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What changed with Armstrong Post-Cancer?

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May 9, 2009
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Race Radio said:
You pointed me to nothing but Google. You have provided NO study that shows such a wide difference with PROFESSIONAL athletes.

Again, I claimed nothing of the sort. Stop making strawmen about differences within PROFESSIONAL athletes. I made no such claims.

My claim is a much wider one: that amongst human beings, some will respond to natural training better than others and get to become professionals while others will put in the same work and not see the same improvement and go get real jobs. That's natural.

This is no more "unfair" than the unfairness you want to claim is reason to prohibit athletes from taking certain substances into their bodies (while allowing certain others): that it'll work better for them than it will for others of them. So what? That's natural!
 
May 9, 2009
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Cobber said:
Of course different athletes respond to the same training differently, otherwise we would all be TdF cyclists. There is always going to be genetic variation in response to any test. However, we use professional cycling races as a measure of how good a particular athlete is at cycling, not as a measure of how well they respond to a particular drug. Training is legal. Taking doping products is not!

But we are discussing whether it should be legal or not or accepted or not! You can't use the face that it is currently illegal to explain why it should be so!

The cyclists that happen to make it to the starting line are those that responded better to all manners of actions than others that performed the exact same actions. The only question here is why taking a certain substance (even one's own blood!) into one's body is somehow different enough than any of the other actions that result in variable outcomes amongst the population to make the taking of that substance "unfair".
 

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stephens said:
Again, I claimed nothing of the sort. Stop making strawmen about differences within PROFESSIONAL athletes. I made no such claims.

My claim is a much wider one: that amongst human beings, some will respond to natural training better than others and get to become professionals while others will put in the same work and not see the same improvement and go get real jobs. That's natural.

This is no more "unfair" than the unfairness you want to claim is reason to prohibit athletes from taking certain substances into their bodies (while allowing certain others): that it'll work better for them than it will for others of them. So what? That's natural!

But this thread is about a Professional athlete! So your argument on differences between amateur athletes is irrelevant to this discussion.

What is natural about riders taking EPO or other PED's?
 
Aug 13, 2009
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stephens said:
Again, I claimed nothing of the sort. Stop making strawmen about differences within PROFESSIONAL athletes. I made no such claims.

My claim is a much wider one: that amongst human beings, some will respond to natural training better than others and get to become professionals while others will put in the same work and not see the same improvement and go get real jobs. That's natural.

This is no more "unfair" than the unfairness you want to claim is reason to prohibit athletes from taking certain substances into their bodies (while allowing certain others): that it'll work better for them than it will for others of them. So what? That's natural!

Do you realize how *** you sound? In the same thread you state

stephens said:
Lance's success is through working harder, methods, specialization on the tour, team organization, etc.

and

stephens said:
outcomes are due to differences in talent and preparation and not differences in 'medical programmes".

Then you try to tell us that an athletes response to doping is natural, so i's ok?

Some of us would prefer that the sport be about who works the hardest, not who respond the best to artificial stimuli.
 
May 9, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
But this thread is about a Professional athlete! So your argument on differences between amateur athletes is irrelevant to this discussion.

It absolutely is not. It seems you guys somehow believe that it is ok for certain individuals to benefit because they have genetic advantages in regards to responding to training and nutrition over the rest of the population, up until the point they beat out all those other people and reach the professional ranks. Then for some reason all professionals must behave the same way and none can do anything that they respond to better than any other professional. Why?

What is natural about riders taking EPO or other PED's?

All these substances do is alter the blood chemistry of the athlete. Just like a coca-cola, or a banana, or a glass of water. It is arbitrary that we consider them somehow different (but don't include, say, ibuprofen or whatever other "unnatural" item on the list). That we are being asked to treat an athlete's own blood cells as also "unnatural" is particularly bizarre.
 
May 9, 2009
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Race Radio said:
Do you realize how *** you sound? In the same thread you state "Lance's success is through working harder, methods, specialization on the tour, team organization, etc."

Who is the ***? The actual sentence I posted, and that you clipped is...

"If you read his quotes, which center on the period we are talking about, you can see he believes Lance's success is through working harder, methods, specialization on the tour, team organization, etc. "

"He" = Jens Voigt. He said those things about Lance, not me. Anyone can go back to page 17 and verify this for themselves. Stop building strawmen to blow down!
 

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stephens said:
It absolutely is not. It seems you guys somehow believe that it is ok for certain individuals to benefit because they have genetic advantages in regards to responding to training and nutrition over the rest of the population, up until the point they beat out all those other people and reach the professional ranks. Then for some reason all professionals must behave the same way and none can do anything that they respond to better than any other professional. Why?



All these substances do is alter the blood chemistry of the athlete. Just like a coca-cola, or a banana, or a glass of water. It is arbitrary that we consider them somehow different (but don't include, say, ibuprofen or whatever other "unnatural" item on the list). That we are being asked to treat an athlete's own blood cells as also "unnatural" is particularly bizarre.

