The barber of Seville. Clenbuterol and hair samples

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Mar 18, 2009
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lean said:
i believe the bolded to be the source of the problem and you don't come off as argumentative at all. i was trying to give the 10 second version but i'll stretch it out a bit.

AC wears his hair pretty short, it's unlikely the hair sample taken in august will contain evidence of anything that happened in early june or before when blood would have been donated - that hair/evidence is already on the barbershop floor. drugs like clenbuterol leach into hair shortly after they are consumed and will stop leaching into hair following cessation of that drug use. the hair test in august would probably only confirm that he didn't consume therapeutic doses in late july. if the blood he transfused in late july had been refigerated and stored for 1-2 months it's likely too much time has passed but if they went to the trouble of using frozen cells evidence of clenbuterol in hair is looooooong gone. his "defense" will get nowhere with this when they go to CAS but it sounds good to fans and supporters. you are very skeptical, critical, and well informed and it's confused you, what impact do you think it will have on people who want to think he's innocent?

the table tennis player is off the hook because his hair analysis demonstrated no pattern of clenbuterol use in therapeutic doses. the hair sample reinforced that the presence of the drug was very isolated and minute and there is little to no chance he was using transfusions which are common practice in pro cycling over the last decade. contador using it as an example is a red herring and not even a remotely clever one. furthermore, the ponger lives and frequently consumes food in a part of the world where clenbuterol contamination is much more likely. i didn't hate contador for doping, i don't approve of it but i understand it at the top level of the sport, however i think the his public "defense" is unconscionable.

the only viable defense i see working for contador requires that he produce contaminated food stuffs or supplements. apart from that type of evidence it is just histrionics.
Thank you--that makes excellent sense.
 
Sep 30, 2010
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runninboy said:
It has to be one event, like eating the steak and then you prove it was accidental.
What? Surely the defence isn't going to say that he accidentaly ate the steak? Like he was reaching for a bread roll and accidentaly got the steak instead? Everyone running round, 'Alberto, Alberto, NO not the steak, cough it up now....' Maybe Vino dodget a bullet there. Maybe the steak was meant to be for him?;)
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Merckx index said:
So when a clean cyclist loses a race to a doper, you don't regard that as "punishing innocent people"? I can understand if you want to argue that losing a race to a doper is less of a punishment than being suspended for a false positive, but how many races have to be lost by how many innocent riders before the cumulative punishment is arguably worse than one rider wrongly suspended? Didn't Bassons suffer a great deal of punishment? You could say that, in effect, he received a lifetime suspension from the possibility of winning. Seems pretty harsh to me. Maybe a false positive or two would be worth it to prevent something like that?

In any case, there is a number somewhere, whether the authorities are conscious of it or not, and that underlies the attempt to find some balance between false positives and false negatives. Because the only certain way to eliminate ALL false positives is not to test at all.
So you think it is fine to punish innocent people? To ruin their lives while being honest because I would side with missing a conviction of a guilty man over punishing innocents.

Listen, Just go down to the local jail and request a room for the next 2 years. If that is too harsh then just on weekends.
 
Master50 said:
So you think it is fine to punish innocent people? To ruin their lives while being honest because I would side with missing a conviction of a guilty man over punishing innocents.

Listen, Just go down to the local jail and request a room for the next 2 years. If that is too harsh then just on weekends.
Hello, there is NO CHOICE, innocents are going to be punished no matter what we do. All we can try to do is minimize them. Clinging to your fairy tale of a test with no false positives, and willfully ignoring the careers that have been ruined because the tests were not good enough to stop doping may make your conscience feel better, but it doesn't solve the problem. Like most people, you get very upset when innocent people are directly punished, but manage to stay in heavy denial of the all indirect punishment that occurs.

Remember, humans are the same species who would watch five people killed by a runaway train that could be prevented by diverting it so it kills just one person. Their "conscience" won't let them "cause" the death of that one person, but they can live with the fact that they could have prevented five deaths and did nothing.

