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Pre-EPO/blood doping era drugs

Can I ask someone to clear up a distinction I have in my mind for the different drug uses please? I've always considered blood doping and EPO use on another level to the older "stimulants" as older stimulants simply help you to push your natural physiology more, whereas blood doping/epo etc changes the body's natural physiology.

Following on from this, before EPO and blood spinning/doping, clean riders could still win and the results were more "natural" as dopers were still riding to their natural physiology (albeit with assistance to reach nearer to the barrier). For example, recovery could not be enhanced and therefore to win a GT your recovery had to be naturally good. However, in the blood-doping/EPO era, physiologies were altered and therefore the proverbial donkey could be turned into a race-horse.

Is this correct?
 
May 26, 2010
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Roland Rat said:
Can I ask someone to clear up a distinction I have in my mind for the different drug uses please? I've always considered blood doping and EPO use on another level to the older "stimulants" as older stimulants simply help you to push your natural physiology more, whereas blood doping/epo etc changes the body's natural physiology.

Following on from this, before EPO and blood spinning/doping, clean riders could still win and the results were more "natural" as dopers were still riding to their natural physiology (albeit with assistance to reach nearer to the barrier). For example, recovery could not be enhanced and therefore to win a GT your recovery had to be naturally good. However, in the blood-doping/EPO era, physiologies were altered and therefore the proverbial donkey could be turned into a race-horse.

Is this correct?

I dont think EPO turned donkey's into Derby winners. Not a great analogy as the TdF is 3 weeks and pretty much all were race horses of some breed or other.

What it definitely allowed is riders to perform better than naturally possible due to getting more red blood cells into the muscles and it also made them recover well, whereas before a horse was good for a few days before its performance was affected due to the body not recovering from the big exertions, the use of EPO allowed the body to stay at a high level consistently

at least that is my understanding of it. There are some high brows on here who will put it better than me of course.
 
Testosterone and HGH help recovery as well. T was used to treat anemia (although in requiring doses far beyond everything usable for endurance sports). HGH additionally helps optimizing body composition (muscle vs. fat).

Corticosteroids help reducing unwanted muscles (upper body), reduce intramuscular inflammation, optimize glycogen allocation. In fact Synacthen may be one of the most underrated pharmaceuticals for cyclists.
 
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Roland Rat said:
Can I ask someone to clear up a distinction I have in my mind for the different drug uses please? I've always considered blood doping and EPO use on another level to the older "stimulants" as older stimulants simply help you to push your natural physiology more, whereas blood doping/epo etc changes the body's natural physiology.

Following on from this, before EPO and blood spinning/doping, clean riders could still win and the results were more "natural" as dopers were still riding to their natural physiology (albeit with assistance to reach nearer to the barrier). For example, recovery could not be enhanced and therefore to win a GT your recovery had to be naturally good. However, in the blood-doping/EPO era, physiologies were altered and therefore the proverbial donkey could be turned into a race-horse.

Is this correct?


From what I've read over the years, this is my understanding as well. No matter what stimulants you take, the basic physiology and oxygen carrying capacity of the person stays the same. By incresing the oxygen capacity of the blood, you are increasing the baseline performance possibilities of the rider. Perhaps not turning a donkey into a star, but certainly taking a domestique like Riis and turning him into a Tour winner.

This is why records began to come crashing down in the 80s, starting with guys like Moser who used blood boosting as part of his hour record attempts. Until then, Merckx's record seemed untouchable. Certainly the aero stuff helped, but Moser was already way past his prime.
 
reviving thread

Reviving this thread to post a link courtesy veloclinic from the pre-Internet-in-most-homes. This is a meta-study published in 1982

Note the interest in the topic revived about 1975 through 1982. Maybe a reader can tell us what getting research funding was like in that era to explain how the work got funded?

http://d3epuodzu3wuis.cloudfront.net/R072.pdf

Nice quote at the end: "Dr. A.H. Beckett was quoted prior to the 1980 Olympiad as stating "nothing will be done to stop blood dopers" The suggestion why he makes that claim is published here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/st.../panorama/transcripts/transcript_15_03_99.txt


BECKETT: And then, at a later stage, Merode comes back
to the Committee and said this is nothing, no concern whatsoever of this Medical Commission.

HEWITT: Why do you think Prince de Merode took that
decision, that it was nothing to do with the IOC?

BECKETT: I’m not thinking now - I know. He was told by
someone higher up in the IOC “Keep your hands off this situation”.

HEWITT: There is only one person higher up in the
International Olympic Committee and that’s the President.

