• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Older Riders and Doping

As we know, cycling has always had doping issues dating back well to the beginning of it. But what I want to know is why people get on the current riders so much for doping but seem to skip the older guys? I've never really seen people burn Merckx for some of his doping or some of the other guys. I do not think it is fair. Does anyone agree?
 
rzombie1988 said:
As we know, cycling has always had doping issues dating back well to the beginning of it. But what I want to know is why people get on the current riders so much for doping but seem to skip the older guys? I've never really seen people burn Merckx for some of his doping or some of the other guys. I do not think it is fair. Does anyone agree?
In a way, how bad it is to dope morally, is perhaps related to how the fans at the time feel about it. Not sure Merckx's fan cared as much as current ones.
Also, punishments have come a ways since then.

Older guys, you say?
I believe Leipheimer got 3 months off-season for being caught with ephedrine circa 1996? Nowaways, one buys away the punishment, or sits out 2 years for that.
 
Jul 6, 2010
2,340
0
0
Visit site
danjo007 said:
how is 1996 back in the "old days"? LMAO.

Agreed. Where's the sh*t-talk about Coppi?

Old-school my ***! When I was racing we had to drag a car tire behind us on all the climbs. AND you couldn't take a feed, and with the Basques trying to hitch a ride home, those climbs were worse than you could imagine!

These ****, so-called, racers nowadays... I tell ya, you shoulda seen it...
 
rzombie1988 said:
As we know, cycling has always had doping issues dating back well to the beginning of it. But what I want to know is why people get on the current riders so much for doping but seem to skip the older guys? I've never really seen people burn Merckx for some of his doping or some of the other guys. I do not think it is fair. Does anyone agree?

Comparing the penny ante stuff that was used in the 70s to what frauds like Armstrong used is like comparing getting high by guzzling a bottle of Robitussin to mainlining black tar heroin.
 
Oct 1, 2010
320
0
0
Visit site
JMBeaushrimp said:
Agreed. Where's the sh*t-talk about Coppi?

Old-school my ***! When I was racing we had to drag a car tire behind us on all the climbs. AND you couldn't take a feed, and with the Basques trying to hitch a ride home, those climbs were worse than you could imagine!

These ****, so-called, racers nowadays... I tell ya, you shoulda seen it...

In defence of Coppi, he only took amphetamines when it was absolutely necessary. ;) He was also very open about it in at least one interview.
 
May 14, 2010
5,303
4
0
Visit site
BroDeal said:
Comparing the penny ante stuff that was used in the 70s to what frauds like Armstrong used is like comparing getting high by guzzling a bottle of Robitussin to mainlining black tar heroin.

:D:D Now there's a colorful turn of words. :D But I think that if anything the difference is even more pronounced: drinking coffee versus taking LSD. I'd urge the OP to use the search function, as this has been discussed at some length on this forum. The drugs they used in the old days were palliatives against exhaustion and pain. They did little or nothing to enhance actual performance. You could call this the propeller era of cycling.

Then along comes new technology, namely EPO and other oxygen vector drugs, as well as human growth hormone and other things we know not of. This is cycling's jet age, where big men and fat asses are being propelled up mountains at speeds formerly reserved for true mountain goats, and with much less apparent effort. Here, cycling has turned a qualitative corner, or rather drugs have, and the character of the game, and its winners, has changed.

This is most of the reason why drugs were formerly (tacitly) accepted and are now seen as the total corruption of the sport. Also, though, through at least the seventies society saw drugs as not only the solution for every ill, but also as the avenue to improvement. (In this regard the so-called counter-culture was counter nothing.) Today, in contrast, we've lost this idea and tend to see drugs as a necessary evil, or worse.

AngusW said:
In defence of Coppi, he only took amphetamines when it was absolutely necessary. ;) He was also very open about it in at least one interview.

He was open about it in several interviews, and he wasn't the only one. But it meant something different then, and it didn't mean as much (see above). Without the amphetamines Coppi was still Coppi, with all the same capabilities.
 
