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Was Lance Really "Clean" During il Giro?

Oct 16, 2009
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Quick recap: Danish blood researcher Jakob Mørkebjerg caused a bit of a stir two months back when he compared Lance Armstrong's Giro and Tour blood values, and alleged that whereas the former showed a natural decline, the latter suggested the use of blood transfusions.

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Besides being mildly amused that Armstrong had posted suspicious test results on his own website, this was a case of SSDD for the amateur haematologists of the Clinic: The stir quickly became a ripple, and the ripple quietly dissipated, and soon the comparatively clean test results from il Giro were taken down from the Texan's Livestrong website...


Question time: Does the Clinic believe Lance raced the entire Giro d'Italia without a single "refill"?

If no:
* How come his blood values declined "as expected"? Did he perhaps have "help from a little magic box", as Homer Simpson once put it?

If yes:
* Did he use other drugs to assist recovery during the race?
* If he and Bruyneel are such masters of the refill, why would he not transfuse? Does he consider it risky, or could he just not be bothered? Would it not be good "practice" for le Tour?
* Did Levi Leipheimer or any other Astana rider transfuse?

And lastly, if Armstrong managed to finish as high as he did (12th position, 15:59 down), what is the highest position a clean rider could finish a Grand Tour in (preferably without starring in any half hour breakaways)? Consider a clean rider in better shape (LA broke his collarbone less than two months prior to the Giro), with more natural physical talent (i.e. lighter and with a VO2 max in the low 90's, Greg LeMond-style) and more motivated. Was Christophe Moreau's 2006 TdF 7th all natural? What about Bradley Wiggins' 4th this year? Evans' 2 2nds, or perhaps Sastre's 2008 win? Others?

Or does the dopers' "preparation" simply give them so big an advantage over a clean rider that the latter could never keep up, blood refills or no blood refills?
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Frosty said:
Just out of interest, why was EPO not tested for in some of the tests?

The EPO test uses urine samples. For days when a urine sample was not taken, there will be no EPO test results.
 
Why would LA be doped in either giro or TDF, in that case he'd be risking everything for nothing with his comeback. Even the crazy lance fanboys (and there are a lot of those) can't deny the truth (okay, maybe they can) if he should test positive.

I just don't see why he should come back to prove that he is clean etc (we know he previously wasn't) if he's not, and only risk being caught...
 
Sep 25, 2009
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BroDeal said:
With those TE ratios I am not sure if they tested Armstrong or this guy:

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He could probably take a bath in a tub full of testosterone gel every day and still not exceed the 4:1 ratio threshold.
forgive my ignorance who is that clown? i mean other than his orientation...
 
maltiv said:
Why would LA be doped in either giro or TDF, in that case he'd be risking everything for nothing with his comeback. Even the crazy lance fanboys (and there are a lot of those) can't deny the truth (okay, maybe they can) if he should test positive.

I just don't see why he should come back to prove that he is clean etc (we know he previously wasn't) if he's not, and only risk being caught...

I'm not clear why there is more risk now than before. Seems to me that just as before, his entire appeal to the mass audience relies on the myth of cleanliness. He was willing to risk it all then and now. Simple fact is that he and many others have been beating the tests to death for years and years.

What am I missing?
 
Mar 17, 2009
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red_flanders said:
I'm not clear why there is more risk now than before. Seems to me that just as before, his entire appeal to the mass audience relies on the myth of cleanliness. He was willing to risk it all then and now. Simple fact is that he and many others have been beating the tests to death for years and years.

What am I missing?

I think the point is that now, in the comeback... he has nothing to gain in cycling. He's already won 7 Tours, a record that likely won't be matched soon. So, why come back and expose yourself to risks of being caught?
 
Oct 15, 2009
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Murray said:
I think the point is that now, in the comeback... he has nothing to gain in cycling. He's already won 7 Tours, a record that likely won't be matched soon. So, why come back and expose yourself to risks of being caught?

There are many possible reasons: arrogance, extreme confidence in his medical staff (well deserved), greed, etc, etc. But I don't agree on that thing that he has nothing to gain. I'm not sure about this, but I think that no one before came back after 3 years and made a Top 3 in the Tour, let alone to win it. That's what he has to gain in cycling.
 
Murray said:
I think the point is that now, in the comeback... he has nothing to gain in cycling. He's already won 7 Tours, a record that likely won't be matched soon. So, why come back and expose yourself to risks of being caught?

I saw nothing diminished in his desire to win again. He was going for #8 full-bore.

I saw plenty diminished in his ability to do it, but not the desire.
 
Oct 16, 2009
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Murray said:
I think the point is that now, in the comeback... he has nothing to gain in cycling. He's already won 7 Tours, a record that likely won't be matched soon. So, why come back and expose yourself to risks of being caught?

I'm guessing the same reason he went back on PEDs after barely having survived testicular cancer - Lance doesn't think like "you and I". He's a top athlete, and his definition of what is "reasonable" is simply different. I think proof of this is that his blood values clearly show that he was transfusing during the Tour, a form of doping which takes quite a bit of planning ahead (i.e. him seeing Contador flying up Verbier didn't lead to a moment of desperation during which he decided to inject half a litre of Levi's blood...).
 
Jul 19, 2009
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He is back because his exit was bad the first time, so before going in politic he needs to rehabilate his image.
There is just 3 Giro blood values, difficult to see what happened along the 3 weeks. Although, he began with a high hct, probably he injected fresh blood before Giro.
 
poupou said:
He is back because his exit was bad the first time, so before going in politic he needs to rehabilate his image.
There is just 3 Giro blood values, difficult to see what happened along the 3 weeks. Although, he began with a high hct, probably he injected fresh blood before Giro.

Certainly that's what I thought it looked like the first time I saw those values.
 
Murray said:
I think the point is that now, in the comeback... he has nothing to gain in cycling. He's already won 7 Tours, a record that likely won't be matched soon. So, why come back and expose yourself to risks of being caught?

Lance is more at risk over mainstream western media picking up on his "history" than a positive test since 2009. He's actually making himself look a lot better by not testing positive, so there is reward there.

Then again, why would Lance Armstrong take down blood values off his website if he wasn't doping?
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Risk vs Reward.

There was little risk to his return.
Just two weeks after he announced his comeback the UCI - after 4 years of a bitter dispute - strike an agreement with Editions Philippe Amaury (owner of ASO). As a result of that agreement Patric Clerc was removed from ASO. Even Armstrong has admitted if Clerc was still in ASO he would not have been allowed ride the 2009 Tour.
Also part of the agreement was that the UCI would be back in charge of testing at the Tour.

The UCI bent its own rules to allow LA start the Tour Down Under. He got $1million to ride that race - $2 million for the Giro and an undisclosed amount for the Tour of Ireland.
 
Looking at the Tour results, there is no way to explain them other than doping. The crit at the end is higher than at the start! And look at his retics compared to 18th Dec - from 1.49 to 0.5.

Anyway, regarding his crit in the Giro - shouldn't it drop more than just 5% in a clean rider? I'm pretty sure I've read that around a 10% drop is normal. Maybe not though..
 
luckyboy said:
Looking at the Tour results, there is no way to explain them other than doping. The crit at the end is higher than at the start! And look at his retics compared to 18th Dec - from 1.49 to 0.5.

Anyway, regarding his crit in the Giro - shouldn't it drop more than just 5% in a clean rider? I'm pretty sure I've read that around a 10% drop is normal. Maybe not though..

The interesting bit is that it dropped more in the first 9 stages, than the next 12. The 13 day break is too big to tell, but if you had a few in the middle I think you would see that he had a cheeky bag on one of the rest days.
 

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