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UCI appeals Contador decision

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Jun 19, 2009
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MrRoboto said:
How big is the amount of clenbuterol found in Contador's test in comparison to the other clen-cases that's been around lately?

As used lately the defining term might be "irrelevant", as in; the amount doesn't matter but was many more times than could be accounted for by eating meat that hadn't just been fed Clen moments before slaughter.
 
Oldman said:
As used lately the defining term might be "irrelevant", as in; the amount doesn't matter but was many more times than could be accounted for by eating meat that hadn't just been fed Clen moments before slaughter.

Was it many more times the amounts found in the other cases where folks were comfortable that the clen was the result of contamination? Even if you think it is irrelevant, I'd be curious if you or anyone else has the answer for comparison purposes. Thanks in advance.
 

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Contador: 50 pg/ml
Octacharov: 75 pg/ml
Van Houts: 30 pg/ml

All 3 well below the min detectable level required for WADA lab certification. Levels equally compatible with contamination via food and transfusion. Relevant that the positive occurred on a rest day.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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mastersracer said:
The statements you AND PYTHON refer to regarding whether plasticizer evidence would be considered were made in March – before the delay was announced. If you read those statements you’ll see that Contador’s lawyer was careful with his wording and included two statements indicating that the scope could change (“at this time” etc.). As far as I am aware, there have been no statements from the UCI since March regarding the scope of the hearing. None of this refers to the WADA case, so it’s irrelevant whether or not the UCI brings it forward. Howman has been considerably more pro-plasticizer tests and has made public remarks regarding their use as evidence in such cases. My point is only that it is largely speculative regarding the scope of the hearings. As far as whether or not the test is validated, this too is largely irrelevant for CAS, since in this case it has been mentioned not as an independent test regarding a blood doping charge, but relevant with respect to an explanation for the presence of clenbuterol. Such evidence is relevant to the issue whether sentencing should go beyond strict liability.

It’s not true that the plasticizer test is not reliable. It’s essentially trivial in terms of the underlying methods. There’s now a peer-reviewed paper demonstrating its validity and application to sports drug testing:

Solymos, E, et al. "Rapid determination of urinary di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate metabolites based on liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry as a marker for blood transfusion in sports drug testing." Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry (2010)

The problem is that Solymos's control group showed a distribution of DHEP metabolites which differs from that of some other population based studies with more subjects so it needs to be followed up much more closely.

Anyway, as Solymos et al correctly point out: "Nevertheless, for a heterogeneous population such as elite athletes with a different daily routine compared to the normal population, longitudinal studies are required to investigate intra-individual variability of DEHP metabolites concentration. Within the present study, the frequency of high concentration levels in doping control samples was low, suggesting only moderate inter-individual variability among athletes. It is emphasized that this assay presents additional data in the interpretation of the biological passport and it is not intended to be used separately to proof for blood doping." So they are quite properly circumspect about their findings.
 
mastersracer said:
Contador: 50 pg/ml
Octacharov: 75 pg/ml
Van Houts: 30 pg/ml

All 3 well below the min detectable level required for WADA lab certification. Levels equally compatible with contamination via food and transfusion. Relevant that the positive occurred on a rest day.

Thanks. This is helpful. Assuming these figures are accurate, Oldman can you explain why, in your opinion, that AC is too high for food contamination but Ovtchartov (sp) isn't (that was the finding of his country's sports federation)? I'm just interested in your opinion on the 2 numbers, not on the other distinguishing factors (I am aware of those).
 

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rata de sentina said:
The problem is that Solymos's control group showed a distribution of DHEP metabolites which differs from that of some other population based studies with more subjects so it needs to be followed up much more closely.

Anyway, as Solymos et al correctly point out: "Nevertheless, for a heterogeneous population such as elite athletes with a different daily routine compared to the normal population, longitudinal studies are required to investigate intra-individual variability of DEHP metabolites concentration. Within the present study, the frequency of high concentration levels in doping control samples was low, suggesting only moderate inter-individual variability among athletes. It is emphasized that this assay presents additional data in the interpretation of the biological passport and it is not intended to be used separately to proof for blood doping." So they are quite properly circumspect about their findings.

