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

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Leinster said:
Indurain had a pretty steady career trajectory. He won Paris-Nice and Catlunya a couple times, won a couple of mountain stages in the Tour while domestiquing for Delgado, won San Sebastian in 1990 and went close in the '91 Vuelta, and then age 27 won his first Tour. The unusual part was his then going on to dominate the Tour for 5 years in a row.
This is a very weak argument. It requires that you believe doping begins with EPO. It ignores the reality of what was happening in the 1980s, pretends transfusions were not a thing despite all the evidence to the contrary, evidence that points toward Reynolds/Banesto being among those using blood bags.
 
Re: Re:

fmk_RoI said:
Leinster said:
Indurain had a pretty steady career trajectory. He won Paris-Nice and Catlunya a couple times, won a couple of mountain stages in the Tour while domestiquing for Delgado, won San Sebastian in 1990 and went close in the '91 Vuelta, and then age 27 won his first Tour. The unusual part was his then going on to dominate the Tour for 5 years in a row.
This is a very weak argument. It requires that you believe doping begins with EPO. It ignores the reality of what was happening in the 1980s, pretends transfusions were not a thing despite all the evidence to the contrary, evidence that points toward Reynolds/Banesto being among those using blood bags.
I was simply pointing out that Indurain’s career timeline is not a reliable indicator for when EPO came into the Peloton. Whatever “training regime” he was on in 1991, probably wasn’t drastically different from what he was doing in 1989, when he won a Tour mountain stage and Paris-Nice, or 88, when he won the Volta Catalunya, or 86 when he won the Tour de l’Avenir. Not saying he didn’t dabble in clinicky things, just that his wasn’t an out-of-the-blue improvement, certainly not on the scale of some of his contemporaries.
 
Re: Re:

Leinster said:
fmk_RoI said:
Leinster said:
Indurain had a pretty steady career trajectory. He won Paris-Nice and Catlunya a couple times, won a couple of mountain stages in the Tour while domestiquing for Delgado, won San Sebastian in 1990 and went close in the '91 Vuelta, and then age 27 won his first Tour. The unusual part was his then going on to dominate the Tour for 5 years in a row.
This is a very weak argument. It requires that you believe doping begins with EPO. It ignores the reality of what was happening in the 1980s, pretends transfusions were not a thing despite all the evidence to the contrary, evidence that points toward Reynolds/Banesto being among those using blood bags.
I was simply pointing out that Indurain’s career timeline is not a reliable indicator for when EPO came into the Peloton. Whatever “training regime” he was on in 1991, probably wasn’t drastically different from what he was doing in 1989, when he won a Tour mountain stage and Paris-Nice, or 88, when he won the Volta Catalunya, or 86 when he won the Tour de l’Avenir. Not saying he didn’t dabble in clinicky things, just that his wasn’t an out-of-the-blue improvement, certainly not on the scale of some of his contemporaries.
And none of that adds any strength to your argument for how you can judge the arrval of EPO.
 
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I just found one page of l'Equipe (11/12) of Friday 25th of May 1990.
I had misplaced among other cycling documents.
The topic of the page 11 is EPO and the 2nd line at the top says :
...(Pays-Bas) où plusieurs cyclistes sont décédés brutalement depuis quelques mois. L'EPO, une hormone "explosive" est-elle en cause?
(Not too hard to machine translate I guess)
The title is "Inquiry on suspicious deaths".
The article starts by mentioning the death of Draaijer on Feb 27th. There is a pix of Bert Osterboosch who had died suddenly in 1989.
There is a chilling interview of Draaijer's widow*. She has no doubt that EPO killed her husband.
To me it makes sense that she would now deny it to protect his memory for their child (children?)
Philippe Brunel wrote the articles with the help of Bennie Ceulen.
Fittingly on page 12 the title for the Cycling article is "EXPLOIT DE BUGNO".
He had just won the 7th stage of the Giro (Ugrumov 2nd) 3 s. ahead of Mottet.
Halupczok was 6th.
* I had looked for that ITW a number of times these past years.
 
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Bugno was a likely recipient of the head of the UCI's medical program, Italian doper Conconi. I'm too lazy to look up the timeline.

I don't have the link handy, but the IOC sports knew EPO was coming. That means all the heads of the federations knew of it, and the revolutionary advantages. It was good for sports, so it was permitted. Remember, this is also an era when the head of the IOC publicly supports doping and has a guy publicly supporting doping as the head of the IOC's "anti-doping" efforts.

