"The Bare Minimum" by Robert Millar

Mar 17, 2012
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Honestly don´t know, sorry...: Is the author THE Robert Millar who was caught with testosterone?

If yes, HOW on earth can this man be enabled to post his then absolutely worthless statement here? Wouldn´t it be just fair to now give the chance to issue his statement here to a rider who really knows what clean cycling is at all, and who has suffered in the Armstrong years, most notably David Moncoutie?
 
Jul 1, 2009
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I think its good to give the riders of his generation a platform on which to come clean and tell how it was. Unless Millar fessed up elsewhere, his commentary really dances around the issue of his own experience with the Super and raises a number of questions about the "when" and "who" of EPO use.

He admits EPO was freely available and used by riders in his last TdF, the 1992 race in which he finished 24th, 30 minutes behind the winner Indurain, and in which Hampsten finished 4th, nearly 14 minutes behind Indurain. The rest of the podium in that Tour was Chiapucci and Bugno.

What does Millar's statement about the widespread use of EPO suggest about the top finishers in the 1992 Tour, including his own performance? Why the focus on the 1992 Tour? Was this the first Tour when EPO use was widespread? Were most riders using it aggresively at that time as they did later on when the 50% limit was introduced such that a clean top finisher would be improbable?

He also admits the amphetimine and cortisone "era." What was the role of these drugs and their prevelence among the top riders? How much of an advantage did they offer?

RHRH19861986 said:
Honestly don´t know, sorry...: Is the author THE Robert Millar who was caught with testosterone?

If yes, HOW on earth can this man be enabled to post his then absolutely worthless statement here? Wouldn´t it be just fair to now give the chance to issue his statement here to a rider who really knows what clean cycling is at all, and who has suffered in the Armstrong years, most notably David Moncoutie?
 
Mar 17, 2012
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OK, but one thing, and I honestly don´t know it: did Robert Millar ever confess? If no, he has no right to speak out on this issue, if yes, I still think there are many people out there, clean or not, who´d better be chosen to issue here on CN.

Also, I don´t believe these Thuraus and Millars and even older guys, who say "Ah, we just did Amphetamines and steroids and cortisone, but we would never take EPO or blood bags or HGH if we rode in the ´00s or ´10s. They would take it.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Try reading the article more carefully before castigating the man. He unlike you or I has actually experienced the environment of the peloton, so can speak with authority on the subject of the UCI's lack of backbone on the issue.
 
ultimobici said:
Try reading the article more carefully before castigating the man. He unlike you or I has actually experienced the environment of the peloton, so can speak with authority on the subject of the UCI's lack of backbone on the issue.
+1

by far one of the best articles i've read on this whole debacle... total respect!
 
Jun 11, 2012
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+2

Having been through much of the era that Robert is referring to he makes pertinent and insightful points.

Chapeau...
 
Great, another idiotic cyclist trying to stay relevant and make some money authoring articles and providing ridiculous and completely inaccurate information.

"What the UCI have done during the EPO era has been far from enough, they have let down a generation of fans, riders, sponsors and supporters. They and the people behind the 50% farce have been lucky that there weren't deaths."


Mr. Millar, 50% Hemotacrit is not "dangerous" that will cause death in normal healthy athletes.

Quest Diagnostics has the testing range of 38.5-50%
LabCorp has the testing range of 36-50%.

Thus, 50% is the normal high level found amongst the average population. These ranges are determined and widely accepted in the medical and testing world.

Making an inflammatory statement that the UCI is lucky nobody "died" from allowing 50% hemotacrit is irresponsible and stupid. The chances of that in healthy athletes is slim to none.

Nobody has even been shown to have died with their hemotacrit being at 50% that didn't have some other underlying health issue.

"And it's still a 50% limit today despite the evidence that it isn't normal?"

Normal ranges for men 19yrs and older are 36-50% hemotacrit.

No idea where this idiot gets his information from that 50% is so insanely high?

My last three blood tests this year show 47.1%, 45.6% and 44%. No, I don't do EPO and I live at sea level. Edit, oh wait, just got some labs back today, hemotacrit 48.3%..rofl....oh dear, I'm doomed!

Guess I'm close to dying in my sleep according to this misinformed fool.
 
lawhoo said:
I think its good to give the riders of his generation a platform on which to come clean and tell how it was. Unless Millar fessed up elsewhere, his commentary really dances around the issue of his own experience with the Super and raises a number of questions about the "when" and "who" of EPO use.

