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Timing of EPO in early 90's that doesn't add up..

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Re:

Cookster15 said:
So despite all this clinic hype that the peloton is as dirty as ever the stopwatch suggests otherwise.
Who says this?

You might be confused by people using definitions of "dirt" other than "how much of a performance boost a doper on a top program can get away with at a given time", but no one is arguing what you claim.
 
Jun 27, 2013
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Fearless Greg Lemond said:
This **** again?

Just follow the sudden carreer path of Tony Rominger, the teams he was on, the MD they had.
What exactly are you saying?
That EPO appeared when Rominger started working with Ferrari and nearly won the Giro as a 2nd year pro in 1987?
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Re: Re:

GuyIncognito said:
Fearless Greg Lemond said:
This **** again?

Just follow the sudden carreer path of Tony Rominger, the teams he was on, the MD they had.
What exactly are you saying?
That EPO appeared when Rominger started working with Ferrari and nearly won the Giro as a 2nd year pro in 1987?
No, Rominger was his lab rat. EPO was there, especially in Switserland. No one knew how to work with it correspondenly.

Rominger was willing to do everything. Like Gianetti. Monsieur Perfluorcarbon.

Took them a while to perfect though, when he got over his 'hayfever' [look that up in the archives, its funny] he suddenly became a GT champ at the minor age of 31.

Gianni Bugno is still laughing now how he won that Giro 1990 from Mottet.

Stolen victory.
 
Jul 18, 2010
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GuyIncognito said:
...- I want to know how it "spread". Was it a few isolated riders, or was there a geographical component....
Surely you jest. Despite a US government criminal investigation, the FLandis exposé and his government-aided Qui Tam suit, and Pharmstrong's "Come to Oprah" confession, we still don't have that level of detail about the doping in the the most thoroughly scrutinised cycling team in the sport's history. Which speaks volumes, not just about the health of pro cycling's omertà but also the level of its dedication to a doped future.

If you want to know the timeline of the impact of EPO, look no further than the climb times for l'Alpe d'Huez. It's somewhat of a corrolary to the opinion of French cycling journalist (and former Festina trainer) Antoine Vayer who wrote, “Forget ‘I never tested positive.’ It needs to be replaced by ‘I was never clocked by a radar doing 430 watts standard in the final col of a long mountain stage.’"

The fastest pre-1991 climb of l'Alpe was Luis Herrera in 1987 at 41:44. You might well consider that the benchmark for a "pane e aqua" time. It also is (only) the 154th fastest ascent of the Alpe to date (during a TdF). Anything quicker is suspicious. Quicker than 41 minutes is "not normal." Quicker than 40 is a certifiable space alien.

Lemond's fastest Alpe (he of the 93 VO2max) is 42-something, not even in the top 200.

In 1988, Indurain did 58 minutes. In 1991 he did 40:31. In 1994, 39:30. In 1995, 38:14.

1995 also was the year of Pantani's legendary 37:35. After that year's Giro, Pantani's Hct was 58. After the Tour it was 57.4. So it stands to reason his Hct was (at least) high 50s when he did 37:35. Yet Indurain, a TT specialist who was heavier than Pantani by two full stone (12.7kg), was only 39 seconds off Pantani's pace. Pantani, two stone lighter and with an Hct >55.

Indurain's reversal for GC against Lemond from 1990 to 1991 was 26 minutes. 1990 was Big Mig's 6th appearance in the TdF and his first top-10 finish. He took GC on the following season.

Lemond came third in his first appearance in the TdF (1985). He probably could have contended for GC with a stronger team. He did win in 1986. He bore all the earmarks of a borned GC contender (except for the 'American" thing). And in 1991 he was only 30 years and a couple of weeks of age.

Indurain's time on l'Alpe in the 1991 TdF was under 41 minutes. From 1990 to 1991, he made the classic "pack horse to race horse" transformation. And just as obviously, by 1995 his PEDs program was well-optimised.
 