Also, you guys need to dig into the unexplained deaths of Dutch Juniors (now called under-23) in the lead-up to full adoption of EPO in cycling. The deaths were in the development ranks much more than the elite level.
 
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Screenshots from "When Heroes Lie" (2012):

"It is theorized that finnish skiers started using EPO in 1989."



Finnish XC skier Erja Kuivalainen told finnish police that she saw an EPO-bottle in team mate Marjo Matikainen's hotel room prior to the world championships in february 1989.





Fellow XC skier Jaana Savolainen backs up her story.

"Erja told me she had seen a bottle of erythropoietin on [Matikainen's] bedside table. I asked an expert if he knew what it was. He told me it's used on very sick people."





Italian XC skier: "Transfusions were used at least until 1988. After that, other things were used."
Interviewer: "You mean EPO?"
Skier: "Yes."





The first ever study demonstrating the performance benefits of EPO (that we know of) was published in Sweden in 1989.
 
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DirtyWorks said:
JFC, the guy is an epic liar.

Conveniently ignoring Carmichael and Wenzel were running a full-time, mandatory, doping program in which he was a willing recipient.
So, just like nearly every other doper that has ever been caught. Confessing only to doping later, but claiming his/her first big success was clean, so they can still hang on to the claim that they were talented regardless of drugs.



John de Savage said:
Screenshots from "When Heroes Lie" (2012):
Awesome, thanks!
 
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GuyIncognito said:
John de Savage said:
Screenshots from "When Heroes Lie" (2012):
Awesome, thanks!
It should be remembered that the Finnish team doctors and researchers collected up to 500 blood samples from the XC skiers and endurance athleted in almost every instance in the autumn-winter 1988 relating to the blood doping detection project. I've seen the original sample collection schedule and there were many instances of this also in November 1988.

Because natural EPO level was the most important item measured, there most likely existed some glass bottles and tubes with the word "erythropoietin" if it was to be measured by the lab analyzing the samples. If it was the synthetic version in the "bottle", there should've read also "recombinant" which should've been as meaningful word to the skier than the word "eryhropoietin", but strange that this isn't described in the testimonials.

I.e. a bottle with only the word "eryhtropoietin" doesn't mean that it was the notorious hormone, quite to the contrary.
 
For my two cents worth the 1991 Tour was when EPO first left its mark and I am in no doubt. I have to agree with Lemond. By 1992 the technique was improved and we saw incredible feats like Indurain's extraterrestrial Luxembourg TT. As for Gianni Bugno and Claudio Chiappucci they are evidence the peloton was still working out how to use it by 1993 - judging by how both lost huge time in the Galibier stage won by Rominger.

My explanation for the delay compared to cross country skiing is cycling was traditionally conservative at that time. New technology and techniques were slow to adopt. Maybe it took two years before the teams and riders got their act together to take advantage of what cross country skiing figured out by 1989?
 
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Re:

Cookster15 said:
My explanation for the delay compared to cross country skiing is cycling was traditionally conservative at that time. New technology and techniques were slow to adopt. Maybe it took two years before the teams and riders got their act together to take advantage of what cross country skiing figured out by 1989?
I don't know how conservative cycling was in 1990ish, but when the financial incentives were even lower, there was interest in testing old school blood doping almost when it was invented in the early 1970s:
In 1971, the Belgian cycling superstar Eddy Merckx was at the height of his career but skipped that year’s edition of the Tour of Italy. The Tour was subsequently won by Gösta Pettersson, who had been tested by [the inventor of blood doping] Björn Ekblom and a participant of his study from the late 1960s that measured cardiac outputs. The physiologist commented on Pettersson’s physiology in the media when the cyclist had managed to become one of the few Swedes to compete at the international elite level in cycling. Pettersson complained regularly in 1970-1971 about his anemia and was infused with sugar solution and iron shots by the Italian team doctor of his Ferretti team, even when Ekblom hadn’t been that worried about the low hemoglobin concentrations as such of athletes with superior hearts.

