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Older Riders and Doping

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Aug 3, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
We discussed this before - it seems clear that EPO was not available until at best 1988.
There is no way that either Conconi or USA would have bothered with blood doping if EPO was available.

The USA team doping was far from sophisticated - it was done in a motel.

The results of the first successful clinical trial of EPO was published in 1987, so I would say that you are spot on. 1989 was my first year racing internatioanlly and it was at least a few years later that I first became aware of it's existence, let alone use. Not that I would be privy to all that was going on, but.........I would also bet that its first use in athletics was hear in the land of opportunity. Hell, LA may have actually learned about it from his triathlon buddies and brought the knowledge along with him to USAC. It would not suprise me if we learn much more about the answers to the time line questions being asked, once grand jury testimony is made public.
 
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If Eddy was riding today, and was clearly doped, I think people would critisise him in exactly the same way.

Crying over Eddy being a doper in the past, is completely different to having issues with the likes of Armstrong, Valverde, Contador etc doping now.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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i'm reckoning that rhumbroma, by merely passing along the italian tiffosi street folklore, (and the ppl responding to him) haven't taken into their consideration the loose historical terms as to what actually defined blood doping in different eras...

all right, getting to the point... before the epo era - as many have properly pointed to the end of the 80's - blood doping was a blood transfusion, own or someone's.

Ater that, an the anti-doping folks are to blame, epo doping was also classified as blood doping.

so, imo, ppl are arguing about semantics borne out of a lack of accuracy in historical definitions.
 
spetsa said:
The results of the first successful clinical trial of EPO was published in 1987, so I would say that you are spot on. 1989 was my first year racing internatioanlly and it was at least a few years later that I first became aware of it's existence, let alone use. Not that I would be privy to all that was going on, but.........I would also bet that its first use in athletics was hear in the land of opportunity. Hell, LA may have actually learned about it from his triathlon buddies and brought the knowledge along with him to USAC. It would not suprise me if we learn much more about the answers to the time line questions being asked, once grand jury testimony is made public.
Calgary 1998 Olympics already saw some pretty odd performances, by unexpected countries.
 
Dr. Maserati said:
Good questions - my thoughts have been that they (Conconi, Fearrari & the Italians) sought Moser, not the other way around.

A goal like the 1 hour record was perfect - a controlled environment and a consistent distance.
It was known that there may be an advantage to blood doping - but the benefits vs extraction/timing made it unlikely for the road.
That is why the Moser Hour was used by the Italians - to scientifically consider its benefits in a controlled environment.

Before that it was guesswork- the American Olympic saga was a completely amateur setup.

It's irritating beyond belief how little the testimony from the Conconi trial did to illuminate the 'experimentation' of the mid 80s, perhaps because it lacked strict relevance to the facts of the case. Certainly it appears that the original approach was from Conconi, a man who perhaps deserves the epithet of Doctor Mabuse more than Bernard Sainz ever did.

FWIW, I discovered in recent times that my own appreciation of the history had been coloured by the Italian press and therefore by anglophone regurgitation of the same. Conconi was the stuff of broadsheets, while Ferrari was definitely tabloid. :)

The Conconi story retained a cloak of scientific abstraction, while the journos were seduced by the sniff of scandal associated with "state-funded doping". The "popular" element seems rather to have been neglected, perhaps because, given the erstwhile Dottore's connections, it would have made some important people (and supposed ingénues like Alexandre de Mérode) look bad.

It was left to Ferrari to "debase" the science and to decant it from the flask of abstraction into a polyprismatic goblet of profit. It was only then that blood doping was properly "outed" in the popular perception. Here we had cyclists judicially labelled as victims and the sordid facts of doping practice delivered in tabloid technicolor, beginning with early hours hotel rooms and continuing today with camper vans on Alpine passes.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Mrs John Murphy said:
Have you been able work out through your research when blood doping first made it into the road racing scene?

It depends on your definition of blood doping.
I doubt it had much effect, but there was an Irish cyclist who rode in the Ras in Irelands in the 50's who drank calves blood.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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I have seen zero evidence of blood doping on the road in the 70's and 80's. There have been a huge amount of books and interviews focused on doping in the sport at the time. zero mention blood doping.

