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Zirbel

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I've been watching cycling way too long to pay heed to the debates about whether "substance x" is of any benefit to the cyclist who got busted.

I've heard "sprinters don't need to dope", "testosterone has no benefit", "EPO wouldn't give advantage on the last time trial" and on and on and on. Every time it's shown that these cyclists were using the substance in question and every time it's eventually shown to have exactly the benefit that would give advantage. 90% of the time it's about recovery.

It's in your system and it's on the banned list? Really easy to avoid. You're responsible. End of story.
 
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red_flanders said:
I've been watching cycling way too long to pay heed to the debates about whether "substance x" is of any benefit to the cyclist who got busted.

I've heard "sprinters don't need to dope", "testosterone has no benefit", "EPO wouldn't give advantage on the last time trial" and on and on and on. Every time it's shown that these cyclists were using the substance in question and every time it's eventually shown to have exactly the benefit that would give advantage. 90% of the time it's about recovery.

It's in your system and it's on the banned list? Really easy to avoid. You're responsible. End of story.

+1..................
 
Jul 16, 2009
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Actually it isn't that easy. DHEA is complete rubbish. The FDA allows it in just about everything as long as they use a statement like (the FDA has not verified the claims made about the effects of substanceX). It is so bad in the US, that even herbal supplements usually contain DHEA. Some say it right on the box, others don't.

The problem is, it takes weeks to hear that you tested positive in the first place. What did I take in the couple of days leading to the test? What did I eat? (EXACTLY WHAT) In the US, I would not be surprised if half of the supplements available as "recovery" or "performance" that contain DHEA don't claim it. As was mentioned early, it is a total crapshoot as to what the label says and what is actually in supplements.

Also, how can having a small chemistry background mean that he should know what DHEA is? That would be BioChem. I'm sure he just had a couple of Chem classes in college so he knows the scientific process of testing materials. That is probably about as far as it goes.
 
TheNJDevil said:
Actually it isn't that easy. DHEA is complete rubbish. The FDA allows it in just about everything as long as they use a statement like (the FDA has not verified the claims made about the effects of substanceX). It is so bad in the US, that even herbal supplements usually contain DHEA. Some say it right on the box, others don't.

It's interesting, but it makes me wonder how long this has been the case? Wouldn't we have been seeing DHEA positives consistently for years and years now if it was getting into everyone's systems so easily? Why only a couple of DHEA positives and why only lately?

If there have been a number of DHEA positives over the last decade or so, consistently, that would be interesting to know. I'm not aware one way or the other--it just seems I'm hearing about it a lot lately, which seems not to jive with the idea that it's easy to get it into your system because it's in so many products. If someone has info on DHEA positives over time I think that would be interesting info.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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This really disappoints me. Since the 08 US TT Championships, I've wanted to see him against better competition in Europe and abroad. I want to believe him, but the "integrity" excuse and talk about "unknowingly ingesting the substance" has been used before.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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TheNJDevil said:
Also, how can having a small chemistry background mean that he should know what DHEA is? That would be BioChem. I'm sure he just had a couple of Chem classes in college so he knows the scientific process of testing materials. That is probably about as far as it goes.

I certainly don't think he should know what it is from an undergrad chem degree, but to claim to he is totally ignorant as to what ultimately ended Hamilton's (last year's USPro champion) career seems a little odd.
 
Dec 28, 2009
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Exogenous v. Endogenous

VeloNews reports that Zirbal tested positive for exogenous DHEA; CyclingNews says it's endogenous. What's the deal?
 
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TheNJDevil said:
Actually it isn't that easy. DHEA is complete rubbish. The FDA allows it in just about everything as long as they use a statement like (the FDA has not verified the claims made about the effects of substanceX). It is so bad in the US, that even herbal supplements usually contain DHEA. Some say it right on the box, others don't.

The problem is, it takes weeks to hear that you tested positive in the first place. What did I take in the couple of days leading to the test? What did I eat? (EXACTLY WHAT) In the US, I would not be surprised if half of the supplements available as "recovery" or "performance" that contain DHEA don't claim it. As was mentioned early, it is a total crapshoot as to what the label says and what is actually in supplements.

Also, how can having a small chemistry background mean that he should know what DHEA is? That would be BioChem. I'm sure he just had a couple of Chem classes in college so he knows the scientific process of testing materials. That is probably about as far as it goes.

Hamilton said he took it on purpose. He never claimed the "herbal" defense. Again, where there is smoke...3 positives in one year for just cyclists? Sounds like people have been sharing secrets around the sewing circle to me, but I am a bit of a skeptic.
 

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Hold on fellows...this is only an "A Sample" positive.

We need to hold on and wait for the results from digging through Tom's garbage.

What does a DHEA wrapper look like anyway?

Is the USADA even allowed to pick through a rider's trash?
Or does the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution
protect the dopers on American soil.
 
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Polish said:
Hold on fellows...this is only an "A Sample" positive.

We need to hold on and wait for the results from digging through Tom's garbage.

What does a DHEA wrapper look like anyway?

