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Old 29th August 2012, 09:08 PM   #281
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Originally Posted by Woolgatherer View Post
Ahhh, you didn't read the links. To summarize:

UCI provided the 1999 doping test results to the French journalist with Armstrong's consent. Those results listed the sample numbers that belonged to Armstrong. Those samples had just been retested but no one knew who they belonged to. It was the journalist, that linked Armstrong to six of the13 tests that tested positive.

This all shows that there was no conspiracy to frame Armstrong. He doped, he got caught using official tests and records, and he got banned.
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Old 29th August 2012, 09:10 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
wrong!
Got some evidence to support that or should we just chalk it up to wishful thinking by someone who doesn't want their fairy tale bubble burst?
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Old 29th August 2012, 09:17 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
How do you know that Bradly Wiggins wasn't doping?
I have seen you make this same logical error over and over on the JREF. What is it about "you can't prove a negative" that you just can't seem to wrap your head around?
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Old 29th August 2012, 09:34 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
I have seen you make this same logical error over and over on the JREF. What is it about "you can't prove a negative" that you just can't seem to wrap your head around?
Yet you want Armstrong to prove a negative.
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Old 29th August 2012, 09:46 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Ahhh, you didn't read the links. To summarize:

UCI provided the 1999 doping test results to the French journalist with Armstrong's consent. Those results listed the sample numbers that belonged to Armstrong. Those samples had just been retested but no one knew who they belonged to. It was the journalist, that linked Armstrong to six of the13 tests that tested positive.

This all shows that there was no conspiracy to frame Armstrong. He doped, he got caught using official tests and records, and he got banned.
So no one knew who the samples belonged to but a french journalist did know who they belonged to?

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Old 29th August 2012, 09:53 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
I have no sympathy for cheaters. No matter what justification is used, it always comes down to the fact that they didn't win.
There are games where non-cheaters cannot win, and endurance sports have been one of them for most of the modern era.

You might as well wait by the finish line and boo whoever comes in first for cheating.

For those trying to pick a fight over Armstrong, please note that I am not arguing that cheating is okay if everyone does it. Merely that crucifying the occasional athlete who gets caught while pretending that all the uncaught athletes are not cheating is as profoundly irrational as any other scapegoating ritual.
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:00 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by Kevin_Lowe View Post
There are games where non-cheaters cannot win, and endurance sports have been one of them for most of the modern era.

You might as well wait by the finish line and boo whoever comes in first for cheating.

For those trying to pick a fight over Armstrong, please note that I am not arguing that cheating is okay if everyone does it. Merely that crucifying the occasional athlete who gets caught while pretending that all the uncaught athletes are not cheating is as profoundly irrational as any other scapegoating ritual.
I'm sure you can provide a cite for that assertion. Or is it that in your world view all winners are cheats?
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:47 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Ahhh, you didn't read the links. To summarize:

UCI provided the 1999 doping test results to the French journalist with Armstrong's consent. Those results listed the sample numbers that belonged to Armstrong. Those samples had just been retested but no one knew who they belonged to. It was the journalist, that linked Armstrong to six of the13 tests that tested positive.

This all shows that there was no conspiracy to frame Armstrong. He doped, he got caught using official tests and records, and he got banned.
It's complicated and I didn't understand everything I read, but there is a pissing contest going on between WADA and UCI. Right now I lean a bit to believing UCI. UCI's view is that WADA insisted on putting stuff in the report about the 1999 TDF PED test results that didn't belong there that allowed the journalist to figure out which results belonged to Armstrong. UCI played an inadvertent role (inadvertent according to UCI anyway) when they provided Armstrong test data to a journalist who said he was looking for information about any requests by Armstrong for drug exemptions. The UCI initially thought they had provided the journalist only one report but they actually provided the journalist 15 reports.

UCI says that regardless of this, if the information that it says shouldn't have been included in the report wasn't included in the report that it would not have been possible to trace the results back to Armstrong.

As it is, the use of the 1999 samples for research was probably reasonable if that was what WADA really wanted them for but it was clearly illegitimate for the purpose of drug testing of a particular rider for at least two reasons. One - There are very strict protocols for the control of samples when they are going to be used for drug testing of a particular athlete. These were not followed. Two - The science is probably not in place to establish the efficacy of the testing on very old samples.

I think everybody that is in the food chain on this knows that the test results can't be used against Armstrong or anybody else and UCI's view (and mine) about all this is to let sleeping dogs lie. However, once WADA had maneuvered (perhaps by accident but I don't think so) the release of Armstong test data they then pressured UCI to do something about it and I think UCI refused.