BECKETT: Well it seems to point very clearly to him.

HEWITT: And why do you think that message was passed
down to Prince De Merode and passed on to you?


Here's some more IOC history: http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=PMC1859795&blobtype=pdf

Here's an article published about the guy's work at the time of his death in 2010.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/o...ported-those-accused-of-drug-use-1930015.html
 
If pre-EPO doping had no real impact on the results of races, why wasn't Gilles Delion a multiple-winner in all the big races? Why didn't Helvetia-La Suisse succeed and mop up at all the big races?

Isn't the big the change - the body changing change - the late 1960s, early 1970s - when 'roids came in: cortisone, testosterone etc? Before that, you really were dealing with uppers and downers, then you were having to deal with heavy artillery.
 
Anabolic steroids increase RBC count.

Low test as result of overtraining can result in anemia. I don't know the specific pathway, as it is EPO primarily that has the task to regulate RBC levels, but promoters of anabolic pathways do have an effect.
Too lazy to look up the chart.
 
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fmk_RoI said:
If pre-EPO doping had no real impact on the results of races, why wasn't Gilles Delion a multiple-winner in all the big races? Why didn't Helvetia-La Suisse succeed and mop up at all the big races?
After 1990 he suffered of a recurrent mononucleosis. That should explain why he was not able to repeat his 1990 season.
 
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fmk_RoI said:
If pre-EPO doping had no real impact on the results of races, why wasn't Gilles Delion a multiple-winner in all the big races? Why didn't Helvetia-La Suisse succeed and mop up at all the big races?

Isn't the big the change - the body changing change - the late 1960s, early 1970s - when 'roids came in: cortisone, testosterone etc? Before that, you really were dealing with uppers and downers, then you were having to deal with heavy artillery.
if you compare athletes in the 70s and the 2000s, it's hard to deny that there have been multiple "big changes".
even comparing athletes from the 90s vs. 2000s you see massive increase in athleticism. (soccer and tennis players providing particularly striking examples).
imo there are big changes on a regular basis.
one can only hope we're about to reach some sort of limit in terms of the extent to which we can manipulate our body.
 
How about a pair of sticks :D

2GMSq7G.jpg
 
Almeisan said:
Anabolic steroids increase RBC count.

Low test as result of overtraining can result in anemia. I don't know the specific pathway, as it is EPO primarily that has the task to regulate RBC levels, but promoters of anabolic pathways do have an effect.
Too lazy to look up the chart.

I read the increase in RBC are mild compared to what we understand about EPO.

My limited understanding based on lurking in bodybuilding forums is the steroids are a boom->bust cycle. You can't dose for long periods and expect the gains to continue. This is quite unlike EPO. The most complicated steroid task was the countering the things the body would do after some time on steroids to keep the gains in the boom phase. I could be wrong as I am learning on the go here. So, please correct me if I am.

Peptides fix the boom-bust problem. Not quite the steroid peak, but, very little to no post-cycle efforts needed to keep the gains.
 
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when i read books about Fignon and riders of that age it seems T was taken for recovery and amphetamines and pain concoctions were to manage the fatigue and pain of 200 racing days a year. Anti- doping efforts for pros was ineffective mostly because no one cared much. Amateurs were held to a much higher standard as they raced for god and country. Pro racing was a dirty commercial sport. Dirty referring to the commercial aspect.
Pros did not train because they raced into fitness.
I think the big elephant in the room was east Germany and the Soviet union. They were definitely playing with hormones and genetics or maybe Eugenics. Again this was for the amateurs which I said was more strictly regulated so it was Doping and the fact that east block riders were actually more like pros in that they did not have to keep a job as most were serving in the military. Must all have been battlefield messengers.

The game obviously changed with blood vector doping whether by transfusion or Hormones. The rest is debated in the clinic.
 
Master50 said:
...I think the big elephant in the room was east Germany and the Soviet union. .


There are two aspects of using the East German and Soviet Union that make it easy to paint them as the worst of the worst.
-Failed state. Both nations collapsed and as such it's easy to make them "bad." You can almost then say, "Thank dog that's over..."
-It's easy to use this bit of athletic history in cold war propaganda.


A reasonable person cannot disagree the history of their National doping programs is terrible. But, you have to be careful not to make your own country, or a few others exceptional. Look at Spain today. What came out of the last Fuentes trial was he only has to request the PED and the government grants him unfettered use despite laws to the contrary.
 
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I've heard that Testosterone and HGH combinations are great for recovery and performance in any sport. Blood doping might give the largest increase in performance in endurance sports, but the other stuff is great as well.
 