Jun 27, 2013
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Re: Re:

Fearless Greg Lemond said:
GuyIncognito said:
Fearless Greg Lemond said:
This **** again?

Just follow the sudden carreer path of Tony Rominger, the teams he was on, the MD they had.
What exactly are you saying?
That EPO appeared when Rominger started working with Ferrari and nearly won the Giro as a 2nd year pro in 1987?
No, Rominger was his lab rat. EPO was there, especially in Switserland. No one knew how to work with it correspondenly.

Rominger was willing to do everything. Like Gianetti. Monsieur Perfluorcarbon.

Took them a while to perfect though, when he got over his 'hayfever' [look that up in the archives, its funny] he suddenly became a GT champ at the minor age of 31.

Gianni Bugno is still laughing now how he won that Giro 1990 from Mottet.

Stolen victory.
If "no", then what do you mean? When are you saying EPO appeared?
You're dancing around whatever your point is, and it's still not clear what that point is.

We're trying to establish the early timeline of EPO. You suggested it was easy and we "just" had to look at Rominger's career (which had already been discussed in here). What is it that we "just" need to see?

It can't be 1992 because you're saying that's not when it started - and it's well established it was around before that - yet you're saying it's not 1987 when Rominger first showed top results. So when is it?

To put it bluntly, what exactly are you trying to say?

StyrbjornSterki said:
GuyIncognito said:
...- I want to know how it "spread". Was it a few isolated riders, or was there a geographical component....
Surely you jest. Despite a US government criminal investigation, the FLandis exposé and his government-aided Qui Tam suit, and Pharmstrong's "Come to Oprah" confession, we still don't have that level of detail about the doping in the the most thoroughly scrutinised cycling team in the sport's history. Which speaks volumes, not just about the health of pro cycling's omertà but also the level of its dedication to a doped future.

If you want to know the timeline of the impact of EPO, look no further than the climb times for l'Alpe d'Huez.
That doesn't help much. It only tells us when the majority of the frontrunners were on it.
If back of the pack guys were first on it and it moved them up to midpack, the top times don't budge.

StyrbjornSterki said:
The fastest pre-1991 climb of l'Alpe was Luis Herrera in 1987 at 41:44. You might well consider that the benchmark for a "pane e aqua" time. It also is (only) the 154th fastest ascent of the Alpe to date (during a TdF). Anything quicker is suspicious. Quicker than 41 minutes is "not normal." Quicker than 40 is a certifiable space alien.
The idea that Herrera was on nothing is a bit too far fetched to believe. Not EPO sure, but not clean.
And technology and training evolve. We can't compare 1984 times to now and say anything faster is guaranteed EPO use.

StyrbjornSterki said:
Lemond came third in his first appearance in the TdF (1985). He probably could have contended for GC with a stronger team.
1984. And his team was the strongest in the race. And his teammate won by a country mile.

StyrbjornSterki said:
Indurain's time on l'Alpe in the 1991 TdF was under 41 minutes. From 1990 to 1991, he made the classic "pack horse to race horse" transformation. And just as obviously, by 1995 his PEDs program was well-optimised.
I'm not going to bother discussing this. It's well established he did EPO and it's well established he was anything but a "pack horse" in 1990. He was arguably the strongest rider in the race. I'm not discussing this for the trillionth time, end of.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Re: Re:

GuyIncognito said:
To put it bluntly, what exactly are you trying to say?
Did you read Romingers Qualen?

Rominger, the lab rat of Michele, who got fired from Chateau by Stanga, did good in small races. After that Bugno from the same team got a GT canon all of a sudden, so, my timeline for EpO:

1988-1989 thus

1990 it was good: Bugno a GT winner :D

1991 it was much better: Indurain a GT winner :D

1992 it was even better

1993 it was unstoppable

1994 - 1996 it was free idiots for everyone, up to 65%

1997 - 2000 it was take as many baxters you can in the morning to dillute the blood

after that it were the old blood bags again

To conclude: 1988 - 1989 it began.

The perfection however came to a conclusion in 1993.
 