However, the results may have been the trigger that got USADA to decide to launch its campaign against Armstrong and if this is so, the get Armstrong campaign by WADA succeeded even if the evidence they managed to get released against Armstrong was inadmissible against him for any reason.
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:56 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
So no one knew who the samples belonged to but a french journalist did know who they belonged to?
The stored samples could not be linked to a cyclist by the lab. The journalist got hold of the cross-referencing codes that enabled anonymous samples to be linked to the donors, including Armstrong (If I'm reading it correctly. The reports are long).

However these retrospective EPO tests on the 1999 samples have no legal standing. He passed the 'A' test back then - whatever was being tested for didn't include EPO - and these were unused 'B' samples. So Armstrong is still entitled to claim 'I never failed a test' as this is technically true, afaics.

What seems to have happened is that these retrospective tests have been used to flush Armstrong from his cover, as it were.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:01 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Got some evidence to support that or should we just chalk it up to wishful thinking by someone who doesn't want their fairy tale bubble burst?
You know, you're making an awful lot of wrong assumptions about me.

You have no way of knowing whether the UCI helped in this case, indeed you have no way of knowing if this EPO journalist you keep going on about was even thought of in USADA's (not UCI) case, because none of it has been made public. There are only three public mentions of UCI in this case: That of Armstrong that they opposed the case going ahead, that of USADA asserting they must ratify the decision, and that of the UCI that they want detailed information from USADA before they make any decision.

Your assertion that UCI helped with the case is at best unsupported.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:48 PM   #291
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:58 PM   #292
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
You know, you're making an awful lot of wrong assumptions about me.
I haven't made a single assumption about you. I don't care enough. Lance Armstrong sold people a fairy tale. He isn't a 7 time TdF champion, he is a cheat.

Quote:
Your assertion that UCI helped with the case is at best unsupported.
As they say, you can lead a horse to water you can lead Damien Evans to a link but you can't make him read.

The fact of the UCI helping, albeit unwittingly, is a matter of historical record. You see, the only people who know which numbers on the samples belong to which riders is the UCI. When the journalist asked for Lance Armstrong's doping results from 1999 the UCI, and Armstrong, didn't realize why the journalist wanted them. They thought once the journalist saw the official records where Armstrong had not tested positive in 1999, he would go away but that isn't what the journalist was interested in. He was interested in knowing which of the sample numbers that had been retested belonged to Armstrong. He didn't know which, if any, of the 87 samples belonged to Armstrong, no one did, until he got the information from UCI. Here's how it went:

1) A lab retests anonymous samples from the 1999 TdF.

2) Tests come back showing 13 out of 87 samples tested positive.

3) No one knows which sample belongs to which rider.

4) A journalist requests Armstrong's doping record from UCI.

5) A list of the number on every sample Armstrong gave is on that record.

6) Journalist matches up 6 numbers on Armstrong's record with 6 samples that tested positive.

7) Journalist releases information for everyone else to look at.

It can't get any clearer than that. No conspiracy. No frame up. Just good science and good investigative journalism.

And I am still waiting for your evidence.
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Old 30th August 2012, 12:02 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Yet you want Armstrong to prove a negative.
No, I never said any such thing. However, the USADA proved a positive. They proved Armstrong used banned substances to win. If they hadn't been able to prove it, I would say Armstrong is a 7 time TdF champion, which I did up until the evidence came out.

You really have trouble with this stuff, don't you?
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Old 30th August 2012, 12:02 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
The journalist got hold of the cross-referencing codes that enabled anonymous samples to be linked to the donors, including Armstrong (If I'm reading it correctly. The reports are long).
Out of curiosity, the journalist is able to show chain of custody for the cross-referencing codes and the samples, right?
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Old 30th August 2012, 12:15 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by davefoc View Post
It's complicated and I didn't understand everything I read, but there is a pissing contest going on between WADA and UCI. Right now I lean a bit to believing UCI. UCI's view is that WADA insisted on putting stuff in the report about the 1999 TDF PED test results that didn't belong there that allowed the journalist to figure out which results belonged to Armstrong. UCI played an inadvertent role (inadvertent according to UCI anyway) when they provided Armstrong test data to a journalist who said he was looking for information about any requests by Armstrong for drug exemptions. The UCI initially thought they had provided the journalist only one report but they actually provided the journalist 15 reports.

UCI says that regardless of this, if the information that it says shouldn't have been included in the report wasn't included in the report that it would not have been possible to trace the results back to Armstrong.