DirtyWorks said:
I read the increase in RBC are mild compared to what we understand about EPO.

My limited understanding based on lurking in bodybuilding forums is the steroids are a boom->bust cycle. You can't dose for long periods and expect the gains to continue. This is quite unlike EPO. The most complicated steroid task was the countering the things the body would do after some time on steroids to keep the gains in the boom phase. I could be wrong as I am learning on the go here. So, please correct me if I am.

Peptides fix the boom-bust problem. Not quite the steroid peak, but, very little to no post-cycle efforts needed to keep the gains.

Sure it's, 'mild'. No idea what kind of edge it would give. I'm not making a distinction between cyclists trying to cheat but merely getting 'marginal gains' and cyclists changing the playing field cheating using epo/blood dope.

But they do have the ability to increase hematocrit and endurance.

Anabolic steroids have the problem that they shut down natural production. But so does EPO, I hear. Maybe the recovery is dissimilar. But then again, test is supposed to decline with age anyway.

But if you train so hard your body can't up test production as fast as overtraining is shutting it down, I guess it alleviates the issue of unnatural high test shutting down natural production.
 
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DirtyWorks said:
There are two aspects of using the East German and Soviet Union that make it easy to paint them as the worst of the worst.
-Failed state. Both nations collapsed and as such it's easy to make them "bad." You can almost then say, "Thank dog that's over..."
-It's easy to use this bit of athletic history in cold war propaganda.


A reasonable person cannot disagree the history of their National doping programs is terrible. But, you have to be careful not to make your own country, or a few others exceptional. Look at Spain today. What came out of the last Fuentes trial was he only has to request the PED and the government grants him unfettered use despite laws to the contrary.

Yes there was a certain amount of Cold War propaganda but we still hear of athletes stories of that era. Never mind the doping. I just read a tale of an athlete that defected and the Stasi caused his family a lot of grief and he claimed he feared for his life even in foreign countries.
The 1984 Olympics it was obvious from the stories of USA cycling and blood doping so I do get your point. The other thing is international level athletes in both the USSR and E Germany generally supported their athletes buy military service. I guess the shot putters were training for the grenade toss? Cyclists never on parade. never much more military training than shooting a rifle. the big thing here is only the amateurs were held to a high standard and were expected to win clean. Pros got 2 week to 3 month suspensions or fines and amateurs lost all sponsorship money and any place on Olympic teams. A great result at the olympics can pave a decent its contract. We often joke that had Steve Bauer won the olympic road race he would have remained an amateur for at least another year. Might have spoiled his bridesmaid career too. Still the best finish for a Canadian at the tour.
In 1988 the winner of the Canadian Olympic trials who was supposed to have a guaranteed spot on the RR team was sent as an alternate because some of the selectors took the position he was cheating some way (drugs obviously) and cheated him of his opportunity to race based on 2 things. His coach was not playing the Canadian program and he was winning. Of the potential riders out of that pool of athletes, he was the only good sprinter but hey the climber was retiring after the olympics. It was won by Olaf Ludwig a sprinter and no Canadian even close. My point is it was so important the amateurs were spotless that the selection panel cheated him of his opportunity. anti doping corruption is not new. was this guy cheating? his grandfather won an Olympic medal so he had some pedigree.
How that integrates to the subject? By the 80s Testosterone was the recovery drug, some were messing with their blood speed, heroine and cocaine were still in common use esp by the pros and they all raced too many days. Riders faced incredible pain, catabolism of their muscles, incredible fatigue and financial compensation barely above servitude I would say the tolerance for the doping of that era was compassionate as it applied to pros. 10 years later the game had really changed. Festina affair.
 
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DirtyWorks said:
My limited understanding based on lurking in bodybuilding forums is the steroids are a boom->bust cycle. You can't dose for long periods and expect the gains to continue. This is quite unlike EPO. The most complicated steroid task was the countering the things the body would do after some time on steroids to keep the gains in the boom phase. I could be wrong as I am learning on the go here. So, please correct me if I am.

Peptides fix the boom-bust problem. Not quite the steroid peak, but, very little to no post-cycle efforts needed to keep the gains.

Wasn't this the theory about Thevenet, boom = 1975, bust 1976, boom 1977...
 
fmk_RoI said:
If pre-EPO doping had no real impact on the results of races, why wasn't Gilles Delion a multiple-winner in all the big races? Why didn't Helvetia-La Suisse succeed and mop up at all the big races?

!! Lol, check your chronology, man!

poupou said:
After 1990 he suffered of a recurrent mononucleosis. That should explain why he was not able to repeat his 1990 season.