Aragon said:
The material is scarce and the essay is more prerentiously revisionist than 100 % accurate and the "problem" exists only assuming that the recollections I quote are sincere and even roughly accurate.
Provocative revisionism I'm all in favour of and any attempt to question whether doping can be seen in big-picture performance levels - that step-changes in performance exist and can be credited to particular doping periods - I will applaud. (There's a paper that looked at the average speeds of all three GTs over a reasonably long period and questioned whether doping could be blamed on the change, are you familiar with it? I'll look it out if not.)

However. The question here is about EPO's early years. Evidence about people only starting to use EPO in 1998, 1996, 1994, 1993, that's not really relevant. You yourself are pretty clear that 1988-89 is Year One, is probly where we should be looking for the early adopters.

WRT the later adopters: even from people who chose not to use EPO we know that, psychologically, they could survive, for a period of time. Even from later parts of Gen-EPO, we know that they could survive without EPO, for a while. When someone like Hamilton says he couldn't survive after whatever year it was, 1995, 1996, he is as much talking about something that changed in him as he is talking about something that changed in the peloton, possibly even more so.
 
Re:

GuyIncognito said:
Speaking for myself it's not at all blame. I couldn't care less about assigning blame. It's entirely about curiosity.
I want to know who were the first and when for 2 reasons:

- I want to know how it "spread". Was it a few isolated riders, or was there a geographical component
- Because IMO nothing can give a better picture of how large the performance effect is, than to be able to point at a before and after of this or that rider. I have no negative feelings toward the rider, I'm just curious.
If you want to know who was first, we need to focus the conversation in 1988-89 +/-.

How it spread: look at blood transfusions and look at PDM re-inventing the wheel. The social structures you are looking for are not as strong as some think they are.

I really would suggest you park the performance effect for an entirely different debate and focus on dates.
 
Re: Re:

StyrbjornSterki said:
If you want to know the timeline of the impact of EPO, look no further than the climb times for l'Alpe d'Huez. It's somewhat of a corrolary to the opinion of French cycling journalist (and former Festina trainer) Antoine Vayer who wrote, “Forget ‘I never tested positive.’ It needs to be replaced by ‘I was never clocked by a radar doing 430 watts standard in the final col of a long mountain stage.’"

The fastest pre-1991 climb of l'Alpe was Luis Herrera in 1987 at 41:44. You might well consider that the benchmark for a "pane e aqua" time. It also is (only) the 154th fastest ascent of the Alpe to date (during a TdF). Anything quicker is suspicious. Quicker than 41 minutes is "not normal." Quicker than 40 is a certifiable space alien.

Lemond's fastest Alpe (he of the 93 VO2max) is 42-something, not even in the top 200.

In 1988, Indurain did 58 minutes. In 1991 he did 40:31. In 1994, 39:30. In 1995, 38:14.
The problems with using this idea as a way of dating the arrival of EPO are many:

1) It assumes all other things are equal, from the parcours to the weather to the road surface to the equipement to the race tactics and on and on and on
2) The same performance gains we assume to be visible from EPO we assume to be visible from blood bags and since we know blood bags were in use in the 1980s we cannot say which performances used a blood bag and which an ampoule of EPO
3) It assumes that EPO was initially used in Grand Tours that incorporated stages to Alpe d'Huez and not in other Grand Tours or one day races
4) It assumes that the first people to use EPO targeted the Alp d'Huez stage for a performance

I could go on, but why bother?
 
<1990: EPO in the market and understanding the use and effects.
1990:Testing and being perfected. Bugno
1991: Tested and improving effects. Bugno, Chipucci and Indurain. The new Champion is born. I remember this year being an odd one as a fan.
1992-1996> improving and wide spreading.
1996: The worst has happened. We have created a monster and we need to set limits even for doping. Indurain couldn't even compete.

Who cares about the early adopters in 88 or 89. The proper use wasn't really known. Maybe some of the Doctors will write about it in some book.
 