As it is, the use of the 1999 samples for research was probably reasonable if that was what WADA really wanted them for but it was clearly illegitimate for the purpose of drug testing of a particular rider for at least two reasons. One - There are very strict protocols for the control of samples when they are going to be used for drug testing of a particular athlete. These were not followed. Two - The science is probably not in place to establish the efficacy of the testing on very old samples.

I think everybody that is in the food chain on this knows that the test results can't be used against Armstrong or anybody else and UCI's view (and mine) about all this is to let sleeping dogs lie. However, once WADA had maneuvered (perhaps by accident but I don't think so) the release of Armstong test data they then pressured UCI to do something about it and I think UCI refused.

However, the results may have been the trigger that got USADA to decide to launch its campaign against Armstrong and if this is so, the get Armstrong campaign by WADA succeeded even if the evidence they managed to get released against Armstrong was inadmissible against him for any reason.
But this has been the standard with doping. You are asking for special privileges for Armstrong. Other people have lost medals and titles on less convincing evidence (And I am not even remotely suggesting the evidence wasn't good enough to take their medals away).

The USADA has a special problem. The US is known for hiding positive tests for its athletes. They hid 141 positive tests from the 2000 Olympic trials, including 3 by Carl Lewis who got the gold medal after Ben Johnston was caught doping.

The USADA was put in place by Congress to deal with this type of corruption. Of course they are going to go after Armstrong, they want to send a clear message that they don't care who you are, if you cheat, they will go after you.

And a lot of the reason for the doping problems in cycling lie at the feet of the UCI. Their testing standards have been so lax that it was impossible to catch anyone until they were forced to improve. The UCI has no one to blame but themselves for other bodies taking control. UCI policies not only ignored doping, they encouraged it.

If any other governing body was that lax, people would be screaming for it to be replaced.
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Old 30th August 2012, 12:22 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Out of curiosity, the journalist is able to show chain of custody for the cross-referencing codes and the samples, right?
Why would he need to. If their is a problem with the codes, the UCI has some explaining to do. If there is a problem with the samples, the lab has some explaining to do. An investigation into the lab showed they met all standards. Not sure there was ever a question with UCI as no one questioned that they were the official records. UCI has never denied that they were, nor has Armstrong.

Think about it though. No one knew who the samples belonged to. How could they tamper with Armstrong's without knowing they were his.

The journalist had no access to the samples, he just had a list of numbers from samples that had been retested.

UCI had no access to the samples, they just had the list of which sample numbers belonged to which rider.

The journalist just got the two lists and put them together.
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Old 30th August 2012, 12:43 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Out of curiosity, the journalist is able to show chain of custody for the cross-referencing codes and the samples, right?
http://web.archive.org/web/200712012...report1999.pdf

and

http://nyvelocity.com/content/interv...chael-ashenden

should give you an answer. I'm not hugley inclined to plough through them once more
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Old 30th August 2012, 12:46 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
But this has been the standard with doping. You are asking for special privileges for Armstrong. Other people have lost medals and titles on less convincing evidence (And I am not even remotely suggesting the evidence wasn't good enough to take their medals away).

The USADA has a special problem. The US is known for hiding positive tests for its athletes. They hid 141 positive tests from the 2000 Olympic trials, including 3 by Carl Lewis who got the gold medal after Ben Johnston was caught doping.

The USADA was put in place by Congress to deal with this type of corruption. Of course they are going to go after Armstrong, they want to send a clear message that they don't care who you are, if you cheat, they will go after you.

And a lot of the reason for the doping problems in cycling lie at the feet of the UCI. Their testing standards have been so lax that it was impossible to catch anyone until they were forced to improve. The UCI has no one to blame but themselves for other bodies taking control. UCI policies not only ignored doping, they encouraged it.

If any other governing body was that lax, people would be screaming for it to be replaced.
My personal view is that a statute of limitations of about three years makes sense with regard to drug testing for athletes. USADA has an 8 year statute of limitations. I think that's too long but if they have it I think they should at least follow it. There are rules against releasing athlete's test data where procedures have not been rigorously followed. I think those rules make sense and I think WADA shouldn't violate its own rules to get a particular athlete. But that seems to be what WADA did.

My guess is that Armstrong used PED's but it appears that a great many riders used some kind of PED's in the time frame he did. The testing that was released found 13 positives for PED use in 1999 but there easily could have been a lot of people in 1999 using PED's other than EPO. So it appears that going after Armstrong at this time is not making the 1999 results more fair because almost nobody knows exactly who in the TdF was doing what drugs. The athletes that won followed the rules and testing that was in place in their day.

