Testosterone and cortisone dosages.

Can't find much on the net about what products and dosages have been used in the peleton.

Does anyone have any personal experience?

I can understand testosterone benefits with increased glycogen and hemoglobin but not that clear on the benefits of cortisone.

Thanks.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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durianrider said:
Can't find much on the net about what products and dosages have been used in the peleton.

Does anyone have any personal experience?

I can understand testosterone benefits with increased glycogen and hemoglobin but not that clear on the benefits of cortisone.

Thanks.
Both aid in recovery. Cortisone is generally for specific reduction of swelling in tissue and muscles. Injected it can dramatically reduce discomfort to soft tissue and muscular inflammation but does so at the risk that further exertion will net further damage. They cure nothing.
 
Oldman said:
Both aid in recovery. Cortisone is generally for specific reduction of swelling in tissue and muscles. Injected it can dramatically reduce discomfort to soft tissue and muscular inflammation but does so at the risk that further exertion will net further damage. They cure nothing.
Technically all pain killers do this - they don't cure, they mask.

If you have joint problems (like I do) they are used so you can continue exercising to keep the muscles (which keep your joints / limbs working properly) strong. Painkillers should always be seen as a short term fix whilst understanding and fixing the underlying issue.
 
Testosterone is very, very popular for two reasons:

1. 4:1 ratio threshold is waaaaaay beyond normal. Odds anyone actually has that kind of ratio naturally is ridiculously low. WADA has a process for getting an exemption if it's the real deal. Patches and creams are classic applications.

2. The test for T/E ratio is a urinalysis and apparently very easy to defeat.

A sports federation doesn't have to open a sanction. We know various anti-doping authorities in cycling haven't done that in the past.

Cortisone is a TUE away from rampant abuse. 2013 had 90+ cycling podium positives that were "explained" by TUE's. The UCI just has to like you.
 
durianrider said:
Can't find much on the net about what products and dosages have been used in the peleton.

Does anyone have any personal experience?

I can understand testosterone benefits with increased glycogen and hemoglobin but not that clear on the benefits of cortisone.

Thanks.
I was injected in my lower back with cortisone a couple of decades ago. At the time, it was a (sporting) career saver.

It didn't violate the then doping list, but that wouldn't have mattered as I could barely walk before the injection - and I would have taken it eve if it meant I couldn't race. I was able to walk out of the office, and was able to get right back into training (again no doping issue, at least not then and/or because of the type of application).

Cortisone has been used in the peloton as a pain killer - for a long time. It will deteriorate muscle over time, so not highly recommended as a regular treatment.

Dave.
 
Cortisone is a bit more complicated than that - it mimics cortisol, the stress hormone. The effects of cortisol are varied and complex - it changes the expression levels (amount of protein made) of over 10% of the genes in your body. Among other things, it suppresses your immune system (which is why corticoids are used for organ transplants, asthma, allergies, inflammation, etc), increases your blood sugar, boosts your metabolism, and diverts resources from muscle/bone growth.

One important thing to understand is that corticoids are administered in many different ways depending on what they're treating. For example, I have asthma, and I take a low dose corticoid inhaler twice a day to basically stop the immune system in my lungs from freaking out over nothing all the time and causing breathing difficulties. Applying the dose where it's needed keeps the dose down and prevents side effects in the rest of the body. Similarly, corticoid creams are available to treat beestings, eczema, etc.

Cyclists however, have been known to get a TUE for the topical cream but then take the much more powerful oral or injected versions, for the aforementioned benefits to blood sugar, metabolism, inflammation, etc. The most notorious case is probably Armstrong's backdated TUE in the 1999 TdF, allegedly for a saddle sore.

TUEs are also granted for oral corticoids, for example Chris Froome in the Tour de Romandie this year. They're a standard treatment for acute asthma aggravated by colds, flu, chest infections etc. I have some sympathy for Froome in this case - I've been given the same treatment (prednisolone) a bunch of times for chest infections when I was in pretty bad shape, and calling it 'horse steroids' like some Clinic members do is a cheap shot - aspirin is used to treat horses but you wouldn't call aspirin 'horse painkillers'. It worked very well and possibly saved my life on a couple of occasions, but any time I needed prednisolone, I could barely climb the stairs, nevermind a Cat 1 mountain.

As cortisol is a 'fight or flight' hormone released in short bursts when the body needs energy, you can probably guess that long term use of corticoids is bad for the body. It can cause wasting of bone and muscle, thinning of skin and also joint damage, especially if used to 'play through pain' (look at all the 80's cyclists with bad knees, as well as half the Europcar team, ahem). What's outwardly visible, however, is increased water retention, leading to the classic 'moon face', easily noticeable in a skinny pro cyclist...

 
vedrafjord said:
Cortisone is a bit more complicated than that - it mimics cortisol, the stress hormone. The effects of cortisol are varied and complex - it changes the expression levels (amount of protein made) of over 10% of the genes in your body. Among other things, it suppresses your immune system (which is why corticoids are used for organ transplants, asthma, allergies, inflammation, etc), increases your blood sugar, boosts your metabolism, and diverts resources from muscle/bone growth.

One important thing to understand is that corticoids are administered in many different ways depending on what they're treating. For example, I have asthma, and I take a low dose corticoid inhaler twice a day to basically stop the immune system in my lungs from freaking out over nothing all the time and causing breathing difficulties. Applying the dose where it's needed keeps the dose down and prevents side effects in the rest of the body. Similarly, corticoid creams are available to treat beestings, eczema, etc.

Cyclists however, have been known to get a TUE for the topical cream but then take the much more powerful oral or injected versions, for the aforementioned benefits to blood sugar, metabolism, inflammation, etc. The most notorious case is probably Armstrong's backdated TUE in the 1999 TdF, allegedly for a saddle sore.

TUEs are also granted for oral corticoids, for example Chris Froome in the Tour de Romandie this year. They're a standard treatment for acute asthma aggravated by colds, flu, chest infections etc. I have some sympathy for Froome in this case - I've been given the same treatment (prednisolone) a bunch of times for chest infections when I was in pretty bad shape, and calling it 'horse steroids' like some Clinic members do is a cheap shot - aspirin is used to treat horses but you wouldn't call aspirin 'horse painkillers'. It worked very well and possibly saved my life on a couple of occasions, but any time I needed prednisolone, I could barely climb the stairs, nevermind a Cat 1 mountain.

As cortisol is a 'fight or flight' hormone released in short bursts when the body needs energy, you can probably guess that long term use of corticoids is bad for the body. It can cause wasting of bone and muscle, thinning of skin and also joint damage, especially if used to 'play through pain' (look at all the 80's cyclists with bad knees, as well as half the Europcar team, ahem). What's outwardly visible, however, is increased water retention, leading to the classic 'moon face', easily noticeable in a skinny pro cyclist...

The skin thinning (say that three times quickly) problem being one of the more obvious inconsistencies of the Armstrong TUE.

Moon face?

But, careful what you might start here lest we revive the lantern jaw thread and the monkey face discussion.

Finally, while prednisone and prednisolone are corticosteroids (glucocorticoids) like cortisone, their application and historic use in the peloton differs.

Dave.
 

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