The name of this thread is : "What changed with Armstrong Post Cancer" - so it is about a professional athlete.

As for your other comments - if i take a glass of water, or a coca-cola, or a banana they do not have the potential to kill me - EPO does!
 
Aug 13, 2009
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stephens said:
Who is the ***? The actual sentence I posted, and that you clipped is...

"If you read his quotes, which center on the period we are talking about, you can see he believes Lance's success is through working harder, methods, specialization on the tour, team organization, etc. "

"He" = Jens Voigt. He said those things about Lance, not me. Anyone can go back to page 17 and verify this for themselves. Stop building strawmen to blow down!

????

You were not using Jen's quotes to support your position? If you did not believe in them why did you post them? Did you also not write

Posted by stephens
outcomes are due to differences in talent and preparation and not differences in 'medical programmes".

just a few posts later you writ
This is no more "unfair" than the unfairness you want to claim is reason to prohibit athletes from taking certain substances into their bodies (while allowing certain others): that it'll work better for them than it will for others of them. So what? That's natural!


Which is it? Dope or hard work?

still waiting for your studies and your input on the Ashenden interview
 
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stephens said:
It absolutely is not. It seems you guys somehow believe that it is ok for certain individuals to benefit because they have genetic advantages in regards to responding to training and nutrition over the rest of the population, up until the point they beat out all those other people and reach the professional ranks. Then for some reason all professionals must behave the same way and none can do anything that they respond to better than any other professional. Why?



All these substances do is alter the blood chemistry of the athlete. Just like a coca-cola, or a banana, or a glass of water. It is arbitrary that we consider them somehow different (but don't include, say, ibuprofen or whatever other "unnatural" item on the list). That we are being asked to treat an athlete's own blood cells as also "unnatural" is particularly bizarre.

Hmmm, the "let's have an open class" argument.

I have no interest in seeing the peloton go the way of Tom Simpson. What's wrong with the Olympic ideal? What's wrong with a zero tolerance standard? I would like to know that what I watch is do-able through blood, sweat and tears not do-able via better chemistry.

I know it's naive.:(
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Stephens has posted some interesting links to altitude training which do show a quite marked variation in response regarding blood parameters. For me, it doesn't matter whether it is Google or not, I appreciate that he is presenting a good argument, addressing each of the counter-arguments, and providing good links to back up his argument.

However, I also support the view of others on this thread that the response of professional athletes to training methods is also an important consideration and that this should be considered separately to non-professionals because the latter have much greater capacity for improvement resulting in much more impressive changes from baseline. For instance, in the German U23 cycling team, training at altitude had no significant impact on red cell volume, plasma volume, blood volume, hemoglobin concentration, or hematocrit (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18768367?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum). This is further supported by studies on the effects of altitude training in male endurance athletes (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10502083?ordinalpos=25&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum), elite female road cyclists (Australian National Team, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10502082?ordinalpos=26&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum), and world champion track cyclists (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9783517?ordinalpos=28&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum).

In a review by Hahn & Gore on the effects of altitude training on cycling performance (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11428690?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=5&log$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed) they concluded that "While living at altitude but training near sea level may be optimal for enhancing the performance of competitive cyclists, much further research is required to confirm its benefit. If this benefit does exist, it probably varies between individuals and averages little more than 1%." Other studies show an improvement of up to 4% in hematocrit in professional endurance athletes.

Armstrong was no pioneer of altitude training, high cadence, reconnoitering mountain stages, etc. But it is an interesting proposal that he may have responded better to altitude training, however based on studies in professional athletes I doubt that this response would have been sufficient to account for the difference between him and his challengers compared to the known response differences to EPO (although in Stephens's defence, there are no studies of response differences to EPO in professional athletes either for obvious reasons).

So I will again state my view that the difference between pre- versus post-cancer is team organization and dedication to the sole goal of Armstrong winning the TdF, Armstrong concentrating solely on the TdF, Armstrong and US Postal/Discovery working exclusively with Ferrari, and Armstrong being a better responder to doping than his main rivals.
 

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BanProCycling said:
............

Well Stephens wont be happy with you as you make the claim that LA doped - but yes, there are many other factors at play here too.

Certainly LA is a very focused and driven professional - which is why it makes complete sense that he would look for the best medical programme in the business with Dr. Ferrari.

Also could you supply us with a study that backs up your claims of the effectiveness on EPO among the Pro ranks - thanks.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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stephens said:
Of course I am not denying that pro cyclists take substances that the rules (made by non-competitors) have banned. I am denying that there is only one rational way to feel about this situation.......

Having recent changed my view from a 'they're all doing it, why worry', I'm going to start with the bits I agree with.