I would be OK with a compromise in all this. Instead of cooking up a scheme to get Armstrong's test results released to the public against their own rules WADA could test everybody's B sample with all the modern technology available and release the results to the public. It would be a violation of the rights of the 1999 TdF privacy rights but at least it would be a violation every 1999 TdF rider's privacy rights and not just a particular targeted individual. But regardless of the results of the testing no changes to the standings or other reprisals should be taken against the athletes. Statutes of limitation are created for a reason and one of the main reasons is to prevent situations like this where an individual is forced to defend himself when memories have faded, witnesses have died and the application of current mindsets and technology on old cases can result in various kinds of unfairness.
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Old 30th August 2012, 01:04 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
I haven't made a single assumption about you. I don't care enough. Lance Armstrong sold people a fairy tale. He isn't a 7 time TdF champion, he is a cheat.



As they say, you can lead a horse to water you can lead Damien Evans to a link but you can't make him read.

The fact of the UCI helping, albeit unwittingly, is a matter of historical record. You see, the only people who know which numbers on the samples belong to which riders is the UCI. When the journalist asked for Lance Armstrong's doping results from 1999 the UCI, and Armstrong, didn't realize why the journalist wanted them. They thought once the journalist saw the official records where Armstrong had not tested positive in 1999, he would go away but that isn't what the journalist was interested in. He was interested in knowing which of the sample numbers that had been retested belonged to Armstrong. He didn't know which, if any, of the 87 samples belonged to Armstrong, no one did, until he got the information from UCI. Here's how it went:

1) A lab retests anonymous samples from the 1999 TdF.

2) Tests come back showing 13 out of 87 samples tested positive.

3) No one knows which sample belongs to which rider.

4) A journalist requests Armstrong's doping record from UCI.

5) A list of the number on every sample Armstrong gave is on that record.

6) Journalist matches up 6 numbers on Armstrong's record with 6 samples that tested positive.

7) Journalist releases information for everyone else to look at.

It can't get any clearer than that. No conspiracy. No frame up. Just good science and good investigative journalism.

And I am still waiting for your evidence.
Apparently you have access to something the rest of the planet doesn't. That is the only possible explanation for why you keep referring to this document, for which there is no evidence USADA even looked at.
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Old 30th August 2012, 09:20 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
No, I never said any such thing. However, the USADA proved a positive. They proved Armstrong used banned substances to win. If they hadn't been able to prove it, I would say Armstrong is a 7 time TdF champion, which I did up until the evidence came out.

You really have trouble with this stuff, don't you?
.
In the environment of competing against dopers, Lance did it better.
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Old 30th August 2012, 11:56 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
.
In the environment of competing against dopers, Lance did it better.
Hard to argue against that!
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Old 30th August 2012, 12:04 PM   #302
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
Apparently you have access to something the rest of the planet doesn't. That is the only possible explanation for why you keep referring to this document, for which there is no evidence USADA even looked at.
Ahhhhh! The old "god of the gaps" argument. Yeah, let's assume that evidence that proves Armstrong doped, was subject to rigorous scrutiny, and has been public for years, wasn't looked at by the USADA.

Why does Armstrong being caught anger you so much? Shouldn't your ire be directed toward the person who lied and cheated, not some wonderful person on the internet, namely me?
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Old 30th August 2012, 12:58 PM   #303
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Ahhh, you didn't read the links. To summarize:

UCI provided the 1999 doping test results to the French journalist with Armstrong's consent. Those results listed the sample numbers that belonged to Armstrong. Those samples had just been retested but no one knew who they belonged to. It was the journalist, that linked Armstrong to six of the13 tests that tested positive.

This all shows that there was no conspiracy to frame Armstrong. He doped, he got caught using official tests and records, and he got banned.
Aaah, I thought you were saying the USADA and UCI were working together on the latest charges against LA. What I understand from the 1999 test results is that it's inconclusive due to the shortcomings of the test at the time.

"If people have a pronounced post-exercise proteinuria, one lab interprets the result as a positive test ...but another laboratory considers the test as negative. "

- Prof. Bogaerts on one of the EPO test's shorctomings
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Old 30th August 2012, 02:13 PM   #304
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Originally Posted by Woolgatherer View Post
Aaah, I thought you were saying the USADA and UCI were working together on the latest charges against LA. What I understand from the 1999 test results is that it's inconclusive due to the shortcomings of the test at the time.

