Thomas Frei

Jun 16, 2009
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For anyone wondering what ex riders get up to when they've been busted Thomas Frei was recently seen assisting a Dutch amateur team in the Tour de Martinique as "mechanic", but upon arrival bug*ered off to the beach and spent the week there.

I know this from a guy on the team i used to ride for who was racing there.

I guess having cooperated with the authorities, admitted everything, told how he got away with it and could have kept doing so there's no point training anymore is there?
 
Mongol_Waaijer said:
For anyone wondering what ex riders get up to when they've been busted Thomas Frei was recently seen assisting a Dutch amateur team in the Tour de Martinique as "mechanic", but upon arrival bug*ered off to the beach and spent the week there.

I know this from a guy on the team i used to ride for who was racing there.

I guess having cooperated with the authorities, admitted everything, told how he got away with it and could have kept doing so there's no point training anymore is there?


After a week of disillusionment at Riccò's tragic return to the needle, inspiration for clean professional cycling might be found not too far away, in Switzerland, where Thomas Frei is methodically churning-out the kilometers as he works to get his body - and mind - back into condition for pro cycling. But this time, without allowing doping to be a possibility.

I consider Thomas a friend and I know he went through a very difficult period after his positive, and despaired of returning to the sport. But we were talking today, after he posted a video of a climb he did in training: http://yfrog.us/mtuk5z. And I thought his mentality towards it was a good example of the simple flipping of the switch that is all it takes at the individual level to decide to cycle cleanly. (check out the video - it's only a few seconds but they capture the essence of the sport)

He said his best time on the climb w/ doping was x-minutes. With a little more than a year of training ahead of him before he can hope to return to the sport, he then said (paraphrasing) 'If I can't ride the climb w/o doping in the same x-minutes, then I do not come back.'

I can respect that, and I can support an athlete who's doped but is trying to come back and who puts such a simple litmus-test in place. He either performs cleanly at a certain level relative to when he was using EPO, or he moves on. Either do it cleanly or don't do it.

I certainly hope he makes it, and that the next year passes quickly for him. You can follow his training via Twitter, where he's transparently posting updates on the wko's he completes in the mornings before going off to work in the afternoon/evenings: http://twitter.com/#!/thomasfrei

If you are looking to follow someone who's trying to do the right thing and get back to the highest level of the sport just like you would - cleanly and without doping - I think T.F. merits your support.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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I think it is a poor way to "decide" whether you can come back. It is either he became reliant on EPO and did not do the full training effort, and now if he DOES train properly he may not need EPO, or he will have to face that, absent EPO, he is not genetically good enough to race at the Elite level. No shame in that, most folks are not gifted enough.

I would be more impressed if he simply found a new purpose in life, perhaps something for someone other than himself.
 
Apr 13, 2010
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Joe, considering Colm's point that if he can do the same clean as he could dirty, do you even think it's possible to do what Frei's aiming at if he indeed did have the right mentality and training before?

And if it's possible, with your own experience, how is that achievable?

All other things equal it's difficult to see how you'd be able to come back as strong when dropping the needle - or is it because for most dopers the professionalism takes a dive as you get more reliant on the medicine?
 
JPM London said:
Joe, considering Colm's point that if he can do the same clean as he could dirty, do you even think it's possible to do what Frei's aiming at if he indeed did have the right mentality and training before?

And if it's possible, with your own experience, how is that achievable?

All other things equal it's difficult to see how you'd be able to come back as strong when dropping the needle - or is it because for most dopers the professionalism takes a dive as you get more reliant on the medicine?
These are all great questions for Thomas and if you follow him on Twitter you can pose them directly to him.
 
Colm.Murphy said:
I think it is a poor way to "decide" whether you can come back. It is either he became reliant on EPO and did not do the full training effort, and now if he DOES train properly he may not need EPO, or he will have to face that, absent EPO, he is not genetically good enough to race at the Elite level. No shame in that, most folks are not gifted enough.

I would be more impressed if he simply found a new purpose in life, perhaps something for someone other than himself.
Given that he's already raced at the protour level w/o doping, I guess it's a good thing that his comeback isn't dependent on impressing you or not, Colm.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Raced at PT level without doping according to whom? Himself?

Joe, from what is known of EPO use and the ease with which one can avoid detection, staing it was a "one-time" transgression falls upon deaf ears. Sorry.

