5021. alistairconnor - 7/27/2006 4:55:18 PM
Well, let's just say Floyd is a ballsy kind of guy.
He's certainly got 100% more balls than Lance.
5022. iiibbb - 7/27/2006 4:56:48 PM
If he's taking testosterone... maybe not the sperm-count.
5023. alistairconnor - 7/27/2006 5:08:45 PM
Well, the obvious answer as to why he would risk it is... he had just lost the race in the previous stage, and he's unlikely to ever get a better shot at winning the Tour... hip replacement and all that... and maybe it won't be detected, and maybe they won't dare declare the result if it is...
Back in the dark ages of the 80s, Pedro Delgado tested positive for something or other, while he had the yellow jersey, or possibly with a delay like this time, after he had just won the Tour. They checked his B sample and well gee, turns out he hadn't taken dope after all. No really.
It's hard to see why anyone in the cycling world would be gunning for Floyd in particular, to the extent of falsifying a positive test. Lance had enemies, some zealous officials might have tried to frame him because he was so obviously guilty and so very good at covering his tracks. But the cycling world is in convalescence after the pre-Tour drama, nobody is going to be looking for trouble.
But nobody is going to be let off the hook unduly, this time.
5024. PelleNilsson - 7/27/2006 6:15:35 PM
So it seems we boring old cynics may have been right after all.
5025. iiibbb - 7/27/2006 6:24:56 PM
Win the battle... lose the war.
5026. iiibbb - 7/27/2006 8:06:40 PM
Best response seen on any TDF discussion so far...
"This is bogus. Any level of testosterone would be considered high in France."
5027. alistairConnor - 7/27/2006 8:07:38 PM
I think it's the other way round.
This is a painful but necessary stage. For too long, the sporting authorities have closed their eyes to doping.
For years they were in a bind, the characteristic dope being EPO which was not detectable. So all they could do was disqualify riders who had an EPO-induced hematocrite level of over 50 (which is not naturally possible) and rubber-stamp the others who had a level of 49...
Then France cracked down on dope (a courageous stance by the minister of sports at the time). It has taken five years for Spain and Italy to catch up, but they now seem to be serious about it too. It is no longer business as usual, now the riders just have to understand and accept the new rules. The "open" era is over. I hope.
It also appears that detection technology is catching up, and there is less of a lag between new doping methods and the means of detecting it. This is mostly a matter of resources and will on the part of the sporting authorities.
5028. alistairConnor - 7/27/2006 8:11:21 PM
"I think it's the other way round"
was in response to
"Win the battle... lose the war"
I'm sure it'll take a while to change the mentalities of the riders.
... but yes, that's a good one iii... what a load of bollocks.
But your Greek chorus of boring old cynics are wrong, Pelle.
5029. alistairConnor - 7/27/2006 8:23:52 PM
Going back a couple of weeks :
Sunday 16th. World Cup final is scheduled to start at 8 pm.
1 pm : my team of valiant cyclists gets off the TGV, after a four hour journey from Lyon, in Rennes. That's about 80 km from our hostel for that evening. I hadn't anticipated the additional time constraint when planning the stage -- I was counting on the long summer evenings to get us home OK without stress.
So it turned into an epic. Particularly as it wasn't as simple as just riding up the main road. Oh no, that would be too easy. There had to be forest paths, dirt tracks, preferably a bit of mud. After all, this is a mountain bike expedition.
The irony is that I was the weakest link in the team of eight. The average age is about 10 years older than me, and 10 kilos heavier too; but these guys had been training for months. I just arrived, grinning, with my rusty bike... and discovered that the magic of eternal youth is wearing thin. At 45, I was suffering well before the end of the stage, just short of cramp, and not capable of going any faster...
We got there at 8.05, just in time to see the incident that led to the first penalty.
Such dramatic viewing conditions generally lead to a French win, in my experience. But Materazzi was going to fix that...
I had arranged for a TV to be available at the hostel.
5030. iiibbb - 7/27/2006 9:46:50 PM
Unfortunately, no respect for the mom.
And Floyd denies it of course....
According to him, "Hundreds" of cyclists have had elevated levels of testosterone. There are a myriad of explanations... I don't know enough about the endocrine system to say one way or the other.
5031. iiibbb - 7/27/2006 9:50:32 PM
I will say that I love cycling... especially the tour de france... and I want to believe Floyd too.
5032. alistairConnor - 7/27/2006 11:06:20 PM
Excellent article. I want to believe Floyd too.