Is the USADA even allowed to pick through a rider's trash?
Or does the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution
protect the dopers on American soil.

California v. Greenwood. Look it up.
 
Thoughtforfood said:
Hamilton said he took it on purpose. He never claimed the "herbal" defense. Again, where there is smoke...3 positives in one year for just cyclists? Sounds like people have been sharing secrets around the sewing circle to me, but I am a bit of a skeptic.

Sounds to me like they might have just started testing for DHEA in the U.S., but I am not sure. The only other case I can recall is that Manny Ramirez was using it, but it is not banned by baseball.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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BroDeal said:
Sounds to me like they might have just started testing for DHEA in the U.S., but I am not sure. The only other case I can recall is that Manny Ramirez was using it, but it is not banned by baseball.
I heard Miley Ray Cyrus is on this sheet too.
 

Polish

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Mellow Velo said:
I suspect, where his name Tom Zirbalini, we be having a collective "hang him high", rant, not the "lets look for a plausible excuse," routine.

Non-citizens are also protected by the US Constitution while racing in the US.
Tom Zirbalini's trash would be as safe as Tom Zirbel's.

The great Italian sprinter Zirbalini was nicknamed "The Magician" btw.
He used to appear out of nowhere at the finish line.
And yes, he was a doper too:(
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Polish said:
What does a DHEA wrapper look like anyway?
Either a topical cream or in oral capsules.

This is the type I take. *

Couldn't live without it, but it won't help cycling very much that's for sure.

*Edit: I removed link
 
May 7, 2009
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Zirbel excuse pretty weak.

He denies "knowingly" ingesting a steroid. So the excuse is he unknowingly ingested it? Pro cyclists know what is and isn't on the banned list. They have to. Plus he claims he's "ignorant" about DHEA. Uh, it's the same steroid compatriot Hamilton was busted for. Again, not believable. Zirbel says he just doesn't know anything about DHEA yet the guy also admits to a background in chemistry. Come on,man....
Twisted Spoke
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Walshworld said:
He denies "knowingly" ingesting a steroid. So the excuse is he unknowingly ingested it? Pro cyclists know what is and isn't on the banned list. They have to. Plus he claims he's "ignorant" about DHEA. Uh, it's the same steroid compatriot Hamilton was busted for. Again, not believable. Zirbel says he just doesn't know anything about DHEA yet the guy also admits to a background in chemistry. Come on,man....
Twisted Spoke
http://walshworld.wordpress.com/

I had heard during the Mark McGuire days that DHEA would show up prominently on a test, masking Testosterone usage. Since Andro and DHEA were legal at the time; that was McGuire's party line. It only takes one glance at his two-year size progression to know he'd have to take a truckload of an over-the counter supplement to get that big. I have not heard a bio-chemist's exact response on the matter but would have to think WADA, etc know that it can affect testing for other recovery aids that were beneficial and illegal. Any expert information? You guys have been pretty good at explaining alot of PED effects.
 
So it's interesting to me that while this is only an A sample finding (which is fine IMO to discuss here) it's resulted in Garmin pulling out of the signing. Seems strange not to wait for the B sample. Do they have reason to think the B sample will not come up clean?

Whatever happens, his chance to ride with Garmin appears to be gone. "Tom has been upfront with me about this process from the beginning,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews. “However, our anti-doping policy is zero tolerance. Tom alerted us to the situation and as a result he will not be riding for us in 2010.”

I guess zero tolerance means no A findings even if the B comes back negative? What would happen if the B came back negative? He's still gone? Just the whiff of impropriety is enough even if it's a false positive? Seems draconian.

Or does Vaughters have reason to believe the B will be positive as well? I wonder.
 
TheNJDevil said:
Also, how can having a small chemistry background mean that he should know what DHEA is? That would be BioChem. I'm sure he just had a couple of Chem classes in college so he knows the scientific process of testing materials. That is probably about as far as it goes.

Nice try, but Zirbel majored in Chemistry at Wartburg College.
 
Perspectives From Joe Papp On Zirbel

Kennf1 said:
B sample not yet back, but it appears Zirbel is the third cyclist to test positive for DHEA this year (after Hamilton and Kenny Williams). Zirbel denies knowingly taking it. Kenny Williams admitted it. Hamilton admitted, but said it was for depression.

So what's the deal? From what little I've read, no one seems to think it is truly performance enhancing.


I'm bewildered by Zirbel's own announcement of his positive A and wonder whether there is a hidden agenda or whether he's trying to be brutally honest about his naivety. Joe Papp had an interesting perspective on this story. Here's a guest post written by him on my blog : http://bit.ly/91EkxN
 
Sep 9, 2009
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red_flanders said:
I guess zero tolerance means no A findings even if the B comes back negative? What would happen if the B came back negative? He's still gone? Just the whiff of impropriety is enough even if it's a false positive? Seems draconian.

Or does Vaughters have reason to believe the B will be positive as well? I wonder.

Funny -- this whole story has me wondering whatever happened to Svein Tuft, the Next Great Hope of Canada.
 

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