May 26, 2010
28,143
5
0
Visit site
AngusW said:
In defence of Coppi, he only took amphetamines when it was absolutely necessary. ;) He was also very open about it in at least one interview.

I think Gino Bartali would dispute that as Coppi allegedly had a voracious appetite for doping, so much so that Barali demanded the hotel room next to Coppi in order to sneak in and check what and how much he was using.

But the older guys, ie Merckx, used stuff that would aid recuperation, which meant the cream nearly always rose to the top, GT riders were GT riders unlike Armstrong who was never going to win a GT till he got on the Ferarri program.

Big difference in that Merckx was a major talent that used doping to recuperate the days efforts. Armstrong used it to make himself into a rider that he could never have been. Riis was the same and there are others too who used modern doping to change their ability where the older guys never changed their ability per se but helped the legs/body recover.
 
Merckx fans did care but the fact is that there haven't been any empirical evidence of doping against him until his last season (Walloon Arrow 1977) when he was just the shadow of his own self and when his fans pitied him rather than cheered.

I agree with most of what has been claimed here, though.


My opinion is very strict.

Doping is not a synonym of cheating. Amphetamines are doping but not cheating. Coffee is doping but not cheating. Epo, testosteron, HGH and blood transfusion are both doping and cheating. Fixing is cheating but not doping. Tri-bars are cheating (authorized) but not doping. Bike engine is cheating but not doping.

And I know that many won't agree with me but I'm not afraid of my opinion.
 
Whoa...

BroDeal said:
Comparing the penny ante stuff that was used in the 70s to what frauds like Armstrong used is like comparing getting high by guzzling a bottle of Robitussin to mainlining black tar heroin.

No disrespect, but blood doping didn't suddenly come about in 1984. Just because EPO made it easier to do doesn't mean riders haven't been manipulating blood since at least the 1970's...
 
BroDeal said:
Comparing the penny ante stuff that was used in the 70s to what frauds like Armstrong used is like comparing getting high by guzzling a bottle of Robitussin to mainlining black tar heroin.

it is what was used at that time though. "speed" was what guys used. if Eddie
could have got epo,well what then?
 
Sep 5, 2009
1,239
0
0
Visit site
joe_papp said:
No disrespect, but blood doping didn't suddenly come about in 1984. Just because EPO made it easier to do doesn't mean riders haven't been manipulating blood since at least the 1970's...

Lasse Viren of Finland won the 5,000 & 10,000 metre track events at both the '72 and '76 Olympics.

Very lacklustre performances between Olympics. He claimed he trained on reindeer milk but the consensus for his temporary performance spikes was blood doping.
 
I honestly don't understand this distinction between pre and post-EPO PEDs. Yes, I know the edge of EPO, HGH and blood transfusions is much more significant than the boost you get with recovery doping, amphetamines and the like. But from a moral point of view? Same thing. Pre-EPO riders still used every means at their disposal to improve their performance, knowing perfectly well such means were illegal, as long as they were fine with the perceived health risks. 99.9% of those dopers would have used EPO if they had been riding in the mid 90s. The only moral question is - how was doping perceived in the peloton then and now? Things may have changed now (bear with me here), but they hadn't changed (for the better) in the 90s. From a moral point of view, EPO users in the 90s and 00s aren't any worse than pre-EPO dopers.
 
Jun 16, 2009
3,035
0
0
Visit site
Benotti69 said:
I think Gino Bartali would dispute that as Coppi allegedly had a voracious appetite for doping, so much so that Barali demanded the hotel room next to Coppi in order to sneak in and check what and how much he was using.
.

I think you have the names backwards there. Coppi used to send his Gregari into Bartali's room to look for syringes and bottles so he could find out what Bartali was taking (according to one gregari whose name I forget, it was so he could take the same things - Its in Will Fotheringham's book)
 
Oct 1, 2010
320
0
0
Visit site
Benotti69 said:
I think Gino Bartali would dispute that as Coppi allegedly had a voracious appetite for doping, so much so that Barali demanded the hotel room next to Coppi in order to sneak in and check what and how much he was using.