Mathieu Hermans is one of the true EPO pioneers. Erik Breukink remains a big mystery. Bugno, Chiappucci & Co were the first true EPO professionals. By the time Riis risked his life to win the Tour de France and Marco Pantani flew up the Alps, cyclists had become modern gladiator willing to win or die!

That's all we know for sure!

Those were the days, those were the drugs, those were the heroes!
 
Feb 21, 2017
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I've heard 1987 as the magic year anecdotally (though it had obviously been around long before), but as has been mentioned before, no one really had a very keen grasp of individual response (ie. donkey to racehorse) to it until the early 90's. Quick question though: with the discussion of transfusion to EPO back to transfusion, what ever happened to the plasticizer test that seemed to be on the brink of making waves a few years back? I checked online, but there didn't seem to be a lot of info and I'm wondering if I'm missing something that is right in front of my face.
 
Jul 18, 2010
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Re: Re:

StyrbjornSterki said:
...Lemond came third in his first appearance in the TdF (1985). He probably could have contended for GC with a stronger team. He did win in 1986. He bore all the earmarks of a borned GC contender (except for the 'American" thing). And in 1991 he was only 30 years and a couple of weeks of age....
Obviously I goofed. Lemond's first Tdf was 1984, but he did come 3rd, despite an almost nonexistent team . In 1985 he came 2nd to injured team captain Bernie Hinault, but only because he was sportsman enough to acquiesce to team orders that he sacrifice his own almost certain GC victory by doing so. And he did win GC in 1986, with no real competition apart his own teammate, the Badger. Third place finished almost 11 minutes back.
 
Jul 14, 2017
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A lot of the testing with athletes and the pioneer work was done in cross-country skiing as well, and the games in 1991 in Val di Fiemme (Italy) were probably a bit turning point especially with the Italian scene being at the forefront of EPO. But I never seem to find anything believable about athletes using EPO properly and with correct methods and actual results in the 80s. There's all the stuff about EPO certainly being around and being passed on from the big pharma companies, but the first proper early adopters in the late 80s seem bit of a mystery.
 
Aug 29, 2016
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Re:

fmk_RoI said:
Provocative revisionism I'm all in favour of and any attempt to question whether doping can be seen in big-picture performance levels - that step-changes in performance exist and can be credited to particular doping periods - I will applaud. (There's a paper that looked at the average speeds of all three GTs over a reasonably long period and questioned whether doping could be blamed on the change, are you familiar with it? I'll look it out if not.)
I've tried at least to browse through all the available material from the Brouwer-Lodewijkx-Heuberger-Cohen - school of the Dutch researchers and there are a few papers about the speed progression of GT's at least superficially debunking the similar paper by El Helou et al quoted very often (also in The Secret Race).

It is the final word of that (nonexistent) debate, because El Helou et al never gave any answer, as far as I know, and it is difficult to know if their methodology is dubious or not. Generally it is too bad that the "respected" researchers have never bothered to debunk practically any of their work (except the Mt. Ventoux TT- paper a year ago) at all and most of the wiseguys here think that putting the word "research" in quotation marks when referencing to their work equals a careful point-by-point refutation.

Interesting stuff nevertheless and I even asked Alex Simmons about his take on the issue when wrote about the speed trends in his blog not too long time ago. Unfortunately he gave no answer, but I do get that he is a busy guy.

If you want an article idea to write during the cycling OFF-season, here it is: These these Dutch guys might find it valuable if there was an English language venue where they could tell their views in popular form and I think that most readers would find it interesting if there did exist a more comprehensive article about these guys.

