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When was EPO introduced to the Tour?

When in your opinion was EPO introduced to the Tour De France? Riis has admitted to using it in 93. But what about earlier? Was Indurain on it in 91? When did it become widespread amongst the elite?
 
Some sources say it appeared as early as '87, Steven Rooks is said to have used EPO in '89. It was said to be dangerous and may have been the cause of death for several riders, although this is disputed. I think that the fear of EPO ended more or less in '89-'90 and it became accepted as reliable. Lemond is regarded as a clean rider. He won the TdF in '90, in '92 he was being asphyxiated. BigMig put over 4 minutes on him in Luxembourg (ITT). So the answer seems to be that EPO spread in the peloton before '92. Considering that EPO is what made possible for a big guy to climb as fast as a smaller guy, I'm pretty certain that BigMig was using EPO in '91. Others (the 10,000+ posts club) can come up with a more detailed and precise estimate. Stay tuned :D .
 
Greg Lemond: "By 1991 I felt better than I ever felt in 1989 or 1990, but I got seventh place at the Tour. The speeds started going up".

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEAQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fvelonews.competitor.com%2F2014%2F09%2Fnews%2Fstorm-exclusive-interview-greg-lemond_347148&ei=oXNqVdrcFKvmsASXloLICw&usg=AFQjCNGpUvi-42vShdlEtXsVhPXJ8zrgNg&sig2=UK1EpOn6JbXi4BVdH4jP_w

The way I read this, in addition to the articles and threads/posts that I have read, is that some pros started using EPO around '89 (i.e. Rooks). It is not until at least a year later that they really figured out how it worked, and that taking EPO resulted in mutant cycling.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I think it first became available in 1987. Now what superhuman cycling feat happened that year..........
 
Re:

bobbins said:
I think it first became available in 1987. Now what superhuman cycling feat happened that year..........
to be fair if roche was a (very) early adopter then he never really showed anything 'superhuman'...he scraped a win with millars help in the giro, scrapped with delgado in the tour with the other favourites below par and no hinault or lemond and then was really just in the lead group at the worlds and got lucky...a magnificent performance but not froome superhuman...in terms of being at the 'limits of human physiology'...which is where epo takes you....or a big jump like chiappucci or Riis....i.e. he was always class even in his first year as a pro and had a very lucky year...or at least that's how I would read it although, as ever with pro cycling, would never rule anything out :)
 
May 12, 2015
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My understanding is that certain doctors in certain teams were administering the drug to certain riders in small dosages before Indurain came along. I don't have sources other than conversations with cyclists in the peloton (rumors,) but, in the beginning, everyone was (apparently) scared sh*tless of the drug.

Indurain's era probably corresponds to the time when that fear dissipated and everyone started doing it en masse.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Re:

The_Cheech said:
My understanding is that certain doctors in certain teams were administering the drug to certain riders in small dosages before Indurain came along. I don't have sources other than conversations with cyclists in the peloton (rumors,) but, in the beginning, everyone was (apparently) scared sh*tless of the drug.

Indurain's era probably corresponds to the time when that fear dissipated and everyone started doing it en masse.
http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/4324/Nieuws/article/detail/1605860/2009/06/19/Rooks-Jakobs-en-Hermans-geven-epo-gebruik-toe.dhtml

:

Former sprinter Hermans time had as a team physician to the Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, currently the hub of Puerto Operacio, the large blood doping scandal. "You know who was our team doctor?" Herman asked Smeets. "They knew the product." When asked whether he has used it himself: "It was not banned. Let me put it this way: I have practiced my sport in a decent way. May I say so? "

Jacob gives epogebruik bluntly commented: "Yes, I have used EPO. It was not banned and you must ensure that you value did not exceed fifty. I did it to survive easier because I would never be a classification rider, but I could be a better way to finish the Tour. "
1989
 
May 13, 2015
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From what I have read it would be 1989.Some say it wasn't until the year after when a GT was won via EPO (Bugno first with the giro?). Seems like guys such as Bugno and Chiappucci were ahead of the learning curve (and/or responded really well to the drug). Generally it seems like the Italians benefited alot in the early 90s from EPO use. Most likely due to the knowledge of Conconi/Ferrari etc. Not just in cycling but also in cross country skiing, fotball (ac milan, juventus) etc.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Re: Re:

gillan1969 said:
bobbins said:
I think it first became available in 1987. Now what superhuman cycling feat happened that year..........
to be fair if roche was a (very) early adopter then he never really showed anything 'superhuman'...he scraped a win with millars help in the giro, scrapped with delgado in the tour with the other favourites below par and no hinault or lemond and then was really just in the lead group at the worlds and got lucky...a magnificent performance but not froome superhuman...in terms of being at the 'limits of human physiology'...which is where epo takes you....or a big jump like chiappucci or Riis....i.e. he was always class even in his first year as a pro and had a very lucky year...or at least that's how I would read it although, as ever with pro cycling, would never rule anything out :)
I don't think that cycling teams really knew how to handle EPO right when it first became available, that took some time so 89 seems right and 90 we hand Bugno winning. I don't think that Roche was on EPO but he could have used blood bags, if helicopter Moser used them for the hour record you would assume that some people already tried to use them in a GT durning the late 80ies.
 
Couldn't it be that Capuccino and Bugno were the first to use it full power, because Conchoni & Ferrari by that point had enough knowledge to handle the dosage?

In that case Roche (and Breukink !?) probably would've done micro-dosing once it was available to not kill themselves!
 