But the older guys, ie Merckx, used stuff that would aid recuperation, which meant the cream nearly always rose to the top, GT riders were GT riders unlike Armstrong who was never going to win a GT till he got on the Ferarri program.

Big difference in that Merckx was a major talent that used doping to recuperate the days efforts. Armstrong used it to make himself into a rider that he could never have been. Riis was the same and there are others too who used modern doping to change their ability where the older guys never changed their ability per se but helped the legs/body recover.


I should have included the relevant part of the interview, which went along the lines of:

Interviewer: Do you use amphetamines?
Coppi: Only when absolutely necessary.
Interviewer: How often is that?
Coppi: Almost always.

Speaking of Bartali, there is a story of him and Coppi during a race. Bartali sees Coppi discard a small bottle, remembers the place and after the race, Bartali goes back to that place searches for and finds the bottle. The contents turn out to be bicarbonate of soda.
 
joe_papp said:
No disrespect, but blood doping didn't suddenly come about in 1984. Just because EPO made it easier to do doesn't mean riders haven't been manipulating blood since at least the 1970's...

We had that discussion here once. No one was able to show that any road cyclist was using blood doping in the 70s nor through the bulk of the 80s. The most people came up with is runners who were rumored to have used it.
 
Oct 1, 2010
320
0
0
Visit site
Martin318is said:
I think you have the names backwards there. Coppi used to send his Gregari into Bartali's room to look for syringes and bottles so he could find out what Bartali was taking (according to one gregari whose name I forget, it was so he could take the same things - Its in Will Fotheringham's book)

I heard it was Bartali that searched Coppi's room.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gino_Bartali#Drugs_search

The link is to Wikipedia, so who knows how accurate that is?
 
Oct 1, 2010
320
0
0
Visit site
Echoes said:
Merckx fans did care but the fact is that there haven't been any empirical evidence of doping against him until his last season (Walloon Arrow 1977) when he was just the shadow of his own self and when his fans pitied him rather than cheered.

I agree with most of what has been claimed here, though.


My opinion is very strict.

Doping is not a synonym of cheating. Amphetamines are doping but not cheating. Coffee is doping but not cheating. Epo, testosteron, HGH and blood transfusion are both doping and cheating. Fixing is cheating but not doping. Tri-bars are cheating (authorized) but not doping. Bike engine is cheating but not doping.

And I know that many won't agree with me but I'm not afraid of my opinion.

Didn't Merckx test positive for PEDs at the 1969 Giro d'Italia and the 1973 Giro di Lombardia? And I thought he tested positive (along with a whole lot of other cyclists) at the 1975 Fleche Wallonne and that his 1977 positive test was at the Tour of Belgium.
 
Jun 16, 2009
3,035
0
0
Visit site
AngusW said:
I heard it was Bartali that searched Coppi's room.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gino_Bartali#Drugs_search

The link is to Wikipedia, so who knows how accurate that is?

I get the feeling though from the Fotheringham book that this type of thing was quite common - in all directions. It is just that Bartali and Coppi were THE two rivals in that era. Everyone else seems to be an also ran. From what I have read, the entire professional field, almost all amateurs, and pretty much everyone else including the mechanics were taking drugs of some kind
 

Polish

BANNED
Mar 11, 2009
3,853
0
0
Visit site
The fact that Fausto sprinted up Alpe d'Huez in 45 minutes on dirt roads riding a 5 speed steel bike speaks VOLUMES about the power of "La Bomba".

I think we moderns underappreciate the power of amphetamines.
Although they are very dangerous.
Ever see a 30 year old crackhead/speedfreak?
They look like they are 60 years old scary.

No suprise the average age of a TdF Winner has been steadily increasing ever since amphetamines have lost favor amongst the pros.
I think there is a correlation there.
Speed kills.
 