But it's amazing. 1990 was already an EPO year and despite that fact Gilles could still win Lombardy.

So the argument by the poster you quoted is ridiculous. We were in EPO era, then...

[Edit: correction the comment that follows is bullsh*t]Gilles has often claimed that his mononucleosis was caused by his efforts to follow the EPO dopers! (whether right or wrong)

Gilles turned pro in 1988, known as a year when blood doping generalized. He was only 22. In 1990, first real EPO year, he was still 24. There was no way he could have dominated pre-EPO era, simply because far too young at that time. :rolleyes:

Beside he was not such a big talent. Very good rider, but not one to dominate. He's always said it.
 
Echoes said:
!! Lol, check your chronology, man!



But it's amazing. 1990 was already an EPO year and despite that fact Gilles could still win Lombardy.

Gilles has often claimed that his mononucleosis was caused by his efforts to follow the EPO dopers! (whether right or wrong) So the argument by the poster you quoted is ridiculous. We were in EPO era, then...

Gilles turned pro in 1988, known as a year when blood doping generalized. He was only 22. In 1990, first real EPO year, he was still 24. There was no way he could have dominated pre-EPO era, simply because far too young at that time. :rolleyes:

Beside he was not such a big talent. Very good rider, but not one to dominate. He's always said it.

Ha ha. Hadn't heard that one.

Chasing EPO dopers gave him a communicable disease?

At least it was only mono. He's lucky he didn't get the clap or herpes or something.

Dave.
 
Interesting facts about EPO and East block doping in the 80s

I think the big elephant in the room was east Germany and the Soviet union. They were definitely playing with hormones and genetics or maybe Eugenics.

In the 80's human EPO was already injected by doctors to treat cancer.
Synthetic EPO (EPOGEN) had been developed by AMGEN and was used in multiple trials to gain approval from the authorities. It was approved in the US in 1989.
The East Germans had a doping lab in Kreischa where they worked on top notch doping techniques including blood doping and EPO before the fall of the wall in 1990.
The East Germany (DDR) and Russia clearly dominated the 1988 Seoul Olympic games in cycling as they won half of the medals and all golds except madison.
Did the East Germans use EPO injections (human or synthetic) in Seoul we don't know. It's likely but we are not sure...


Other interesting fact: 1990 fall of the wall: the top east-german riders turn pro.
Olaf Ludwig goes to Panasonic (Peter Post : Netherlands) with Ekimov
Uwe Ampler goes to PDM (Netherlands) and pioneer in the usage of synth EPO usage that started in the team in 1990
Schur and Kummer signeed at Chateau d'Ax where the team doctor is ... Michele Ferrari.

all these guys where re-united at Deutsche Telekom in 1993

Did these guys bring with them advanced East Germans blood doping protocols in already dodgy environments ?
Probable; That would be interesting to know
 
D-Queued said:
Ha ha. Hadn't heard that one.

Chasing EPO dopers gave him a communicable disease?

hmm I don't know why I said that. I did read on some other French cycling forum that his chronicle fatigues was perhaps thought to be caused by efforts to chase dopers but I can't find these comments back because they delete posts over the years...

Was my mistake. He never said that himself of course. :rolleyes:
 
lllludo said:
In the 80's human EPO was already injected by doctors to treat cancer.
Synthetic EPO (EPOGEN) had been developed by AMGEN and was used in multiple trials to gain approval from the authorities. It was approved in the US in 1989.
The East Germans had a doping lab in Kreischa where they worked on top notch doping techniques including blood doping and EPO before the fall of the wall in 1990.
The East Germany (DDR) and Russia clearly dominated the 1988 Seoul Olympic games in cycling as they won half of the medals and all golds except madison.
Did the East Germans use EPO injections (human or synthetic) in Seoul we don't know. It's likely but we are not sure...


Other interesting fact: 1990 fall of the wall: the top east-german riders turn pro.
Olaf Ludwig goes to Panasonic (Peter Post : Netherlands) with Ekimov
Uwe Ampler goes to PDM (Netherlands) and pioneer in the usage of synth EPO usage that started in the team in 1990
Schur and Kummer signeed at Chateau d'Ax where the team doctor is ... Michele Ferrari.

all these guys where re-united at Deutsche Telekom in 1993

Did these guys bring with them advanced East Germans blood doping protocols in already dodgy environments ?
Probable; That would be interesting to know

You think Ferrari (an assistant of Conconi on the 1984 in Moser's 1984 blood doping) would have learned new techniques of the East Germans?