioned by the Sunweb manager.

The other thing about the ABP that many fans (including here) don't seem to understand is the ABP doesn't detect substances. It only measures changes in reticulocyte levels (new red blood cells). So saying the peloton has discovered a new undetectable drug misses the point.

To boost performance you need to boost the amount of RBCs because that is how the body transports oxygen from the lungs to the legs. Hence use of any new drug can be detected as a change in the blood profile no matter if the substance itself isn't detectable. So EPO micro dosing can be used to hide the spikes when blood is withdrawn and reinfused before important races. But it all comes back to testing frequency and timing.
Don’t they also still test for substances though? If you were to take a dozen different steroids and full dose EPO you’d still get caught even if your blood parameters are within range, I’d assume.
 
If you were to take a dozen different steroids and full dose EPO you’d still get caught
Depends on glow times and when you get tested. One of the HBOCs Parisotto talked about last year has a glow time less than stage in the Tour. It also depends on what the sample was collected for. An ABP sample is an ABP sample, it is not tested for drugs. That shouldn't be news, it's the fundamental basis of longitudinal testing and has been so since it was first advocated in the 80s.
 
Depends on glow times and when you get tested. One of the HBOCs Parisotto talked about last year has a glow time less than stage in the Tour. It also depends on what the sample was collected for. An ABP sample is an ABP sample, it is not tested for drugs. That shouldn't be news, it's the fundamental basis of longitudinal testing and has been so since it was first advocated in the 80s.
It just surprises me that if they’re taking a blood sample they wouldn’t just run the tests for compounds anyway. If the way a rider/team dopes is based on which test they expect then isn’t it effectively a lottery of what type of test they decide to run that day? Or are all riders only taking stuff with short glow times?
 
Teams and riders don't know in advance when a test is or what it is for, save for the post-stage tests and even they are more of a lottery than they used to be. So yes, all testing is a lottery, for both sides. The riders/teams minimise their risks in their choice of programmes, the authorities maximise their chances of picking a winner by using intelligence (eg the ABP). It's all a game.
 
It just surprises me that if they’re taking a blood sample they wouldn’t just run the tests for compounds anyway. If the way a rider/team dopes is based on which test they expect then isn’t it effectively a lottery of what type of test they decide to run that day? Or are all riders only taking stuff with short glow times?

They do test for compounds on the UCI banned list which aligns with WADA. Multiple types of tests are performed via blood and/or urine tests which would detect compounds. Steroids are relatively easy to detect. But here we are only talking about blood doping and specifically EPO as these provide significant boost to aerobic performance. Glow times are crucial for most doping. Team doctors can ensure riders don't get caught knowing how the tests work. In the case of EPO micro dosing glow times are very relevant.

A Google search returns this:
The fundamental principle of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) is to monitor selected biological variables over time that indirectly reveal the effects of doping, rather than attempting to detect the doping substance or method itself

And here are the UCI anti-doping rules. The biological passport is mentioned frequently.
2020.01.01 UCI ADR Part 14 - ENG- online 2020.01.15docx