One can only speculate what kind of thought went through the minds of his competitors when the existence of blood doping was revealed only a few months after his Tour of Italy win, but we do know that some French cyclists did ask Ekblom for assistance with the blood doping process and Pettersson’s main rival Eddy Merckx has later revealed that the Belgian was offered a possibility to use transfusion when the attempted to break the hour record in 1972.
https://fasterskier.com/fsarticle/limiting-factors-a-genesis-of-blood-doping-part-three/
 
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Cookster15 said:
For my two cents worth the 1991 Tour was when EPO first left its mark and I am in no doubt. I have to agree with Lemond. By 1992 the technique was improved and we saw incredible feats like Indurain's extraterrestrial Luxembourg TT. As for Gianni Bugno and Claudio Chiappucci they are evidence the peloton was still working out how to use it by 1993 - judging by how both lost huge time in the Galibier stage won by Rominger.
Circumstances (a broken collarbone) gave me the opportunity to follow closely the Giro in 1990. I didn't understand what was going on at the time, but it later became clear to me that it was most likely the first successful use of EPO in a GT. (Although I still wonder about what went on in 1987 - Roche- and 1989 -Fignon).
 
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https://fasterskier.com/fsarticle/limiting-factors-a-genesis-of-blood-doping-part-three/[/quote]
In Part 5 we find this :
It isn’t even certain that all the post-1972 transfusions were conducted in order to assume supranormal hemoglobin concentration was beneficial in every condition. Interestingly even cyclist Eddy Merckx (who was offered a transfusion in 1972) mentioned later that his “target” hematocrit was only 52 % when was planning to succeed in his attempt to break the hour world record at altitude, which was in the normal range of residents of 2200 meters and meant that his quest to thicken his blood wasn’t open-ended with the almost “higher-the-better” attitude of the 1990s. (Thirion, 2012)

Which implies that Merckx might well have accepted a transfusion for his 49,431 km in Mexico !
 
Re: Re:

Le breton said:
https://fasterskier.com/fsarticle/limiting-factors-a-genesis-of-blood-doping-part-three/
In Part 5 we find this :
It isn’t even certain that all the post-1972 transfusions were conducted in order to assume supranormal hemoglobin concentration was beneficial in every condition. Interestingly even cyclist Eddy Merckx (who was offered a transfusion in 1972) mentioned later that his “target” hematocrit was only 52 % when was planning to succeed in his attempt to break the hour world record at altitude, which was in the normal range of residents of 2200 meters and meant that his quest to thicken his blood wasn’t open-ended with the almost “higher-the-better” attitude of the 1990s. (Thirion, 2012)

Which implies that Merckx might well have accepted a transfusion for his 49,431 km in Mexico !
Man admits being offered transfusion for Mexico Hour, man says he rejected offer of transfusion for Mexico Hour, Clinic Logic says man used transfusion for Mexico Hour.

This place is bonkers most days...
 
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Re: Re:

fmk_RoI said:
Le breton said:
https://fasterskier.com/fsarticle/limiting-factors-a-genesis-of-blood-doping-part-three/
In Part 5 we find this :
It isn’t even certain that all the post-1972 transfusions were conducted in order to assume supranormal hemoglobin concentration was beneficial in every condition. Interestingly even cyclist Eddy Merckx (who was offered a transfusion in 1972) mentioned later that his “target” hematocrit was only 52 % when was planning to succeed in his attempt to break the hour world record at altitude, which was in the normal range of residents of 2200 meters and meant that his quest to thicken his blood wasn’t open-ended with the almost “higher-the-better” attitude of the 1990s. (Thirion, 2012)

Which implies that Merckx might well have accepted a transfusion for his 49,431 km in Mexico !
Man admits being offered transfusion for Mexico Hour, man says he rejected offer of transfusion for Mexico Hour, ---...
Where/when did he say he rejected it? I would OF COURSE be interested in knowing more about this.
You don't see the contradiction? His TARGET hematocrit was ONLY 52% and how do you imagine he would have possibly reached 52% w/o transfusion? Dehydration maybe?
 
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Re: Re:

Le breton said:
fmk_RoI said:
Le breton said:
https://fasterskier.com/fsarticle/limiting-factors-a-genesis-of-blood-doping-part-three/
In Part 5 we find this :
It isn’t even certain that all the post-1972 transfusions were conducted in order to assume supranormal hemoglobin concentration was beneficial in every condition. Interestingly even cyclist Eddy Merckx (who was offered a transfusion in 1972) mentioned later that his “target” hematocrit was only 52 % when was planning to succeed in his attempt to break the hour world record at altitude, which was in the normal range of residents of 2200 meters and meant that his quest to thicken his blood wasn’t open-ended with the almost “higher-the-better” attitude of the 1990s. (Thirion, 2012)