He admits EPO was freely available and used by riders in his last TdF, the 1992 race in which he finished 24th, 30 minutes behind the winner Indurain, and in which Hampsten finished 4th, nearly 14 minutes behind Indurain. The rest of the podium in that Tour was Chiapucci and Bugno.

What does Millar's statement about the widespread use of EPO suggest about the top finishers in the 1992 Tour, including his own performance? Why the focus on the 1992 Tour? Was this the first Tour when EPO use was widespread? Were most riders using it aggresively at that time as they did later on when the 50% limit was introduced such that a clean top finisher would be improbable?

He also admits the amphetimine and cortisone "era." What was the role of these drugs and their prevelence among the top riders? How much of an advantage did they offer?
Millar's last Tour was 1993 not 92 and I think EPO usage had even grown more widespread since 92.
 
Jun 13, 2009
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zigmeister said:
Great, another idiotic cyclist trying to stay relevant and make some money authoring articles and providing ridiculous and completely inaccurate information.

"
Remember this is the Robert Millar who pretty much turned his back on the sport in retirement and whose only contact prior to all this with the cycling world was the occasional forum posts and these cyclingnews articles. He doesn't have any desire to do the above.

He probly has some skeletons himself, but he's not done what his contemporaries have and stayed tied to the sport that has fed them for their working lives and who are now knee deep in omerta and other related ****.
 
Oct 24, 2012
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thirteen said:
+1

by far one of the best articles i've read on this whole debacle... total respect!
+3
And yes we know the gossip from a decade or so back and we know that Millar tested positive finishing third on a stage of the Vuelta late in his career but his points are valid and his perspective is important. Think of it in comparison to all the 'shocked' responses from riders, and all the 'I never saw anything' responses not to mention all the 'we never talk about doping in the peloton' responses.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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Riders dying of EPO overdoses (Hct too high).
UCI introduce 50% Hct rule
(Riders stop dying? Can anyone confirm)
AIS come out and say 50% is too harsh, should be 52-54%.
...
Robert Millar says 50% rule was a farce.

Uh huh.

I don't know if the deaths stopped post-50% rule, but if they did, people really need to stfu about Hein being useless in this one instance of preventing athlete deaths.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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zigmeister said:
Great, another idiotic cyclist trying to stay relevant and make some money authoring articles and providing ridiculous and completely inaccurate information.

"What the UCI have done during the EPO era has been far from enough, they have let down a generation of fans, riders, sponsors and supporters. They and the people behind the 50% farce have been lucky that there weren't deaths."


Mr. Millar, 50% Hemotacrit is not "dangerous" that will cause death in normal healthy athletes.

Quest Diagnostics has the testing range of 38.5-50%
LabCorp has the testing range of 36-50%.

Thus, 50% is the normal high level found amongst the average population. These ranges are determined and widely accepted in the medical and testing world.

Making an inflammatory statement that the UCI is lucky nobody "died" from allowing 50% hemotacrit is irresponsible and stupid. The chances of that in healthy athletes is slim to none.

Nobody has even been shown to have died with their hemotacrit being at 50% that didn't have some other underlying health issue.

"And it's still a 50% limit today despite the evidence that it isn't normal?"

Normal ranges for men 19yrs and older are 36-50% hemotacrit.

No idea where this idiot gets his information from that 50% is so insanely high?

My last three blood tests this year show 47.1%, 45.6% and 44%. No, I don't do EPO and I live at sea level. Edit, oh wait, just got some labs back today, hemotacrit 48.3%..rofl....oh dear, I'm doomed!

Guess I'm close to dying in my sleep according to this misinformed fool.
Did you actually read the blog piece? If so you certainly missed the point entirely.

Millar is eminently qualified to write what is effectively an opinion piece. He rode as a professional from 1980 to 1995 and saw first hand the transformation of the sport as blood vector doping was introduced. His forum name summed it up "gottheteeshirt".

This paragraph must have escaped you attention. Ive bolded the bits that are especially pertinent.

Want to know who was juiced? That's easy – just ask to see their blood levels . Before EPO, the haematocrit norm would have been around 40-42%, gradually reducing as a grand tour went on. Then suddenly everyone's jumped to 50% or more and stayed there for weeks at a time. There hadn't been a step forward in human evolution, the only thing that had changed was the arrival of what Laurent Fignon called the new Super (French for high octane fuel) and those willing to supply and administer it.
Millar has forgotten more about racing than you or I could ever hope to know.
 