It might simultaneously stimulate enough interest for the more traditional researchers to participate in the discussion with them.
Escarabajo said:
Who cares about the early adopters in 88 or 89. The proper use wasn't really known. Maybe some of the Doctors will write about it in some book.
I already at least throw some suspicion into this "proper use wasn't known"- myth:

viewtopic.php?p=2296772#p2296772

There exists also the following interview with one Italian xc-skier about his recollections about his collaboration with Francesco Conconi preceding the 1988 Calgary winter olympics:
: How much of blood had you originally donated for reinfusion?
A: Roughly 800-900 millilitres.
...
Q: Do you have any information, how high haematocrit you had then during the Calgary olympics?
A: I am not sure about that. All I can tell you is that it is normally excess of 50 %.
Q: Very high naturally.
A: Yeah. It can be, that it had risen either to - say 53 or 54, but it is difficult to say exactly.
If his natural value was indeed above 50 %, most likely the final Hct was even higher than he assumes, and correpsondingly it is very unlikely that the Ferrara guys would've used rHuEPO to elevate Hct to high 40 %'s or low 50 %'s at first.
 
Oct 4, 2014
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staubsauger said:
Weren't there some reports about a hidden EPO practice in Eindhoven around 1988 sparking rumors about the PSV soccer team of that time!?
That's impossible! If I'm not mistaken, Cees-Rein van den Hoogenband was PSV doctor at that time.
:lol:
 
Feb 23, 2011
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It always struck me that toward the end of that era both Indurain and Chiappucci had bulked out considerably (particularly in the thigh area). I mean Indurain was tall but always had very little definition in the early 90's.

In the second picture there is a lot of bulk there I would say - I had always assumed it was grinding big gears but some of you more well versed in pharma might give me the real reason.

I remember when he climbed off in the 1996 Vuelta and thinking 'christ no wonder he is struggling - his legs look enormous'.



 
Oct 4, 2014
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B_Ugli said:
It always struck me that toward the end of that era both Indurain and Chiappucci had bulked out considerably (particularly in the thigh area). I mean Indurain was tall but always had very little definition in the early 90's.

In the second picture there is a lot of bulk there I would say - I had always assumed it was grinding big gears but some of you more well versed in pharma might give me the real reason.

I remember when he climbed off in the 1996 Vuelta and thinking 'christ no wonder he is struggling - his legs look enormous'.



White makes you look fatter :lol:
 
Re: Re:

fmk_RoI said:
staubsauger said:
Mathieu Hermans is one of the true EPO pioneers
Can anyone supply a proper source showing Herman putting his EPO use in a particular timeframe? TIA.
He admitted to EPO usage in 1989 Tour de France. His only notable results date frome 1988 & 1989 with a significant performance boost in 1988 that ended once EPO became widespread in the 90s!
 
Re: Re:

staubsauger said:
fmk_RoI said:
staubsauger said:
Mathieu Hermans is one of the true EPO pioneers
Can anyone supply a proper source showing Herman putting his EPO use in a particular timeframe? TIA.
He admitted to EPO usage in 1989 Tour de France. His only notable results date frome 1988 & 1989 with a significant performance boost in 1988 that ended once EPO became widespread in the 90s!
And the source for that admission is ... you?
 
Jul 18, 2010
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B_Ugli said:
It always struck me that toward the end of that era both Indurain and Chiappucci had bulked out considerably (particularly in the thigh area). I mean Indurain was tall but always had very little definition in the early 90's....
Big Mig was known as a "masher," possibly the mashiest masher of all time. Two things that Campagnolo created in that era at his request were a 56-tooth chainring for TTs and a Record spider for a racing triple front derailleur. His hour record bike wore 59x13 gearing and 190mm crank arms.

I think you would need some rather substantial hams to push gears that large.
 
Re: Re:

fmk_RoI said:
staubsauger said:
fmk_RoI said:
staubsauger said:
Mathieu Hermans is one of the true EPO pioneers
Can anyone supply a proper source showing Herman putting his EPO use in a particular timeframe? TIA.
He admitted to EPO usage in 1989 Tour de France. His only notable results date frome 1988 & 1989 with a significant performance boost in 1988 that ended once EPO became widespread in the 90s!
And the source for that admission is ... you?
There's an article in Trouw, which wasn't the original report I read 2 years ago. https://www.trouw.nl/home/rooks-jakobs-en-hermans-geven-epo-gebruik-toe~af4c0575/

Apparently he confirmed using EPO to Mart Smeets in his book "The last maillot jaune" about the 1989 Tour de France!
 

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