"If people have a pronounced post-exercise proteinuria, one lab interprets the result as a positive test ...but another laboratory considers the test as negative. "

- Prof. Bogaerts on one of the EPO test's shorctomings
Assuming Ashenden was correct in his interview, It the EPO test that was used to test the 1999 B samples was capable of discriminating between natural and synthetic EPO.

From the interview:
Quote:
MA: I think that's arguable. It's a test that discriminates, it puts in different positions on the gel, synthetic EPO and natural EPO. Now, there is no confusion when you see it on the gel, when there's synthetic EPO in the sample. It's simply in a different position to where the natural EPO occurs.
So when you say it's not yes or no, you can see visually if there is synthetic EPO in the gel. They build in some allowance, some tolerance, the positivity criteria that are in place today follows specific rules. And even though there's EPO in the gel, unless it fails those specific criteria a sanction isn't imposed.
There is a table that is included with interview that shows when in time Armstrong's positive results occurred. The important thing there is that the positive findings were consistent with the timing of injections that an athlete might use if he was trying to optimize the effectivity of EPO.

Link to the interview (previously linked to above):
http://nyvelocity.com/content/interv...chael-ashenden

Ashenden seems to be credible. The case he puts forth is strong that Armstrong used EPO. Put together with the other rumors and accusations it looks to me like a reasonable view at this time is that it is very likely that Armstrong used EPO in 1999.

I also suspect that an intentional campaign was waged by WADA to violate their procedures designed to safe guard the rights and privacy of the athletes to get the results of Armstrong's tests released to the public.
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Old 30th August 2012, 02:27 PM   #305
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Originally Posted by davefoc View Post
Assuming Ashenden was correct...
Thanks, always good to learn more about the tests. You could be obviously taking EPO but you wouldn't be sanctioned if your hematocrit was below 50%.

It's not likely that the samples were spiked since the lab didn't know which samples were LA's. Hmmm, interesting.
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Old 30th August 2012, 03:10 PM   #307
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Originally Posted by Woolgatherer View Post
Thanks, always good to learn more about the tests. You could be obviously taking EPO but you wouldn't be sanctioned if your hematocrit was below 50%.

It's not likely that the samples were spiked since the lab didn't know which samples were LA's. Hmmm, interesting.
It's a notch more subtle than that. Spiking the samples to frame LA would have required a remarkable degree of accuracy and ingenuity. It would have required a major, and successful, conspiracy among various agencies. Which raises the question 'why?' as well as 'how?'.

Whereas conspiring to 'out' someone strongly suspected of routine EPO doping in the days pre-EPO testing would not be at all difficult. Just find a plausible way of identifying and getting at LA's 1999 samples. And this is how I read the whole saga.
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Old 30th August 2012, 05:35 PM   #308
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Originally Posted by Woolgatherer View Post
Thanks, always good to learn more about the tests. You could be obviously taking EPO but you wouldn't be sanctioned if your hematocrit was below 50%.

It's not likely that the samples were spiked since the lab didn't know which samples were LA's. Hmmm, interesting.
One of the reasons that blood doping has always been popular(in addition to EPO) is that as long as you keep your tested crit below 50, you're fine. It's your own blood, after all, it can't be detected per se (there is that new test for plastic blood bag effluents). Not many people have a natural crit that high, you can get a similar effect from high altitude training.
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Old 30th August 2012, 07:42 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
One of the reasons that blood doping has always been popular(in addition to EPO) is that as long as you keep your tested crit below 50, you're fine. It's your own blood, after all, it can't be detected per se (there is that new test for plastic blood bag effluents). Not many people have a natural crit that high, you can get a similar effect from high altitude training.
Not anymore.
http://www.uci.ch/Modules/ENews/ENew...uId=&id=NTQzOA
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Old 31st August 2012, 03:35 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
I really am behind the times, it says in your link that biological passport started in 2008. Now I am wondering about all the busts in the last 4 years, you wouldn't think anyone would risk even a few extra red cells, much less clenbuterol like Contador.
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Old 31st August 2012, 08:15 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
I really am behind the times, it says in your link that biological passport started in 2008. Now I am wondering about all the busts in the last 4 years, you wouldn't think anyone would risk even a few extra red cells, much less clenbuterol like Contador.
There was only one positive test at this years Tour De France, and the same last year, and he got off with withdrawal from the race and a warning.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/17221960

Again, Contador was the only rider suspended in 2010 at the tour, though a leaked list showed other riders under suspicion:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/ucis...tour-de-france

In 2009 two riders were detected positive after the finish and removed from the results, those were Franco Pellizotti and Mikel Astarloza.