Jul 6, 2010
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ultimobici said:
Did you actually read the blog piece? If so you certainly missed the point entirely.

Millar is eminently qualified to write what is effectively an opinion piece. He rode as a professional from 1980 to 1995 and saw first hand the transformation of the sport as blood vector doping was introduced. His forum name summed it up "gottheteeshirt".

This paragraph must have escaped you attention. Ive bolded the bits that are especially pertinent.



Millar has forgotten more about racing than you or I could ever hope to know.
Cheers, Ultimo.

Let me tell ya, kids these days...
 
Aug 27, 2012
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zigmeister said:
Mr. Millar, 50% Hemotacrit is not "dangerous" that will cause death in normal healthy athletes.

Quest Diagnostics has the testing range of 38.5-50%
LabCorp has the testing range of 36-50%.
I suspect that if your "normal Hct is 36% and you push it to 50% that you are much more likely to run into problems than if your normal is 45 and you push to 50. If you make the blood a significant amount stickier (assume some 35% if going from 36-50) then surely that must be a bigger health risk than say 10% stickier.

Same holds for "responsiveness" to EPO by the way. If you are a low baseline you will get much more benefit going to 50. Presumably.
 
Jul 13, 2010
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RHRH19861986 said:
Honestly don´t know, sorry...: Is the author THE Robert Millar who was caught with testosterone?

If yes, HOW on earth can this man be enabled to post his then absolutely worthless statement here? Wouldn´t it be just fair to now give the chance to issue his statement here to a rider who really knows what clean cycling is at all, and who has suffered in the Armstrong years, most notably David Moncoutie?
Given that cycling is still in the "evidence gathering" phase of all this, I think that articles like this, by people like Millar, are exactly what we need.
 
Good Article. Highlights the differences between EPO and the old drugs like Cortisone. Well qualified to write such an article as well, as he would have been one of the victims of EPO charged riders.
 
Oct 23, 2012
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the asian said:
Good Article. Highlights the differences between EPO and the old drugs like Cortisone. Well qualified to write such an article as well, as he would have been one of the victims of EPO charged riders.
I think Millar has some good points, but he's not exactly untainted by EPO.

Millar's last professional team was the Le Groupement fiasco in 1995. This team was also supposed to include Graeme Obree. Obree withdrew very early on because he was unwilling to contribute to the central EPO fund the team were establishing. This is mentioned in Obree's book, and he also stated it at the time - and if I remember correctly, Robert Millar publicly ridiculed his claim.
 
Sep 24, 2012
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zigmeister said:
Great, another idiotic cyclist trying to stay relevant and make some money authoring articles and providing ridiculous and completely inaccurate information.

"What the UCI have done during the EPO era has been far from enough, they have let down a generation of fans, riders, sponsors and supporters. They and the people behind the 50% farce have been lucky that there weren't deaths."


Mr. Millar, 50% Hemotacrit is not "dangerous" that will cause death in normal healthy athletes.

Quest Diagnostics has the testing range of 38.5-50%
LabCorp has the testing range of 36-50%.

Thus, 50% is the normal high level found amongst the average population. These ranges are determined and widely accepted in the medical and testing world.

Making an inflammatory statement that the UCI is lucky nobody "died" from allowing 50% hemotacrit is irresponsible and stupid. The chances of that in healthy athletes is slim to none.

Nobody has even been shown to have died with their hemotacrit being at 50% that didn't have some other underlying health issue.

"And it's still a 50% limit today despite the evidence that it isn't normal?"

Normal ranges for men 19yrs and older are 36-50% hemotacrit.

No idea where this idiot gets his information from that 50% is so insanely high?

My last three blood tests this year show 47.1%, 45.6% and 44%. No, I don't do EPO and I live at sea level. Edit, oh wait, just got some labs back today, hemotacrit 48.3%..rofl....oh dear, I'm doomed!

Guess I'm close to dying in my sleep according to this misinformed fool.
I think the author was referring to the era of blood enhancement generally, not the danger of 50% specifically. Good article I believe. It's amazing more harm wasn't done to people's health.

Just saw Cav's interview on BBC (yawn). He should stick to moving his legs in circles - does that pretty well.
 
outnumbered said:
I think Millar has some good points, but he's not exactly untainted by EPO.