Which implies that Merckx might well have accepted a transfusion for his 49,431 km in Mexico !
Man admits being offered transfusion for Mexico Hour, man says he rejected offer of transfusion for Mexico Hour, ---...
Where/when did he say he rejected it? I would OF COURSE be interested in knowing more about this.
You don't see the contradiction? His TARGET hematocrit was ONLY 52% and how do you imagine he would have possibly reached 52% w/o transfusion? Dehydration maybe?
Anyway, I went to see what he (Merckx) said to Thirion on the subject, here it is
Tout simplement parce que le manque d’oxygène dans l’air augmente le rythme cardiaque et favorise l’apport d’oxygène mais dans le sang. C’est le principe du taux hématocrite dont on parle beaucoup quand il s’agit de dopage. A Mexico, mon taux devait être de 52 %. Parenthèse : aujourd’hui, si on ne s’attaque plus au record de l’heure, c’est aussi pour cela. Le passeport biologique enregistrerait des variations anormales. Donc, les coureurs sont condamnés à essayer en bord de mer. Ou alors il faut être né en Colombie ou au Mexique !

Mais vous êtes parti au dernier moment à Mexico. Comment avez-vous fait pour programmer votre entraînement pour qu’il soit adapté à l’altitude de Mexico.

J’avais le choix entre une transfusion sanguine, ce qui fera rire beaucoup de gens aujourd’hui, ou de m’entraîner dans mon garage complètement fermé sur les rouleaux. J’ai choisi la deuxième option, il n’était pas question qu’on chipote avec mon sang. J’étais cependant suivi par des médecins qui mesuraient analysaient mes séances d’entraînement.
Obviously in 2012 Merckx still didn't understand anything to the questions raised by going at altitude.
A Mexico, mon taux devait être de 52 %. This is extremely ambiguous and is not what I read in the Fasterskier article, part 5.
Either Merckx believes that by the simple fact of being at 2300 m altitude his Hct miraculously jumps to 52% or it's a desirable goal : have 52% Hct.
He clearly denies having had a transfusion : il n’était pas question qu’on chipote avec mon sang.
He didn't seem to have the faintest idea what the Drs were doing : J’étais cependant suivi par des médecins qui mesuraient, analysaient mes séances d’entraînement.
So , I have to say that the original interview by Thirion does not put the story in the same light as the Fasterskier article.
 
Re: Re:

Le breton said:
fmk_RoI said:
Man admits being offered transfusion for Mexico Hour, man says he rejected offer of transfusion for Mexico Hour, ---...
Where/when did he say he rejected it? I would OF COURSE be interested in knowing more about this.
You don't see the contradiction? His TARGET hematocrit was ONLY 52% and how do you imagine he would have possibly reached 52% w/o transfusion? Dehydration maybe?
You'd be interested in knowing more but didn't even read the link you posted? I believe you even if others wouldn't:
Eddy Merckx has later revealed that the Belgian was offered a possibility to use transfusion when the attempted to break the hour record in 1972.
It's actually a well known incident. It's in at least one of the recent biographies, it's on CN, it's on this forum. As for this (which is so funny it's worth repeating):
His TARGET hematocrit was ONLY 52% and how do you imagine he would have possibly reached 52% w/o transfusion? Dehydration maybe?
Wild guess here, but altitude? Don't quote me on that if you don't want, you could check Wiki for the elevation of the velodrome, it's pretty well known. As are the effects of altitude. (Plus, also, IIRC, there's pics of him traning in his basement at home with oxygen tanks controlling his intake in order to mimic the effects of altitude.)
 
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viewtopic.php?f=20&t=31353
Yes, I followed that discussion for a while, but dropped it as you only seemed interested in ridiculing others, not really moving forward.
Yes, I know Merckx trained in his garage breezing a mixture corresponding to the oxygen partial pressure at 2300 m altitude, which of course would in no way increase his hematocrit.
BTW, the quoted 52% Hct value for 2300 m residents, well above the actual average value at such an altitude.
Let's assume for arguments' sake that Merckx' Hct at the time was 45%; apart from transfusion, the way for him to reach 52% in the 6 weeks he had available would have been to live higher than 3000 meters during those 6 weeks.
Anyway, that point in moot as i was misled by the erroneous translation in Fasterskier.
I plead guilty to not checking immediately the original interview by Thirion,
 
Re:

Le breton said:
Let's assume for arguments' sake that Merckx' Hct at the time was 45%; apart from transfusion, the way for him to reach 52% in the 6 weeks he had available would have been to live higher than 3000 meters during those 6 weeks.
You can assume what you like. Clearly, you do. Me, I prefer evidence.
 