2008 was when they really caught the cheats out in a big way, a heap of riders were on this new version of EPO, MICERA. What they didn't know was the manufacturer had put a marker in, and told doping agencies how to find it, so they all got caught, 8 riders all up. I think that, and the introduction of the biological passport around the same time, scared most of the rest straight.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Tour_de_France#Doping
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Old 31st August 2012, 08:21 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by davefoc View Post
Assuming Ashenden was correct in his interview, It the EPO test that was used to test the 1999 B samples was capable of discriminating between natural and synthetic EPO.

From the interview:


There is a table that is included with interview that shows when in time Armstrong's positive results occurred. The important thing there is that the positive findings were consistent with the timing of injections that an athlete might use if he was trying to optimize the effectivity of EPO.

Link to the interview (previously linked to above):
http://nyvelocity.com/content/interv...chael-ashenden

Ashenden seems to be credible. The case he puts forth is strong that Armstrong used EPO. Put together with the other rumors and accusations it looks to me like a reasonable view at this time is that it is very likely that Armstrong used EPO in 1999.

I also suspect that an intentional campaign was waged by WADA to violate their procedures designed to safe guard the rights and privacy of the athletes to get the results of Armstrong's tests released to the public.
I heard a rumor that he was a space alien and that's how he won seven times.
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Old 31st August 2012, 08:30 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
I heard a rumor that he was a space alien and that's how he won seven times.
Did the alien's urine samples show EPO doping? That's the point - whether rumours led to objective tests, not whether he was an alien.
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Old 1st September 2012, 06:03 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Did the alien's urine samples show EPO doping? That's the point - whether rumours led to objective tests, not whether he was an alien.
Well after we aged the samples for 7 years and invented new tests to do on them, yes.
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Old 1st September 2012, 11:45 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Well after we aged the samples for 7 years and invented new tests to do on them, yes.
I'm not quite sure what you're saying here, but it seems to be that 'aging' the samples might have led to higher EPO readings.

The chances of 'aging' causing natural EPO to turn into pharmaceutical EPO must be vanishingly small (I'm tempted to say impossible) but the fact that only some of the 'aged' samples registered high EPO demonstrates that it didn't happen. And the fact that the elevated EPO samples matched the expected administration pattern for those race stages adds considerable weight to the EPO readings themselves.
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Old 11th September 2012, 03:21 AM   #316
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Excuse me for the snarky tone, but I see there's still people thinking LA was clean back then?

Please note the following is not USADA evidence, but has been known for years: USADA teased that they have more of it, mentioned more positive tests previously unaccounted for, etc... but obviously this was not released yet, so I will not speculate on that.

- He was training with a doping doctor, for crying out loud. Doctor Ferrari, a former student of Doctor Conconi (see there both of them in the picture with Moser in 1984, who IIRC was going for the Hour Record, which he admitted to have beaten using autologous blood transfusion), like many others dodgy doctors.
Conconi perfectioned autologous blood transfusion and EPO. Under the guise of developing an EPO-test and running tests with amateurs (using UCI money), he was in fact "testing" on pros who were paying him: doping them. And yeah and he was UCI chief medical officer at a point. But let's get not started on the UCI there: just know that it is a cesspool of corruption. (for the history of the Hematocrit test and what it reveals about cycling and the UCI, I advise you to there)
For Conconi, the WP page seems pretty good.

Ferrari himself was the doctor of the Gewiss team in 94 (it is now well established that Gewiss was doped to the gills then) but was fired from the team after an interview where he said that, in short, "EPO is not dangerous, only its abuse". Which is technically true, but a sport doctor making such an ambiguous case for a banned PED caused an outcry.

After that he went freelance... and "trained" riders for hefty sums, many of whom we know have doped today (source)

He was convicted of malpractice/doping in 2004 by an Italian court, on the testimony of rider Simeoni (more on him later...). That may have been overturned, but he was banned by the Italian federation anyway.

He was banned along two other former USPS medical staff by the USADA this year.

I ask you sincerely: isn't that weird how hematologists make such good (and expensive: Armstrong was reportdly paying 6 figures for his services!) "cycling coaches" in the age of blood doping? I would have thought those were two distinct specialities but heh... (This is of course not limited to Armstrong).

The funniest bit of all that is the following:
Professor Conconi has said in public: "Dr Michele Ferrari decided a long time ago to take the path of businessman."