The hyper responder thing cracks me up every time. Athletes taking advantage of their physiological traits in order to win sometimes happens in sport. Another one is people moaning that some teams can afford a better program. Well, some teams can afford better domestiques, hardly anyone cries 'unfair' over that. Finally, I think you are right that there are a number of current pros who would rather be left to make their own decision about the hot sauce - otherwise the omerta wouldn't function as well as it appears to.

Now for the buts:
1) The only way to establish a reasonably safe limit for athletes' PED use is to test it on the athletes, like what happened at the start of the EPO era. Then just wait a few more decades to see the long term health risks.
2) The peloton staged a protest against having to wear helmets; the rule was finally instituted after a fatality. This example of risk assessment by a group of young men fits the general pattern for that demographic. Unless youthful enthusiasm is balanced by boring old gits who say 'if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have done it', these riders might have to live with serious consequences.
3) Individual choices to dope do affect others. As soon as significant numbers of athletes are doping, then anyone who would rather ride clean, but really wants to compete to the best of their ability, has an unenviable choice to make.

As a fan, I simply don't like to see the athletes faced with the above situation. The fans are the market for any pro-sport. If there are cyclists who really think the sport is better with PEDS, I suggest they stick to their day jobs and let someone else figure out the business model;)
 
Aug 13, 2009
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elapid said:
Stephens has posted some interesting links to altitude training which do show a quite marked variation in response regarding blood parameters. For me, it doesn't matter whether it is Google or not, I appreciate that he is presenting a good argument, addressing each of the counter-arguments, and providing good links to back up his argument.

However, I also support the view of others on this thread that the response of professional athletes to training methods is also an important consideration and that this should be considered separately to non-professionals because the latter have much greater capacity for improvement resulting in much more impressive changes from baseline. For instance, in the German U23 cycling team, training at altitude had no significant impact on red cell volume, plasma volume, blood volume, hemoglobin concentration, or hematocrit (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18768367?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum). This is further supported by studies on the effects of altitude training in male endurance athletes (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10502083?ordinalpos=25&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum), elite female road cyclists (Australian National Team, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10502082?ordinalpos=26&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum), and world champion track cyclists (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9783517?ordinalpos=28&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum).

In a review by Hahn & Gore on the effects of altitude training on cycling performance (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11428690?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=5&log$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed) they concluded that "While living at altitude but training near sea level may be optimal for enhancing the performance of competitive cyclists, much further research is required to confirm its benefit. If this benefit does exist, it probably varies between individuals and averages little more than 1%." Other studies show an improvement of up to 4% in hematocrit in professional endurance athletes.

Armstrong was no pioneer of altitude training, high cadence, reconnoitering mountain stages, etc. But it is an interesting proposal that he may have responded better to altitude training, however based on studies in professional athletes I doubt that this response would have been sufficient to account for the difference between him and his challengers compared to the known response differences to EPO (although in Stephens's defence, there are no studies of response differences to EPO in professional athletes either for obvious reasons).

So I will again state my view that the difference between pre- versus post-cancer is team organization and dedication to the sole goal of Armstrong winning the TdF, Armstrong concentrating solely on the TdF, Armstrong and US Postal/Discovery working exclusively with Ferrari, and Armstrong being a better responder to doping than his main rivals.

Some interesting links. The 4% number is a common one. This would take a rider who starts at 38.5 to 40.04. This natural response pails in comparison to EPO which can take you to the mid 50's within days.

There actually have been some studies done on Pro Athletes. Conconi did some of the early work when he started his blood doping trials. He found that a transfusion 2-3 days before an event "means an improvement of 3 to 5 seconds for 1500m races, 15 to 20 seconds for 5000m races and 30 to 40 seconds for 10,000m races.". He continued these studies with his systematic doping of multiple professional riders. Some of this came out in his doping trial. Sandro Donati has covered some of it, I will try to find some links.

The sudden increase in Watts for GT winners in the 90's can be a rough measurement for the benefits of EPO for Pros. It is also clear that some riders benefited more then others. Even with the peloton saturated with EPO Riis went from being a water carrier to a star.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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elapid said:
.....
Armstrong was no pioneer of altitude training, high cadence, reconnoitering mountain stages, etc. But it is an interesting proposal that he may have responded better to altitude training, however based on studies in professional athletes I doubt that this response would have been sufficient to account for the difference between him and his challengers compared to the known response differences to EPO (although in Stephens's defence, there are no studies of response differences to EPO in professional athletes either for obvious reasons).