Jul 4, 2009
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....interesting things happening in 1989?....always found the following interesting....as much as anything for the people that are connected to this particular point....

"For much of his business career, Weisel continued competing in sports. In 1982, at 41, he placed third in his age division at the U.S. national skiing championships. He took up cycling the next year. His training regimen, detailed in his biography, included weekly flights from his Marin County home to Southern California practice sessions with ex-U.S. Olympic cycling coach Eddie Borysewicz. In 1989, Weisel won two cycling world championship gold medals in his 45-and-over age division. "

....for some background see the following...

http://www.cyclismas.com/biscuits/the-trifecta-that-shaped-u-s-cycling-in-the-armstrong-era/

Cheers
 
Aug 7, 2010
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Juan Pelota said:
When in your opinion was EPO introduced to the Tour De France? Riis has admitted to using it in 93. But what about earlier? Was Indurain on it in 91? When did it become widespread amongst the elite?
1988 PDM team.
 
Re:

blutto said:
....interesting things happening in 1989?....always found the following interesting....as much as anything for the people that are connected to this particular point....

"For much of his business career, Weisel continued competing in sports. In 1982, at 41, he placed third in his age division at the U.S. national skiing championships. He took up cycling the next year. His training regimen, detailed in his biography, included weekly flights from his Marin County home to Southern California practice sessions with ex-U.S. Olympic cycling coach Eddie Borysewicz. In 1989, Weisel won two cycling world championship gold medals in his 45-and-over age division. "

....for some background see the following...

http://www.cyclismas.com/biscuits/the-trifecta-that-shaped-u-s-cycling-in-the-armstrong-era/

Cheers
I saw your posts in the link posted above. I wonder who you are. Always with your theory of Greg Lemond being one of the first ones!
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Re: Re:

Escarabajo said:
I saw your posts in the link posted above. I wonder who you are. Always with your theory of Greg Lemond being one of the first ones!
Well, uh, he is still the first American to win a GT, but I bet you didnt mean that...
 
May 27, 2010
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Here is the earliest reference I could find: 1990 / PDM

Op die manier bleek Dr.Sanders tussen 1990 en 1995 tenminste 178 ampullen Eprex te hebben besteld bij diverse apotheken, terwijl hij geen enkele nierpatiënt ...

Loosely translated: 'Dr.Sanders (PDM) appeared to have ordered at least 178 vials of Eprex between 1990 and 1995 from various pharmacies, while he had no kidney patient ...'

That article includes a list of suspicious deaths, the frequency of which appears to increase in 1990 and then tail off somewhat after 1993:

Geert Vande Walle (Zulte, 23) professional cyclist during football 18.08.1989
Bert Oosterbosch (Netherlands, 32), former professional cyclist 02/27/1990
Johannes Draaijer (Netherlands, 26) professional cyclist at PDM 05/14/1990
Eric Chanton (France, 26) while local stage race 07.26.1990
Leo Duyndam (Netherlands, 42), former professional cyclist 12/08/1990
Dirk De Cauwer (Temse, 23) amateur cyclist 14/09/1990
Patrice Bar (Wallonia 23) professional cyclist 10/03/1990
Geert Reynaert (Flanders, 21) amateur cyclist 20/05/1991
Adrian Hawkins (England, 22) after cyclist race track 29.10.1991
Jürgen De *** (Flanders, 21) amateur cyclist After jogging 13/05/1992
Bart Zoet (Netherlands, 49), former professional cyclist 06.12.1992
Darren Ridehalgh (England, 21) cyclist in training 06.14.1992
Philippe Van Coningsloo (Wallonia, 24) during kermesse 16/8 / 1992
Wim Lambrechts (Flanders, 25) during mountain bike race 28.09.1992
Filip Rooms (Temse, 23) during an outing with cyclists 07/17/1993
Johan Baetens (Flanders, 29) volleyball after jogging 10/09/1993
Geert De Vlaeminck (Flanders, 26) during cyclo-cross 27/10/1993

Dave.
 
May 15, 2014
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I don't believe Roche used EPO as early as 1987. I think it was proven he used EPO later on, for his come back in the Carrera team in 92-93. Remember Roche had a hard time recovering from 1987, a bit like Fignon did after 1984. It's more likely they both used a traditional cocktail of steroids which lead to such injuries.

The Gap between Chiappucci's performances in 1990 and 1991 is a strong indicator, I believe. As is Indurain's gap between 1991 and 1992. I think 1992 is when doctors started to establish reliable protocols.

Chiappucci once said "Lemond is Lucky I was so naive...". I always wondered if he meant his poor tactics or the use of EPO (implying he didn't know about it in 1990).
 
Jul 4, 2009
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....there is also this article from the NYT that may be of interest...

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/05/19/us/stamina-building-drug-linked-to-athletes-deaths.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

"Physicians say they believe athletes began using the drug almost with the beginning of clinical trials in 1986. Then the deaths began. In 1987 five Dutch racers died suddenly. In 1988 a Belgian and two more Dutch riders died. In 1989 five more Dutch riders died, and last year three Belgians and two Dutch riders died."

...and...

"Because several companies were simultaneously pursuing approval of EPO in Europe, "the drug was available for clinical trials in large quantities," said Dr. John Adamson, president of the New York Blood Center who is leading the United States trial of Amgen's drug. "

...and this one mentions blood doping being replaced by EPO...

"I began hearing about EPO two to three years ago through the grapevine in running circles," said John Treacy, a silver medalist in the 1984 Olympic marathon. "The story was there was this new drug that would take over from blood doping, and that it was much better."

Cheers
 

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