Mar 20, 2009
406
0
0
Visit site
cyclists from day dot have been taking allsorts of "extras" to help them. whether it was drugs, alcohol, poison or anything they thought would help.
 
BroDeal said:
We had that discussion here once. No one was able to show that any road cyclist was using blood doping in the 70s nor through the bulk of the 80s. The most people came up with is runners who were rumored to have used it.

I can't speak for the European peloton but I know from direct admission by several riders from that era that blood doping was used in Argentina and Chile in the 1970's.
 
Jun 19, 2009
5,220
0
0
Visit site
BroDeal said:
We had that discussion here once. No one was able to show that any road cyclist was using blood doping in the 70s nor through the bulk of the 80s. The most people came up with is runners who were rumored to have used it.

Considering how well current day cyclists have self-administered blood transfusions we know why.
 
AngusW said:
I heard it was Bartali that searched Coppi's room.

The link is to Wikipedia, so who knows how accurate that is?

It is accurate. I have the same story in "Le Lion de Toscane - La véridique histoire de Gino Bartali" by Jean-Paul Ollivier (famous commentator on the French TV).

He also mentions the story of Gino seeing Coppi drinking from a flask during a race and throwing it away, Gino taking note of where the flask laid, getting back to it a few days later, finding it back, having it analyzed and having it tested by his gregario, Primo Volpi and the latter saying "I'm not riding anymore, I'm flying".

AngusW said:
Didn't Merckx test positive for PEDs at the 1969 Giro d'Italia and the 1973 Giro di Lombardia? And I thought he tested positive (along with a whole lot of other cyclists) at the 1975 Fleche Wallonne and that his 1977 positive test was at the Tour of Belgium.

Savona 1969, I've told that story many times on several forums and to many people irl. The tests were not valid. They were carried out by a mobile lab from the Giro organization that followed the race and that was not sanctioned by the UCI. Merckx had no possibility of second assessment as was often the case in those early days of antidoping (Janssen, Motta and Karstens were trapped the same way). Riders could not defend themselves, unlike today. The fundementals of justice were scorned in Savona. And most of all, when UCI President Rodoni started his investigation, the two tested samples mysteriously disappeared, as if there was something to hide. It was just the case of Torriani wanting Merckx out, just like he wanted to prevent Fignon from winning the Giro in 1984. He also wanted to buy Merckx's retirement (the "Man with a Suitcase", that was Rudi Altig, friend of Merckx's).

(my source is Théo Mathy, former commentator on RTBF)

Lombardy 1973, he was caught for ... syrup. He raced the Coppa Agostoni, a few days before and it rained cats and dogs. Consequently, he had a start of bronchitis and took syrup. Mucantyl is part of syrup. You'd tell me he should have asked for a TUE but again, I don't know anybody who has disputed that version 40 years after. Mucantyl is by the way no longer on the list of banned substance today.

In the Arrow 1975, he finished 3rd behind Dierickx and Verbeeck. Nothing happened. That's a mistake.

In 1977, there was a whole blitz on 3 races: Tour of Flanders, Tour of Belgium and the Arrow. The Belgian Fed behaved hypocritly claiming that stimul was undetectable while it was and letting the riders use it. Only the Italians knew it was. Freddy Maertens was caught in all three races, Walter Planckaert and Sybille at the Tour of Flanders, Pollentier and Michel Rottier at the Tour of Belgium and Merckx and Teirlinck at the Arrow.
 
Echoes said:
The Belgian Fed behaved hypocritly claiming that stimul was undetectable while it was and letting the riders use it. Only the Italians knew it was. Freddy Maertens was caught in all three races, Walter Planckaert and Sybille at the Tour of Flanders, Pollentier and Michel Rottier at the Tour of Belgium and Merckx and Teirlinck at the Arrow.
Kudos to the Belgian Federation then for doing things properly. I wish the UCI did the same today, instead of their current "microdosing is still undetectable, wink wink... but seriously don't do it" shenanigans.