I agree with that (part of why I speculated that if it is used it would be as ancillary evidence for the clen positive as opposed to a separate charge of blood doping). What's interesting about the NYT reference re Contador's DEHP concentration is that it's on the high end of the transfused group's levels reported, so the notion that it is from some other environmental cause is problematic).
 

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Publicus said:
Thanks. This is helpful. Assuming these figures are accurate, Oldman can you explain why, in your opinion, that AC is too high for food contamination but Ovtchartov (sp) isn't (that was the finding of his country's sports federation)? I'm just interested in your opinion on the 2 numbers, not on the other distinguishing factors (I am aware of those).

Food posioning cases with clenbuterol are reported to become symptomatic at 9,000 pg/ml. Contador showed extremely small trace amounts of 50 pg/ml, so food contamination is entirely plausible - assuming the meat was flown from South America (or some other account given).
 
Publicus said:
Thanks. This is helpful. Assuming these figures are accurate, Oldman can you explain why, in your opinion, that AC is too high for food contamination but Ovtchartov (sp) isn't (that was the finding of his country's sports federation)? I'm just interested in your opinion on the 2 numbers, not on the other distinguishing factors (I am aware of those).

oldman was trying to give the ten second version. he didn't say it was impossible, just that it was unlikely and he's mostly right. you're only being difficult. try using the search feature and reading one of the other threads where this issue was dissected in excruciating detail.
 

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lean said:
oldman was trying to give the ten second version. he didn't say it was impossible, just that it was unlikely and he's mostly right. you're only being difficult. try using the search feature and reading one of the other threads where this issue was dissected in excruciating detail.

this depends entirely on levels of contamination of the meat. Only if one supposes the meat passed EU detection standards does the tainted meat explanation become implausible, since Contador would have had to ingest at least a kg of meat. The accounts of 'black market' Spanish meat and South American imported meat are entirely consistent with 50 pg/ml. The real issue is whether there's any plausibility in these alternative accounts of the meat's source (don't know why there hasn't been more press probing of that issue).
 
mastersracer said:
this depends entirely on levels of contamination of the meat. Only if one supposes the meat passed EU detection standards does the tainted meat explanation become implausible, since Contador would have had to ingest at least a kg of meat. The accounts of 'black market' Spanish meat and South American imported meat are entirely consistent with 50 pg/ml. The real issue is whether there's any plausibility in these alternative accounts of the meat's source (don't know why there hasn't been more press probing of that issue).
Those accounts of South American meat aren't believable. The meat is traceable and they traced it back to the farm. It was Spanish meat. Contador doesn't dispute this, and actually his legal team has never put forward the South American meat hypothesis.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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hrotha said:
Those accounts of South American meat aren't believable. The meat is traceable and they traced it back to the farm. It was Spanish meat. Contador doesn't dispute this, and actually his legal team has never put forward the South American meat hypothesis.

Additionally his team's explanation (or the publicist's) was that the meat was flown in especially for the tastes of the Spanish riders by a supporter. Assuming anything they say is true the custody and origin of the meat would be reasonably traceable as it was likely slaughtered, aged and butchered with gourmet conditions considered. That's if their story has any believability whatsover. Taking those factors into account and that this ingestion occurred on a rest day one could reasonably conclude that they had full custody of anything that went into his body.
Since Clen's threshold value compared to Ocharov is only relevant for your particular discussion; it is lower than his. As for the legal threshold; both exceed the non-detect level and Contador's federation accepted his explanation. In fact, the entire Spanish nation including politicians accepted his explanation, before it was fully offerred and vetted. That Och escaped is a separate matter.
Apparently a multiple Tour winner with a positive test in the wake of Lance's problems are really, really, really compelling to those that want to expose cheats. It's political.
Thanks for the help on the technical levels, guys. I'm known to be lazy.
 