"You put a standard testosterone patch that is used for male hormone-replacement therapy on your scrotum and leave it there for about six hours. The small dose is not sufficient to produce a positive urine result in the doping test, but the body actually recovers faster."
Hmm... Must try that.
5033. wonkers2 - 7/28/2006 12:01:42 AM
Cap'n Dirty sez, "He probably ran into one a them French ladies the night before the test. They'll raise yer testtosterone every time."
5034. iiibbb - 7/28/2006 2:32:02 AM
More from Floyd plus other tidbits.
Under World Anti-Doping Agency regulations, a ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone greater than 4:1 is considered a positive result and subject to investigation. The threshold was recently lowered from 6:1. The most likely natural ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone in humans is 1:1.
Testosterone is included as an anabolic steroid on WADA’s list of banned substances, and its use can be punished by a two-year ban.
Testosterone can build muscle and improve recovery time when used over a period of several weeks, said Dr. Gary Wadler, a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency and a spokesman for the American College of Sports Medicine. But if Landis had been a user, his earlier urine tests during the tour would have been affected, he said.
“So something’s missing here,” Wadler said. “It just doesn’t add up.”
5035. iiibbb - 7/28/2006 2:56:14 AM
This guy wrote a bunch of stuff on doping after Tyler Hamilton.
5036. iiibbb - 7/28/2006 3:08:19 AM
1 - from Tim Church: The volume of testing itself on such an elite segment of the population can and will skew the quantity of false-positives. So if the chances for a false positive are 1 in 100 for the gen. pop., the chances for this specific segment would arguably be much higher, like 15 to 20%. However, no one has actually studied these riders, their hormones, the down-to-the-minute blood variations that can occur over the course of 3 weeks to the extent that is necessary to come up with adequate values and determinations. Summary: the test validity can be questioned, the method of test application can be questioned, and there are more times than the testers would like to admit where they'll get a result and won't have a clue about how that result occurred. When questioned, they get defensive....
2) Dr. Conrad Earnest - It's physically impossible, even with doping or masking methods, to read "Low, low, low, low, low, HIGH, low, low, low" for T/E ratios over a course of days and be guilty of a patch, a cream, or an injection... We can assume Floyd was tested daily, by the UCI as well as Phonak's own doctors (can't trust the NGB - see TH). Floyd would have had to have shown at least two or three values above the threshold for two or three days for more questions to arise. He's only allegedly tested positive for one sample on one day...
3) Dr. Ben Levine, MD - Dick Pound is NOT the person to be leading the charge against doping in this or any sport. Granted, it's a thankless job, but going on NPR to announce your disappointment in a rider without all the facts (ed. think Hamilton), is another example of several ethical lapses for which he is guilty. Testosterone application on THAT stage would have been pointless, so the rider and his consultants need to point out the trend and highlight any spike or dip-anomalies.
5037. alistairconnor - 7/28/2006 9:46:35 AM
The defensive stuff you have posted contains a number of strawmen.
Firstly, the idea that testosterone can only be effective over the long term, from this guy Wadler in the ESPN article, is contradicted by the practice of some cyclists (why would they do it if it didn't work?) and by the opinion of other docs : From the
Sports Illustrated article you posted just before;
"You can do a hard Alpine stage without doping. But after that, the muscles are exhausted. You need -- depending on your training conditions -- up to three days in order to regenerate."
To help recover, testosterone and human growth hormone can be used. "Both are made by the body and are therefore natural substances," he said. "They help to build muscle as well as in muscle recovery." Dr. Moosburger explained how it was done. "You put a standard testosterone patch that is used for male hormone-replacement therapy on your scrotum and leave it there for about six hours. The small dose is not sufficient to produce a positive urine result in the doping test, but the body actually recovers faster."
There is another strawman in the Boulder Report :
(However, it’s inconceivable that testosterone, even if it was taken, could alone account for Floyd’s performance on stage 17; testosterone aids in recovery and the ability to sustain higher training loads, but won’t allow a rider to ride faster simply on its own.)
No-one would suggest such a thing. Floyd's comeback was an incredible performance, whether or not he got a little hormonal help.
If the B sample gives the same result for the T/E ratio, there are a whole bunch of other tests that could show conclusively what's up. The positive test, in itself, shows an abnormally high ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone. That indicates clearly that the testosterone detected was not produced by the body (unless someone can show how an unnatural ratio like that can occur naturally).