Don't strawman me here, your post makes an emotional appeal for support. I note it is a poor way to approach the decision to return to a sport from which one has flunked out of. Whether it impresses me is not the issue. Though, nice try.

You are bumping to defend points here and there. What is prompting this? Your usual bias is generally more camouflaged and difficult to detect.
 
Apr 13, 2010
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joe_papp said:
These are all great questions for Thomas and if you follow him on Twitter you can pose them directly to him.
Am doing that now :)

But I was also looking for your opinion, maybe not specifically on Frei, but then maybe in general... Or how would you rate the possibility if it was yourself?

Could you beat you're best doped times clean? And if so, where would the gain come from? More seriousness in training? Greater willpower in the ride (to fight to beat yourself)?
 
Apr 13, 2010
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The Hitch said:
Could you post his replies here JPM if he answers you?

Cheers.
Not that I've heard anything back yet, but this bit is lifted from ACF's link and is pretty much all the answer I'd need:

But what I say in my case I don’t have any idea if or how the micro dosing improved my levels, sometimes I rode really good races and sometimes I rode really bad ones. Same thing happened before I started micro dosing.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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Colm.Murphy said:
Raced at PT level without doping according to whom? Himself?

Joe, from what is known of EPO use and the ease with which one can avoid detection, staing it was a "one-time" transgression falls upon deaf ears. Sorry.

Don't strawman me here, your post makes an emotional appeal for support. I note it is a poor way to approach the decision to return to a sport from which one has flunked out of. Whether it impresses me is not the issue. Though, nice try.

You are bumping to defend points here and there. What is prompting this? Your usual bias is generally more camouflaged and difficult to detect.
He didn't say it was a "one-time transgression", he said he micro-dosed for the first time in 2008.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Tyler'sTwin said:
He didn't say it was a "one-time transgression", he said he micro-dosed for the first time in 2008.

You are right. I was wrong to frame it that way. Being fair to Mr. Frei, he should have his chance to return. He can choose whatever measuring stick he wants to gauge his level of competitiveness.

I should have been more thoughtful in my view, which is that I have questions as to how competitive he could be without he EPO. That Mr. Papp jumped to his defense made me think of Joe's lack of ability to reach an elite level despite what most would consider "trying everything".

I also add that though his personal goal may be to prove he can do it without illegal aid, I would be more impressed if the man would look past himself and find an endeavor where his efforts benefit someone other than himself.

Apologies for not being as factual and clear as I usually would be.
 
Colm.Murphy said:
Don't strawman me here, your post makes an emotional appeal for support. I note it is a poor way to approach the decision to return to a sport from which one has flunked out of. Whether it impresses me is not the issue. Though, nice try.

You are bumping to defend points here and there. What is prompting this? Your usual bias is generally more camouflaged and difficult to detect.
Perhaps you'll re-read my original post in the thread which said:

"If you are looking to follow someone who's trying to do the right thing and get back to the highest level of the sport just like you would - cleanly and without doping - I think T.F. merits your support."

I didn't ask anyone to support anyone. I said who I thought merited support if one was searching based on the criteria of identifying a convicted doper trying to return to pro cycling at the protour level w/o doping.

JPM London said:
Am doing that now :)

But I was also looking for your opinion, maybe not specifically on Frei, but then maybe in general... Or how would you rate the possibility if it was yourself?

Could you beat you're best doped times clean? And if so, where would the gain come from? More seriousness in training? Greater willpower in the ride (to fight to beat yourself)?
I could not "beat my best doped times clean" because I was a very good responder to EPO, realizing 10-12% gains in functional threshold power. Keep in mind I was using full doses of EPO, too, and not limiting to micro-dosing.

Someone who wasn't that significant of a responder to EPO, or who had only been using micro-dose amounts outside of the context of blood transfusion might possibly hope to equal their doped best times if certain factors weren't maximized at the time of the doping (due to laziness or inattention, for example). So, perhaps a small difference in weight, perhaps a more effective training program...there aren't many areas in which to make improvements and I would think most have to do with having been lazy to a degree before and allowing the EPO to boost your performance previously, but not as high as it might have been had you sorted-out all of these other variables (like diet, or physiology-centric training). So w/o the small gain from EPO (in a poor responder) if there were deficiencies in other areas that can be made-up, maybe there is hope to eek-out a few more watts.

Ultimately though I would think that it's a question that depends completely on the individual and their unique circumstances.