I was involved in the sport and living in Europe in the 80's. Blood doping was known of, especially after 1984, but it was clearly feared. What you mostly heard about were the risks, i.e. storage, high blood pressure, Heat dissipation, etc.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Race Radio said:
I have seen zero evidence of blood doping on the road in the 70's and 80's. There have been a huge amount of books and interviews focused on doping in the sport at the time. zero mention blood doping.

I was involved in the sport and living in Europe in the 80's. Blood doping was known of, especially after 1984, but it was clearly feared. What you mostly heard about were the risks, i.e. storage, high blood pressure, Heat dissipation, etc.

As you say, it was acknowledged that it could be useful but the risks outweighed the benefits.

The only rider I have seen admit pre Moser was Joop Zoetemelk - he had an accident in 74, but used transfusions to bring up his HCT in 76.
 
TeamSkyFans said:
If Eddy was riding today, and was clearly doped, I think people would critisise him in exactly the same way.

Crying over Eddy being a doper in the past, is completely different to having issues with the likes of Armstrong, Valverde, Contador etc doping now.

see, i don't agree with that. the knowledge of how to do this has increased with time. don't kid yourself. if you look for an edge, you use the current state of the art.
 
Mrs John Murphy said:
Have you been able work out through your research when blood doping first made it into the road racing scene?

If your question was directed at me, the answer is no. The estimates made here are no less well-informed than those of the journos, at least in terms of what has been published. :)

Personally, I think it probably started with Conconi because the distinction I tend to make is between medals and money.

In the former case, the goal was more or less limited to Cold War prestige. The riders were amateur athletes most of whom were under pretty tight state control and there was almost zero opportunity for riders under Soviet hegemony to turn professional.

Therefore it's not too difficult to believe in a glass wall dividing off the professional circuit which was, as Fignon claimed in his autobiog, still in the throes of a 'hippy' era.

Fignon later calls out Lemond - unfairly in my opinion, but nevertheless a good omerta scapegoat - as being the catalyst for ending this era with his star player ethos.

However if we accept the fallacy of blaming one man for such a global change, then surely Conconi more readily represents this catalyst.

Yet he accessed Moser on the track rather than the road, in a non-competitive solo discipline.

If we are to buy the press narrative, Conconi was all about the science but the heinous state funding link was about cheating rather than personal profit (hence the notion of a lesser evil).

So if follows (according to that school of thought) that Ferrari was the one who recognised this latter potential and went about building himself a programme of programmes. Conconi fairly neatly slips out of the narrative, an eminence grise to Ferrari's misunderstood, flamboyant gepetto.

Dr. Maserati said:
The only rider I have seen admit pre Moser was Joop Zoetemelk...

I didn't know this about Zoetemelk - did he admit that in Het Laatste Geel or elsewhere?
 
Jul 27, 2010
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Echoes said:
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.

Under what conditions would you define the taking of amphetamines as "doping but not cheating"?

Cheating, by definition, is to defraud or swindle - a transgression of the rules. Amphetamines are banned in our sport, so to use them is to cheat. And how on earth do you call the use of tri-bars "cheating"? Using them is within the rules, and therefore not cheating at all, unless you would also define riding on the drops as cheating, wearing an aero helmet as cheating, tucking in your elbows as cheating etc.

Cheating in cycling, as in any rule-based sport, simply means breaking the rules to gain an advantage over other competitors. Tri-bars are allowed in our sport; this is not "cheating (authorized)" at all.
 
Dr. Maserati said:
As you say, it was acknowledged that it could be useful but the risks outweighed the benefits.

The only rider I have seen admit pre Moser was Joop Zoetemelk - he had an accident in 74, but used transfusions to bring up his HCT in 76.
Dr, what are the chances that because he did it once and it worked, he would do it again?

My opinion is that what he did was more of a coincidence. That maybe he needed medical treatment and he took advantage of it. Not something that was organized and premeditated. What do you think?

BTW, do you have the source for it?

Thanks.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Escarabajo said:
Dr, what are the chances that because he did it once and it worked, he would do it again?

My opinion is that what he did was more of a coincidence. That maybe he needed medical treatment and he took advantage of it. Not something that was organized and premeditated. What do you think?

BTW, do you have the source for it?

Thanks.

As you suggest- his case is more about medical treatment then doing it for enhancement.
I do feel it was probably a once-off, not because of any moral reason, but the practical side of doing transfusions at the time.

Here is what Zoetemelk said at the time:
“Now that I have recovered my normal red corpuscle content and my health, there is no reason for me to do it again.”