- In 1999 Armstrong claimed in a press conference that he had no therapeutic exemptions for the Tour de France. Yet a few days later he tested positive for corticoïds. He was cleared after giving an after the fact prescription (irregular: should have been presented at the tester when he peed...). (Story from SI)

- The six EPO tests have been already discussed at length. Yeah not "positive" technically, still mighty dodgy. Ashenden gives a good rundown of it, but you are free to disagree with his speculative conclusions.

- Dozens of former Lance Armstrong teammates have tested positive or admitted to doping. Many have testified of an organised doping system within the USPS team, and of saying Armstrong himself doping.

Heras, Beltran, Hamilton, Landis, Vande Velde, Zabriskie, Danielson... I'm forgetting some names here.

Yeah Armstrong vilified them, but with so many testimonies he is pretty much alleging a conspiracy against him by his former teammates.

- Armstrong went out of his way to castigate clean rider Bassons, which after the 1998 Festina affair had a press column where he denounced doping. Why? Read it yourself

- Armstrong in 2004 went out of his way to bully Simeoni, preventing him from getting in a break. Why? Read it yourself.

Weird obsession that, for a self-avowed clean rider, that repentant dopers and clean riders are the ones "destroying cycling" and "harming the interests of the peloton".
Actually, if you are versed in the history of the sport and the doping, those two accidents looks awfully like a man trying to enforce the law of silence that prevailed for decades among cycling.

There's also tons of tangential evidence, not the least being that doping was as much widespread during those years than... well... ever.

There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that Armstrong doped. Dodgy trainer/doctor(s), dodgy teammates, dodgy staff on the team, dodgy tests, dodgy donations to the UCI, enforcing the omerta, dodgy. This is, IMHO, the only conclusion you can come up with in regards of what is currently known (that or he is the most oblivious rider in the peloton). If the USADA have any more hard facts (which, hopefully, will be made public), those will only be more nails in a long-sealed coffin.

The one thing I'll give Armstrong is that the USADA is clearly making him an example. There's some good reasons to that, as there are also very serious allegations regarding collusion he would have had with the UCI, which helped him escape positive tests, and on the whole Armstrong is not just another doper, but was an active participant in the problem.

But I will not deny that they may also be enticed by the fact that is a big prize name. Armstrong made himself no favors with his behaviour in general and his PR defense since many years, but I won't go there because the point is not to assassinate his character.

Exposing Armstrong is only just the start of solving the doping problem in cycling, and if after that things do not change structurally, things will not get better*. (The worst being that for all its faults, the anti-doping efforts in cycling are the less ridiculous in sports today).

EDIT: And while I will not vouch for USADA (but they did uncover the BALCO case) motives, Armstrong is just one of the many riders being handed suspensions or seeing their results stripped. Dopers are found/outed pretty much every month and Alberto Contador, arguably the best cyclist today, has been stripped of two titles (1 Tour and 1 Giro IIRC) quite recently.

The stripping of titles is mostly symbolic, and somewhat meaningless anyway (and must be confirmed by the UCI or ASO who organize the Tour de France. It's a bit of a complicated/unclear procedure, anyway.).

* No, I do not believe that cycling is currently clean. Maybe a tad cleaner since the fallout of Operation Puerto, but even that is optimistic.
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Old 11th September 2012, 03:37 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Stripping Armstrong of his wins after this long makes a travesty of the TdF and all bike races.
We are already there. It's been 15 years, ever since the Festina scandal revealed to everyone that elite cycling was massively into organized doping programs. Leaders have been busted on the Tour itself (Rasmussen), just after the Tour (Landis), or later after the fact (Contador). Despite the 1998 scandal and real efforts to deal with the problem, we know things continued pretty much the same, except doping was more "outsourced" than done "in house". Several doping rings/clinics have been exposed since then: Operacion Puerto, the Freiburg Clinic being two. The sport is on its way to lose all credibility.

Drugs and PEDs have been part of the TdF for a century.
The anti-doping measures introduced in the 60's (and not only in cycling, but in football and the olympics) were not really "anti-doping" per se but merely bounds to bend the comically incompetent abuse of drugs by the riders that was putting their health in jeopardy. And they still are in a way.

The consensus is that since the 90's, and the wide introduction of EPO and blood technics (although transfusions as doping dates back as far as 1984 or even 1976, by some accounts), doping became even more effective and all rankings are severely distorted. But that is debatable that it was already the case before with amphetamines and the like.

