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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:55 pm 
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The thing to note is that riders can manipulate their count. Someone who tests at 49% haematocrit does not always have this figure. That's why many pros own blood centrifuges and why team doctors have them too.

Pro riders know that the tests, say, before a big race always come in the early morning. So they can go to bed with a count of 49% and if the UCI come knocking with the "Vampires", no problem. Then, if the race start is at midday, they stay in their hotel room or team bus - useful, those tinted windows - and load up with more blood. Sadly the UCI won't do start line testing?

Also, no hypoxic tent or altitude training camp is going to get your count as high as EPO, to, say 55%. Many riders like to claim they use tents and training camps to high altitude locations but it's likely many use pharmacological help and just use the purchase receipt from the tent seller as an "excuse".


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:55 pm 
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GrahamB wrote:
So if instead there was an extended form of blood profile limits, the philosophy is simply "you are not fit, you cannot race". Granted the current concerns about EPO's non-specificity, is it fair to distinguish someone who boosts there h-crit by blood-doping as compared to someone who spends every night in a hypoxic tent, if they get to the same result?

(Hypoxic conditions scare me... sounds like a short cut to early cognitive decline :( )


Hypoxia tents will boost hematocrit 1-2 points over months of use, and they are not proven safe in long term use. Hypoxia leads to new blood vessel growth and could lead to vision problems, brain degeneration as well as promoting the spread of tumors.

another way to boost hematocrit is to smoke.

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Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:55 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:56 pm 
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Danton wrote:
Also, no hypoxic tent or altitude training camp is going to get your count as high as EPO, to, say 55%. Many riders like to claim they use tents and training camps to high altitude locations but it's likely many use pharmacological help and just use the purchase receipt from the tent seller as an "excuse".


Riis got to 60%. At that point, he had to wake up every three hours to exercise or his heart would have stopped. He's lucky to be alive.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:09 pm 
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DocRay wrote:
Danton wrote:
Also, no hypoxic tent or altitude training camp is going to get your count as high as EPO, to, say 55%. Many riders like to claim they use tents and training camps to high altitude locations but it's likely many use pharmacological help and just use the purchase receipt from the tent seller as an "excuse".


Riis got to 60%. At that point, he had to wake up every three hours to exercise or his heart would have stopped. He's lucky to be alive.


How do you know such intimate detail about Riis?

I think that people who live at high altitude routinely get haemocrit levels over 50%


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:28 pm 
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the 60% myth/rumour/fact about Riis is widespread. As to whether or not it is true, I am sure there is a certain amount of documentation but I have never seen anything oficial cited.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:37 am 
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There are certainly riders that do cheat and will cheat in the future.

Rasmussen's blood numbers that went up instead of down during the TdF are a prime example.

But, this thread was about Mayo and his positive, then not positive, then re-do positive. This thread is about lab protocol and a testing system that lacks any sort of standard for ethics.

Suppose you are involved in an automobile accident and in the aftermath you are required by law to submit to a drug test. The test results are sent off to a lab and they come back saying your blood alcohol level was .12. There is a b sample of your blood alcohol performed and it comes back at a sober .02. You're about to stand trial and the prosecution has a lot riding on this case so they, go against the law, have your b sample re-tested and wala, a .12 blood alcohol is returned. This new evidence is admitted into trial as evidence. We'd all call foul right and say the system is rigged...at least I would hope we all would. I'd rather not have to deal with a DUI on my record and lose my drivers license that is vital for my job when I was clearly sober.

But if we follow the line of thinking of some on this board that is exactly what would happen. It is not only probable of inevitable.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:56 am 
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Mayo had a positive, then a no-result, then another positive.

The fact that he was given up to the UCI by a team mate should give a little indication as to his guilt. Allegedly.

The sport is better off without him.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:43 am 
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2002SaecoReplica wrote:
Suppose you are involved in an automobile accident and in the aftermath you are required by law to submit to a drug test.


How I'd feel would depend a lot on if I knew I'd been drinking or not. But I might be inclined to make a big fuss if my livelihood depended on being cleared, even if I knew I was drunk...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:45 am 
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GrahamB wrote:
2002SaecoReplica wrote:
Suppose you are involved in an automobile accident and in the aftermath you are required by law to submit to a drug test.


How I'd feel would depend a lot on if I knew I'd been drinking or not. But I might be inclined to make a big fuss if my livelihood depended on being cleared, even if I knew I was drunk...


I was hoping you(any reader) would assume they were sober at the time of the accident...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:50 pm 
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2002SaecoReplica wrote:

Suppose you are involved in an automobile accident and in the aftermath you are required by law to submit to a drug test. The test results are sent off to a lab and they come back saying your blood alcohol level was .12. There is a b sample of your blood alcohol performed and it comes back at a sober .02. You're about to stand trial and the prosecution has a lot riding on this case so they, go against the law, have your b sample re-tested and wala, a .12 blood alcohol is returned.


That's quite hypothetical, as blood alcohol tests are very accurate. However, if the B sample re-tested at the exact same level as the A sample, then this person was drunk. People love the idea of getting off on technicalities, but tell that to the family of a person killed by a drunk driver set free over one poor lab test. Or, tell that to the guy who races clean for years and loses an Olympic medal because one or more of the medalists doped. Career is threatened, contract iffy, no sponsorship dollars, etc. Your example is what was used by Landis, chasing technicalities, but in his case, every single time they tested the samples, they got exactly the same numbers. Yet, people think he deserves to get off on a procedural technicality, ignoring the other facts.

However, in the US, many employers force drug tests on their workers and applicants.
The standard opiate test hawked by some labs is advertised as 99.9% accurate with little/no false positives, which is total BS. The false positive rate for this test is as high as 30%, and several journalists have shown they can test positive by eating a poppy seed bagel. Meanwhile, people are getting fired/not hired based on their breakfasts and branded heroin junkies.

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a5_116.html

Riis was referred to as "Mr. 60%" for years, and from experience, most rumors in the pro peloton are right on. Hematocrit above 50% is rare, even in mountain dwellers, but it can be adjusted back down to below 50% with a simple blood donation.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:44 pm 
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Thousands of FBI cases were reveresed or not prosecuted due to quality control issues with a lab. I have no knowledge of anyone guilt with EPO but the fact is its stupid to use any one lab for both A and B samples much less one with verified errors in proceedure. UCI must get its act together. If you were found with a possitive result on drug test and you knew that you had not knowingly taken any drugs how would you defend yourself? Would you grasp at straws searching for any answers? I would. A stupid defence does not mean guilt. I suspect that many or even all could be guilty but I have heard little in the way of reputable enforcement of the rules and proceedures. This looks more like a kangaroo court (no offence to those down under) and is allowing for doubt for a large number of concerned and sane people. I want the cheats out as much as anyone but I also demand that my sports governing body act in a responcable manner. I suspect they will continue to do what the think is best for there own power and pocketbook, cycling be damned

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