All 3 well below the min detectable level required for WADA lab certification. Levels equally compatible with contamination via food and transfusion. Relevant that the positive occurred on a rest day.

This is not correct. We had a long discussion of this here several months ago. Bert’s levels are consistent only with heavily contaminated meat, whereas they are quite consistent with transfusion of reasonable amounts of blood.

The problem is that Solymos's control group showed a distribution of DHEP metabolites which differs from that of some other population based studies with more subjects so it needs to be followed up much more closely.

Most large scale studies have reported mean metabolite concentrations close to those of Solymos et al., with relatively small standard deviations. It’s true that when very large groups are studied, a few outliers with very high DEHP levels may be found. This is not inconsistent with Solymos’ results. It suggests that these outliers are very rare, and may yet turn out to result from unusual environmental exposure to DEHP, as has been reported in other studies. But it is clear that levels typically found within forty-eight hours after transfusion are quite rare in non-transfused controls.

Moreover, let's not forget that if the reports of Bert's tests are correct, he not only showed a very high level of DEHP, but that value spiked from a control type of value the previous day. This would be further evidence of transfusion, as presumably even rare control outliers do not exhibit such spikes. One report in the literature I'm aware of did show such spikes in controls, but it was very small study, collected urine in a different manner, and AFAIK has not been reproduced by another lab.

Edited: If DEHP actually is in play for the CAS case, I hope some scientific experts will testify on these studies, perhaps referring to unpublished work as well. There is enough reasonable doubt about control values that this whole issue deserves intensive scrutiny. I would guess that whether or not WADA even decides to pursue this will depend in large part in how comfortable they are in stating that high values could not result in controls. Unless, of course, they never intended to prove that Bert transfused, but simply wanted to support his claims that he didn't.

The accounts of 'black market' Spanish meat and South American imported meat are entirely consistent with 50 pg/ml.

As LMG notes, all of this has been discussed before. About 15-20% of Spanish meat is imported from South America, and all of it is supposed to be inspected. Even if some of it gets through, you are talking about a very small % of contaminated meat. Moreover, even as much as 80% of the uninspected meat bought on the street in Mexico had a CB concentration that would have been insufficient to explain Bert’s levels.
 

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Merckx index said:
This is not correct. We had a long discussion of this here several months ago. Bert’s levels are consistent only with heavily contaminated meat, whereas they are quite consistent with transfusion of reasonable amounts of blood.

I agree entirely with the consistency of Bert's levels with the transfusion account. I originally responded in this thread by defending the transfusion account in response to some posts that dismissed the plasticizer reports. By saying they were consistent with the contaminated meat account, I meant only in principle consistent, as some previous posts seemed to suggest that it was not in principle consistent. Whether it's plausible is another matter, and I agree with you that it's improbable.
 
Oldman said:
As used lately the defining term might be "irrelevant", as in; the amount doesn't matter but was many more times than could be accounted for by eating meat that hadn't just been fed Clen moments before slaughter.

lean said:
oldman was trying to give the ten second version. he didn't say it was impossible, just that it was unlikely and he's mostly right. you're only being difficult. try using the search feature and reading one of the other threads where this issue was dissected in excruciating detail.

I'm actually not being difficult at all. I'm asking a simple clarifying question to Oldman's above post in light of the higher number for Ovtcharov--which to my knowledge NO ONE questions was the result of contamination. I'm not a Clinic pro and I certainly don't claim to have sufficient knowledge to debate what level of clen is evidence of contamination and which is not, so I'm inquiring of someone who apparently does. But I appreciate your concern.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Publicus said:
I'm actually not being difficult at all. I'm asking a simple clarifying question to Oldman's above post in light of the higher number for Ovtcharov--which to my knowledge NO ONE questions was the result of contamination. I'm not a Clinic pro and I certainly don't claim to have sufficient knowledge to debate what level of clen is evidence of contamination and which is not, so I'm inquiring of someone who apparently does. But I appreciate your concern.
i think you asked a valid and natural question and some answers, as usual, are more reasonable than others.