So I will again state my view that the difference between pre- versus post-cancer is team organization and dedication to the sole goal of Armstrong winning the TdF, Armstrong concentrating solely on the TdF, Armstrong and US Postal/Discovery working exclusively with Ferrari, and Armstrong being a better responder to doping than his main rivals.
Still think this is something that really needs to be looked into, but, for obvious reasons, hasn't. For all the 'can't make a racehorse out of a mule' arguments, there are apparent contradictions: Riis, Rumsas, etc - 'minor' riders all of a sudden being GT kings... There must be, as in most other aspects of physiological adaptation, individuals who sit on the far right of the curve in terms of optimal adaptation to oxygen-vector doping - wouldn't be surprised if LA was just enhancing (alone with every other training adaptation) his ability to produce more with "less"...
 
Jun 26, 2009
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So I will again state my view that the difference between pre- versus post-cancer is team organization and dedication to the sole goal of Armstrong winning the TdF, Armstrong concentrating solely on the TdF, Armstrong and US Postal/Discovery working exclusively with Ferrari, and Armstrong being a better responder to doping than his main rivals.
Still think this is something that really needs to be looked into, but, for obvious reasons, hasn't. For all the 'can't make a racehorse out of a mule' arguments, there are apparent contradictions: Riis, Rumsas, etc - 'minor' riders all of a sudden being GT kings... There must be, as in most other aspects of physiological adaptation, individuals who sit on the far right of the curve in terms of optimal adaptation to oxygen-vector doping - wouldn't be surprised if LA was just enhancing (alone with every other training adaptation) his ability to produce more with "less"...
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Race Radio said:
Some interesting links. The 4% number is a common one. This would take a rider who starts at 38.5 to 40.04. This natural response pails in comparison to EPO which can take you to the mid 50's within days.

There actually have been some studies done on Pro Athletes. Conconi did some of the early work when he started his blood doping trials. He found that a transfusion 2-3 days before an event "means an improvement of 3 to 5 seconds for 1500m races, 15 to 20 seconds for 5000m races and 30 to 40 seconds for 10,000m races.". He continued these studies with his systematic doping of multiple professional riders. Some of this came out in his doping trial. Sandro Donati has covered some of it, I will try to find some links.

The sudden increase in Watts for GT winners in the 90's can be a rough measurement for the benefits of EPO for Pros. It is also clear that some riders benefited more then others. Even with the peloton saturated with EPO Riis went from being a water carrier to a star.

I suppose there has also been some indirect "studies" in professional cyclists. Most studies show a 1-4% increase in hematocrit with altitude training, but this doesn't compare to the following increases as a result of EPO doping at its zenith (1994-1996) in the Gewiss-Ballan team (from Wikipedia):

Vladislav Bobrik: 42.7% to 53.0% (24.1% increase)
Bruno Cenghialta: 37.2% to 54.5% (46.5% increase)
Francesco Frattini: 46.0% to 54.0% (17.4% increase)
Giorgio Furlan: 38.8% to 51.0% (31.4% increase)
Nicola Minali: 41.7% to 54.0% (29.5% increase)
Piotr Ugrumov: 32.8% to 60.0% (82.9% increase)
Alberto Volpi: 38.5% to 52.6% (36.6% increase)
Evgeni Berzin: 41.7% to 53.0% (27.1% increase)
Ivan Gotti: 40.7% to 57.0% (40.0% increase)
Bjarne Riis: 41.1% to 56.3% (37.0% increase)
 

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BanProCycling said:

I assumed that you were making an argument that you were prepared to back up? If I have failed it is because I am trying to figure out what your exact argument or point is.

As for Elapids responce: no -yet again he does not say what you claim.
elapid said:
......
Armstrong was no pioneer of altitude training, high cadence, reconnoitering mountain stages, etc. But it is an interesting proposal that he may have responded better to altitude training, however based on studies in professional athletes I doubt that this response would have been sufficient to account for the difference between him and his challengers compared to the known response differences to EPO (although in Stephens's defence, there are no studies of response differences to EPO in professional athletes either for obvious reasons).
 

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BanProCycling said:

Elapid never said that it was the "major factor" in his success - it is one of number.

All he states is that there is no clinical study on the effects different responders have to EPO - which as you point out is correct.

But- again to clarify, what is your point here?
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
Elapid never said that it was the "major factor" in his success - it is one of number.

All he states is that there is no clinical study on the effects different responders have to EPO - which as you point out is correct.

But- again to clarify, what is your point here?

BPC is not interested in a discussion, just clogging up the thread. Best to put him on ignore.

Here some info on the EPO study. Using a group of "reasonably fit' cyclists they found that the results varied for peak power of 3-18%, an average of 13%

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2007/11/effect-of-epo-on-performance-who.html

the even more impressive number is the time to exhaustion, 54% average. This is huge.
 

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BanProCycling said:

This a thread on "what changed with Armstrong Post Cancer"...

I have already submitted my opinion on this - if you find fault with anything I have raised feel free to do so.

But - I am trying to figure out your position - in particular tonights exchange - as you appear to be agreeing with RR & Elapid and also Stephens? I am just curious - no offence meant.