Ever since 1996, there's only three TdF winners that so far have no dirt on them: Sastre in 2008, Evans in 2011, Wiggins in 2012. The first two went through teams/managers with a less than reputable record but that's too thin to be conclusive: it can be said for all riders. Indurain, it pains me to say, we can have suspicions about, so you could go as far back as the last LeMond victory. The runners-up, as been noted, offers the same failure-rate.

We can always debate on the margin offered by illegal enhancement. Do you need to dope to win? I don't know, but it is clear that the winners are indeed dopers.
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Old 11th September 2012, 03:51 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
He did beat all those other dopers. Who presumably were at the same physical level anyway.
That's probably a fallacy.
While pro cycling is riddled with drugs, it is not reasonable to assume that:
- Every rider has access to the same means or products.
- Every rider has the same response to drugs.

The dopers are cheating clean riders. Either in the rankings or for a place in the pro-peloton.

EDIT/Correction:

Under the guise of developing an EPO-test and running tests with amateurs (using UCI money)

IOC money, my apologies.
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Old 11th September 2012, 01:13 PM   #319
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Coincidentally I've just watched a BBC Hardtalk interview with Flloyd Landis, and his testimony sounded pretty devastating and speaks of the "untouchable" megalomania that is attached to the ethos of the patron of the TdF and how the authorities supported that ethos. But he's also selling a book. Perhaps the proof of this pudding is where Armstrong sues Landis for libel?

Landis also suggested amending the old TdF records to read *blank* under the winner column for those years that are know to be tainted. I'd extend that to the whole record for those years.
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Old 11th September 2012, 03:37 PM   #320
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I think the best Landis interview is the complete transcript of the one he made with Kimmage.

To be thorough on my earlier post:
- Landis & Hamilton are the ones giving first-hand accounts of an USPS doping program. Their testimonies seems to match quite closely. They both mention for instance the alleged coverup of an Armstrong's positive test at 2001 Tour de Suisse.

- Andreu admitted he took EPO in 99 (while at USPS) and at the Motorola team before. Haven't seen the full interview but he's not naming anyone so I guess he alleges he did it alone, say he haven't seen Armstrong doping but he and his wife heard him admit at an hospital.
About the Motorola team, Armstrong also rided for them at a point. Apart Andreu, there was also a New Zealand rider named Swart that went on tape that Armstrong did dope in his Motorola days:

"Andreu said he was introduced to drugs in 1995 while he was riding for Motorola, where Lance Armstrong was also a rider. Another former Motorola rider, New Zealander Steven Swart, admitted in L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong to taking EPO while on that team. The team's doctor, Massimo Testa, told the NYT that he educated the riders that asked him about EPO but did not encourage them to use it. "If you want to use a gun, you had better use a manual, rather than to ask the guy on the street how to use it," he said. "I cannot rule out that someone did it."
(From there)

"In testimony in the case, Swart, a retired rider from New Zealand, said top riders on Motorola discussed EPO in 1995. He testified that Armstrong told teammates that there was “only one road to take” to be competitive. In a sworn deposition, Swart said the meaning of Armstrong’s comment was clear: “We needed to start a medical program of EPO.” (Source: NYT. Seems SI also had the same story in 2011.)

- Vaughters who was at USPS -now managing a marketed "clean" team: Garmin- admitted to doping, but ever the cunning fox stays a bit vague. He also recently "outed" -on CyclingNews doping forum- three of his current riders (two of them, we knew about already to be fair) and former USPS/Disco boys: Vande Velde, Zabriskie, Danielson. He made this cryptic comment about them to justify why his clean team would hire former dopers (and dismiss another ex-doper, Jaschke):

“CVV (Vande Velde), Zabriskie, Danielson, while all clearly have a past, and from an ethical standpoint are no different from JJ, there is a very pragmatic difference. That difference is performance based. Basically, I knew from what my time at USPS, how ‘inside’ or not those riders were. Based on this, I knew their transgressions, while ethically the same as JJ’s, were much less in terms of enhancing performance. Therefore, I knew they could perform close to their enhanced level, clean.”

"Inside" means of course "inside the doping culture". Obviously, USPS he seems to infer that USPS was a good place to judge one's rider position to doping.

But it is not very clear there: Zabriskie & Danielson raced there after he already moved to another team, so it's unlikely he could have observed there. So is he speaking of himself? Is he saying he faced the doping dilemma there?

- Emma O'Reilly, masseuse for Armstrong, went on record that the 1999 prescription was backdated, and has never changed her version since then
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