Oh - and I don't understand why there's this reaction like I'm promoting an agenda or something nefarious in saying that I think Thomas Frei is worthy of support if potential supporters are looking around for an ex-doper trying to return to the PT level cleanly. I posted this after talking to Thomas today and getting inspired by his own inspired training and renewed dedication. Taking it as anything other than that is cynical.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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joe_papp said:
Perhaps you'll re-read my original post in the thread which said:

"If you are looking to follow someone who's trying to do the right thing and get back to the highest level of the sport just like you would - cleanly and without doping - I think T.F. merits your support."

I didn't ask anyone to support anyone. I said who I thought merited support if one was searching based on the criteria of identifying a convicted doper trying to return to pro cycling at the protour level w/o doping.
Yes, Joe. I read it several times.

No matter how you'd like to dress it, the fact remians you appear to be fishing for something. What is it? Why does it matter , not only that Frei has some "support" but that you make a mention of it?

Frei can try to do whatever he wants. If he is so limited in perspective that he feels this is what he needs to do, so be it. What does it do for you?

I truly doubt anyone, anywhere considers Frei to "merit" any considerations. Be it a team director, or a team owner. He is just not that talented. He is not a Ricco or Landis, where their doping tool them to the heights.

What is it that you really want with this appeal? What? A pathway for yourself? A bridge for which you too can cross? You've been shown to be a self-serving person. Is this an altruistic desire, for those who've transgressed to be given a road back? I am not sure how you fit in the equation.


You broached this, maybe you can explain how or why you seem to care what Mr. Frei does with his life?
 
May 20, 2010
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I greatly appreciate the information Frei made public and certainly it made me treat him more kindly than the likes of Ricco.

I wonder though why he hasn't been given a reduced ban for cooperating. Given the information he released with regards to micro dosing and beating the tests surely that warrants more than Di Luca got?
 
I don't know. Has Frei even appealed to have his sentence reduced?

Some people have just been given reduced sentences based on what they've said and done when caught (Sella and Sinkewitz spring immediately to mind). I don't know about di Luca (at one point he was threatened with the additional years for aggravating circumstances, so I suspect some bartering has gone on) but Riccò basically named a few already-known doping docs to the point where the authorities suspected he wasn't telling the truth, just trying to get his ban reduced, which is why he had to appeal to have his sentence reduced and even then it was only by four months.

If Frei had been handed his ban before he was forthcoming with all this information (and at least in public he didn't name suppliers - which was part of why Sella got a reduced ban and why Matteo Priamo is currently two and a half years through a four year ban - though he may have done behind closed doors) and has not appealed for a reduction, then 2 years is 2 years.

Also of course, final decisions may rest upon national authorities. Thomas Frei is a Swiss German, and we know full well that Germanophone Europe has a very hardline stance when it comes to doping round about now (remember that Sinky's ban was meted out in 2007, before T-Mobile collapsed, and things really reached their nadir in 2008 for German cycling with the Gerolsteiner pullout and positives).
 

jimmypop

BANNED
Jul 16, 2010
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Colm.Murphy said:
Yes, Joe. I read it several times.

No matter how you'd like to dress it, the fact remians you appear to be fishing for something. What is it? Why does it matter , not only that Frei has some "support" but that you make a mention of it?

Frei can try to do whatever he wants. If he is so limited in perspective that he feels this is what he needs to do, so be it. What does it do for you?

I truly doubt anyone, anywhere considers Frei to "merit" any considerations. Be it a team director, or a team owner. He is just not that talented. He is not a Ricco or Landis, where their doping tool them to the heights.

What is it that you really want with this appeal? What? A pathway for yourself? A bridge for which you too can cross? You've been shown to be a self-serving person. Is this an altruistic desire, for those who've transgressed to be given a road back? I am not sure how you fit in the equation.


You broached this, maybe you can explain how or why you seem to care what Mr. Frei does with his life?
And here's where we all fail, by resorting to ad hominem attacks.

Let me participate: You're a bit dense, aren't you? Also, your mom is ugly.

Cycling is a farce; hence, all discussion of cycling is a farce.

None of this matters any more, folks. Now that we know the governing bodies are explicitly complicit in doping, we can all give up. Unless, of course, you want to bankroll a new governing body that is somehow IOC-approved.

Give up, move on, and ride your bikes.
 

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