the mere concentration of clenbuterol by itself is insufficient to put the hypothesis in the sound mode (both judicially and scientifically), the low concentration in and of itself could be indicative of either contamination or blood transfusion. many more factors are needed to dispose the issue conclusively yet many are simply unknown or, if known, are not made public.

those who have made up their mind regarding the blood transfusion, naturally continue to place their stock into more theories (like dehp test) of which, as i conclusively showed above, there is not a trace of evidence as being the issue in front of cas in this specific case.

some scientific speculation i read in this thread is better suited for a scientific fiction book.

i do appreciate your concern, but almost every relevant scientific and legal issue was discussed already ad nausium. there is hardly anything new since the last september or anything that isn't a regurgitation.
 
May 15, 2010
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Zinoviev Letter said:
That's because it is familar. There is no intellectual or moral distinction to be made between Armstrong and Contador fanboys.

And help me understand how fanboys of these two differ from fanboys of others?

Fans of professional cycling keep coming back for more when the whole sport is fundamentally dirty and has been since before we ever heard of either of them. What do they have to do with that? It's like blaming mankind for global warming that occurred 200 million years ago, but I digress.
 
May 11, 2009
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My guess is that since the Contador fiasco has been going on for so long he will be found not guilty. I also suspect the powers that be are working on defining a maximum acceptable level of clenbuterol.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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avanti said:
My guess is that since the Contador fiasco has been going on for so long he will be found not guilty. I also suspect the powers that be are working on defining a maximum acceptable level of clenbuterol.

Well, yes, didn't you hear? Cycling is a clean sport now.
 
Michele said:
Didnt know where to put this news.

That's exactly what I wanted to post, but I didn't know where. :p I guess that this will make it easier for Contador's team to defend against the plasticizer issue-that's if it will be brought up. That WADA isn't going to give the test development funding might be an indication they won't use it against him. Still too many uncertainties.
 
Other researchers may be working on a molecular or genetic-based test that the agency sees as more effective, according to Robin Parisotto, a scientist who reviewed about a dozen grant applications for WADA. Segura’s project may be fallible because it’s difficult to prove residue comes from IV bags and not food packaging, Parisotto added.
“We are all going to have some sort of plastic floating around our system, whether it’s from drinking from plastic bottles or eating food from plastic wrappings,” Parisotto said by phone from Canberra, Australia.

The first sentence is correct. The rest is a misrepresentation. It's quite rare to find non-transfused individuals with high levels of DEHP metabolites. The literature is very clear about this. Parisotto should be ashamed of himself for implying that eating plastic-wrapped food results in the same levels as a transfusion. He could have at least said something like the level of false positives may be a little too high for WADA standards, or note that there are alternative blood bags without DEHP. There are certainly good reasons to pursue other tests for blood transfusions.


LaFlorecita said:
I guess that this will make it easier for Contador's team to defend against the plasticizer issue-that's if it will be brought up. That WADA isn't going to give the test development funding might be an indication they won't use it against him. Still too many uncertainties.

I think you're right. Actually, Parisotto's statement could apply perfectly well as a rationalization for not funding further research while saying nothing about the validity of using the test as evidence against Bert. But this statement will certainly be used by Bert's lawyers if the DEHP test comes up (and I doubt now that it will).
 
Sep 25, 2009
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LaFlorecita said:
<snip> I guess that this will make it easier for Contador's team to defend against the plasticizer issue-that's if it will be brought up.
i am on record here consistently calling the plasticizer test practically useless for anything going forward except perhaps some retroactive testing. the reasons were discussed many times and did not require anything more than common sense. glad, that wada decision-makers, unlike some posters here who invested themselves in the limited-use test, had some common sense.
That WADA isn't going to give the test development funding might be an indication they won't use it against him. Still too many uncertainties.
exactly.

unlike one local self-invested and deluded scientist, who claimed here he does not believe the UCI when they stated they won't pursue the plasticizer test, I am on record consistently being skeptical from get-go that the plasticizer test will get much mileage in the contador hearing.

the latest news, seems to vindicate my opinion. but it's too early to make overall predictions...