Millar's last professional team was the Le Groupement fiasco in 1995. This team was also supposed to include Graeme Obree. Obree withdrew very early on because he was unwilling to contribute to the central EPO fund the team were establishing. This is mentioned in Obree's book, and he also stated it at the time - and if I remember correctly, Robert Millar publicly ridiculed his claim.
No, this is wrong. GO mentions "medical backup" in his book...no mention of EPO at all. Mind you, to GO anything that wasn't food or drink was out for him, whilst others like Robert Millar did supplement. And Graeme didn't withdraw from the team, he was fired, for "not fitting in" And if you read his account of that time with any insight into how teams (not just cycling teams) work, you can see that he certainly did not fit in.

Good post by Robert though: his earlier one on Sky in the TdF was right on the money as well. Hope he's feeling good....I always worried that taking hormones long term could impact on his own bodies ability to produce them, but I've no evidence to back this up.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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RHRH19861986 said:
Honestly don´t know, sorry...: Is the author THE Robert Millar who was caught with testosterone?

If yes, HOW on earth can this man be enabled to post his then absolutely worthless statement here? Wouldn´t it be just fair to now give the chance to issue his statement here to a rider who really knows what clean cycling is at all, and who has suffered in the Armstrong years, most notably David Moncoutie?


I learned much from Robert's comments. EPO widely available in 1993...so actually arrived big time early 90s, not 1994-95.. Fignon called it "the new super".

You are worthless with the attitude you take to someone of insight like Robert Millar

What insight do you have?
 
Oct 16, 2010
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a bright article indeed.
a couple of good points he makes, for instance about many riders still being too young to have any adult opinion or morale on/about PEDs when they are confronted with 'the choice'.
I don't like, though, how Millar leaves room at the end for the option of UCI staying in charge leading the change.
IMO that's simply not an option.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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lawhoo said:
I think its good to give the riders of his generation a platform on which to come clean and tell how it was. Unless Millar fessed up elsewhere, his commentary really dances around the issue of his own experience with the Super and raises a number of questions about the "when" and "who" of EPO use.

He admits EPO was freely available and used by riders in his last TdF, the 1992 race in which he finished 24th, 30 minutes behind the winner Indurain, and in which Hampsten finished 4th, nearly 14 minutes behind Indurain. The rest of the podium in that Tour was Chiapucci and Bugno.

What does Millar's statement about the widespread use of EPO suggest about the top finishers in the 1992 Tour, including his own performance? Why the focus on the 1992 Tour? Was this the first Tour when EPO use was widespread? Were most riders using it aggresively at that time as they did later on when the 50% limit was introduced such that a clean top finisher would be improbable?

He also admits the amphetimine and cortisone "era." What was the role of these drugs and their prevelence among the top riders? How much of an advantage did they offer?
you are poorly informed. His last Tour de France was in 1993. At last get basic facts right before you start posting on this thread
 
Dear Wiggo said:
Riders dying of EPO overdoses (Hct too high).
UCI introduce 50% Hct rule
(Riders stop dying? Can anyone confirm)
AIS come out and say 50% is too harsh, should be 52-54%.
...
Robert Millar says 50% rule was a farce.

Uh huh.

I don't know if the deaths stopped post-50% rule, but if they did, people really need to stfu about Hein being useless in this one instance of preventing athlete deaths.
Most of the deaths that happened which have been linked to EPO but never proven were late 80s/very early 90s. Ironically as EPO spread there were fewer deaths, possibly because the doctors knew how to administer it correctly.

The 50% rule was introduced in 1997 under the watch of Verbruggen but ironically it was the cyclists themselves who demanded a limit to be introduced. UCI were reactive rather than proactive on that one. The riders realised some people were prepared to take bigger and bigger risks and many were not willing to go to that level so hence the request for a limit. Of course it never stopped EPO usage, just controlled it which is what they wanted.

Also of note is the fact that there were probably more deaths in pro-cycling in the 00s than at the height of the EPO era 94-97.
 
pmcg76 said:
Also of note is the fact that there were probably more deaths in pro-cycling in the 00s than at the height of the EPO era 94-97.
That was because of the introduction of the EPO test. Riders switched to self-administered blooddoping and whatnot. Better tests lead to riders doing crazy stuff. So from a health perspective the 50% limit wasn't that bad an idea, really.
 

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