We seem to be heading off on a tangent here. This thread concerns when synthetic EPO started to be used in the peloton. Blood transfusions are not EPO. Transfusions are a different subject. Can we get back on subject because I am truly interested to know when everyone thinks EPO started to be used by the peloton? I think it was the 1991 TdF or maybe the Giro of the same year.
 
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quote]You can assume what you like. Clearly, you do. Me, I prefer evidence.[/quote]
See the 1998 Copenhagen study by Bengt Saltin and coworkers at Chacaltaya.
 
Nov 10, 2009
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Cookster15 said:
We seem to be heading off on a tangent here. This thread concerns when synthetic EPO started to be used in the peloton. Blood transfusions are not EPO. Transfusions are a different subject. Can we get back on subject because I am truly interested to know when everyone thinks EPO started to be used by the peloton? I think it was the 1991 TdF or maybe the Giro of the same year.
As I said above
1990 Giro with Bugno.
 
Re: Re:

fmk_RoI said:
Wild guess here, but altitude? Don't quote me on that if you don't want, you could check Wiki for the elevation of the velodrome, it's pretty well known. As are the effects of altitude. (Plus, also, IIRC, there's pics of him traning in his basement at home with oxygen tanks controlling his intake in order to mimic the effects of altitude.)
Wild guess, but altitude probably isn't going to get Eddie to 52%:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4899894/

http://sci-hub.tw/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27959666

http://sci-hub.tw/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29023329

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18768367

https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/jappl.2001.91.3.1113?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&

If it were really that easy to raise HT that much by altitude training, don't you imagine the passport program would be impossible?
 
Re: Re:

Merckx index said:
fmk_RoI said:
Wild guess here, but altitude? Don't quote me on that if you don't want, you could check Wiki for the elevation of the velodrome, it's pretty well known. As are the effects of altitude. (Plus, also, IIRC, there's pics of him traning in his basement at home with oxygen tanks controlling his intake in order to mimic the effects of altitude.)
Wild guess, but altitude probably isn't going to get Eddie to 52%:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4899894/

http://sci-hub.tw/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27959666

http://sci-hub.tw/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29023329

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18768367

https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/jappl.2001.91.3.1113?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&

If it were really that easy to raise HT that much by altitude training, don't you imagine the passport program would be impossible?
My baseline is 46%, I'm in now way an exceptional or even excellent athlete. I might be reading the studies wrong but it certainly seems from many of them that subjects had elevations in HcT that would easily push many of the participants at my level or lower into the 52% range. Not on average, but many of the subjects well exceeded the numbers necessary, no?

Honest question, I'm not sure I'm reading it correctly.

 
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Re: Re:

As the author of the FS-essay, I should make a few quick points:

- None of the handful of exercise physiologists, MDs or blood doping specialist who has commented the essay to me in private correspondence found that Merckx-issue controversial, but appear to have understood well the crux of the item, which is this -- the scientist(s) who considered it beneficial to elevate Hct to 52 % for Merckx's one hour attempt could've still found the 1972 Ekblom-Goldbarg study to have been of no value whatsoever. There is no contradiction in considering it unbeneficial to elevate hematocrit at sea level above natural adapted value but find it beneficial at altitude, because the reading of the time was that extra RBCs was the key adaptation mechanism to overcome the "shortage" of oxygen.

- I claim vaguely for a reason that 52 % was in the (what the physiologist of the 1970s considered) "normal range" at 7000 feet and not necessarily the mean natural value established today, because almost without an exception, all the few "natural" high altitude values referenced in the altitude adaptation literature of the time are 10000 feet or more above sea level or unspecified ("while at sea level there are 5,000,000 of them per cubic millimeter, people living at high altitudes may have as many as 7,500,000...") and some date from 1940s and are closer to 60 % or even more.

If the mean for young males at sea level was 45 % or a point or two more, 52 % at 7000 ft shouldn't be much off the mark on how the physiologist saw the issue in 1972.

- On general level, the interplay between adaptative changes in hemoglobin concentration or total hemoglobin and what presumably contributed to the adaptation process at altitude or increase in Vo2Max was quite poorly understood in the early 1970s. The discussion about Merckx wasn't that his coach found it crucial that his total hemoglobin should've been elevated by some 10-20 % or whether his post-hypoxic training sea level Hct should've been 52 %, but only that it would've been beneficial to have the figure at 52 % (at México?).

- If Eddy Merckx is a blood doper, but doesn't want to look suspicious, why even to "out" himself as been perhaps the first cyclist to be offered a transfusion in the first place? I think he has always been the only source on the story so he could've simply kept his mouth shut.
 

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