I'm not saying this is an easy issue, but being rational is good way to start.
 
Merckx index said:
Hello, there is NO CHOICE, innocents are going to be punished no matter what we do. All we can try to do is minimize them. Clinging to your fairy tale of a test with no false positives, and willfully ignoring the careers that have been ruined because the tests were not good enough to stop doping may make your conscience feel better, but it doesn't solve the problem. Like most people, you get very upset when innocent people are directly punished, but manage to stay in heavy denial of the all indirect punishment that occurs.

Remember, humans are the same species who would watch five people killed by a runaway train that could be prevented by diverting it so it kills just one person. Their "conscience" won't let them "cause" the death of that one person, but they can live with the fact that they could have prevented five deaths and did nothing.

I'm not saying this is an easy issue, but being rational is good way to start.
Surely you are not arguing that the current doping regulations do everything to minimize false positives? If you do, that would be hilarious.

And furthermore I think you will not be able to find any definition of punishment to cover your assertion that riders that lose out to dopers are effectively punished. Unfair? Yes. Punishment? Hell no.

Where you are right is that we will never be able to catch all dopers. So finding a false positive and punishing that rider might give that a clean rider the idea that everything is fair now, but we all know that he will still lose out to a real doper who is not being caught. So if you want to make it fair to the clean rider, you do not accept false positives as making the game fairer, you try to catch more real dopers.

I find it disturbing that people will accept false positives as acceptable collateral damage of the war on doping. Yes, collateral damage is in the end inevitable, but besides catching as many dopers as possible, the objective should be to keep collateral damage to an absolute minimum and punish innocent people as little as possible. Being rational, it is clear to me that current regulations do not do either.

What you are basically saying, if I may use an analogy, is that it is okay that we convict innocent people for murder, lock then up for life (or put them to death in some countries) as long as we also catch real murderers. That notion would be okay perhaps if we catch all murderers, but we all now we don't. So we are accepting huge detrimental effects for what?

Perhaps we should really up the punishments. If the punishment is high enough, no rider would dope anymore. Let's just say we amputate a leg when you get caught. I think we would probably only have to follow through 2 or 3 times and no one would take the risk anymore. Is that acceptable? I don't think you would argue that point and the outrage would be massive. Why do I make this point? Because there are certain things we should not accept even if we do get the desired result (clean cycling). Anti-doping has become such a witch hunt in my opinion that we are accepting or starting to accept all kinds of collateral damage we should not be accepting or should have been accepting.

But as you say, it is not an easy issue and carries all kinds of more or less philosophical connotations.

Regards
GJ
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Gee this is kind of a really interesting debate, but I have not idea why it's in this thread. Contador is not the victim of a "false positive." He tested positive twice, A and B, for a substance the UCI has a clearly stated zero tolerance policy for. There's no "false positive" here, and no innocents being punished. Just another blatant doper, caught.
 
Jul 19, 2010
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Wallace said:
Gee this is kind of a really interesting debate, but I have not idea why it's in this thread. Contador is not the victim of a "false positive." He tested positive twice, A and B, for a substance the UCI has a clearly stated zero tolerance policy for. There's no "false positive" here, and no innocents being punished. Just another blatant doper, caught.
While I don't disagree with your basic point, I think you misrepresent what "false positive" means. In principle a test could give two false positives, although for a well designed test, this would be highly improbable. A false positive is when a test shows positive but it should show negative. For instance, with an HIV test, one wants a very low false negative rate, but is willing to accept a certain false positive rate - it's a problem to society if there are lots of folks who have HIV but show up negative on tests - while it's a problem only to the individual if he shows up positive when he is in fact negative. With well designed tests, the false positive rate is sufficiently low that two positive tests mean that it is highly improbable that the true result is negative. In Contador's case we're not talking about even that - even Contador has not disputed that he tested positive. In other words, not even Contador has claimed that the positive was "false". Rather, he's claimed that it was not his fauly, and given a thoroughly ridiculous and implausible story to support his claim.
 

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