Next questions :
* first, was his testosterone LEVEL (as distinct from the t/e ratio) actually abnormally high, i.e. well out of line with the level in his other daily tests? If it wasn't, that would greatly increase the chances that it's a false positive (if the testosterone level wasn't higher on that day, then there would be no recovery benefit for him anyway).
* secondly, there are apparently tests which can distinguish between natural and synthetic testosterone. So it would be possible to show conclusively whether the (presumably) abnormally high testosterone was artificial or not.
It really looks to me like Floyd, desperately needing to recover his strength after his disastrous stage, decided to take a huge risk. Gambling that it wouldn't be detected, or that it would be hushed up.
Here's some technical detail on the Spanish scandal that cleaned out the favourites (Ulrich, Botero, Basso, Sevilla etc) before the Tour. Useful background. Indicates that, as one suspected, it's the teams that have been paying for the sophisticated blood doping efforts for all the top riders. I suspect we're now back to an era where it'll be individual riders deciding to take risks or not, on their own responsibility. The sponsors will no longer cover this shit if the risk of bad publicity is high.
5038. iiibbb - 7/28/2006 1:49:52 PM
Like I said I don't know enough about the endocrine system to say which dr is right about the benefits of testosterone. You obviously believe oneopinion , but not the other. I don't know how that makes a strawman. That's like saying Galileo's arguments that the earth was round was strawmen because of all the flat-eather's evidence.
Let's agree that both of us are not experts enough to discriminate who's the more believable expert.
I'm just posting news items I've found.
5039. iiibbb - 7/28/2006 2:24:47 PM
Latest from velonews
If the "B" test is positive, Landis will likely undergo endocrine tests to determine his naturally occurring testosterone levels and then could challenge the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The basis of the urine test is the T/E ratio, a balance between testosterone and epitestosterone in the body. Most adults have a range between 1:1 to 2:1, but the UCI has set the threshold at 4:1 to allow for riders with naturally occurring his testosterone levels.
The T/E ratio can vary widely within individuals, and in some cases the T/E ratio may be above the 4:1 ratio without doping while others can stay below the threshold despite cheating. The ratio tends to be constant over time, but wild swings may indicate doping. Other factors can cause swings in the ratio, such as dehydration, fatigue and even alcohol.
Anything above that threshold sends a red flag for doping controls. Landis would not reveal what his T/E ratio was in the samples taken after stage 17 into Morzine, when he went on an all-day solo attack to crawl his way back into overall contention.
The T/E ratio is not a sure-fire way to measure testosterone in the body, but it's the only detection method currently used under anti-doping controls.
Other riders have been caught up in the T/E ratio web and some have been cleared after proving with endocrine testing they have naturally high occurring testosterone levels.
Most famously was ex-Phonak teammate Santiago Botero, who tested for high levels in 1999 but was eventually cleared. Botero, incidentally, is implicated in the "Operación Puerto" doping investigation in Spain and was not allowed by his team to start the 2006 Tour.
Last year's Dauphiné Libéré winner Iñigo Landaluze also tested high for testosterone. Subsequently, the Spanish federation ruled that he had normally high levels of testosterone and cleared him to race, a decision the UCI is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Earlier this season, another Phonak rider, Sascha Urweider, was suspended from the team for revealing high levels of testosterone.
I'd tend to think that if Phonak had already busted someone for testosterone this year that Landis would've taken pause.
Besides that seems like an awful lot of people are getting busted for testosterone in general.
5040. iiibbb - 7/28/2006 2:27:31 PM
Testosterone 101 - velonews
Andrew Pipe, a physician and medical and scientific adviser to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports in Ottawa, says that synthetic testosterone is normally injected, but taking it in the middle of an athletic competition would have little effect in boosting performance.
"Anabolic steroids, of which testosterone is the granddaddy, can have a central nervous system effect," he said. "But anabolic steroids largely work by increasing the capacity for training and increasing the bulk and tolerance of muscles. That isn't going to happen in a few hours.
"The effect of the testosterone is not going to be experienced unless there's a very significant training endeavor associated with it as well."
Pipe cautioned that the initial uproar over the high levels of testosterone detected in Landis's system may prove to be premature, depending on the outcome of additional testing that will have to be carried out before a definitive judgment is made. Taken by itself, he said, an elevated testosterone finding in the rider's A urine sample is enough to raise suspicions, but it does not automatically implicate the athlete as a doping cheat.