Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Cycle of Bullshit...

1) The Most Tested Athlete in the World-

This what I like to refer to as a "rectum derived statistic". Why? Because whoever came up with it pulled it right out of his ass. Here are the official numbers that beg further research. The actual numbers clearly contradict this ridiculous claim that no one from Lance Armstrong's camp has ever been able to substantiate. For verification, we would need the number of tests done for ALL the other top cyclists. But that is the MO of the Armstrong camp-make vague, bombastic statements that their fanboys slurp up like chum and then call anyone a hater for having the audacity to question their bullshit.

(I got this information from a post on the Weightweenies site. I would like to thank the poster named "icebreaker" for looking into this matter and getting some hard numbers out there for all to see)

"This is Lances' testing history from 1999 to 2004, as published in L'Equipe in 2005-these numbers are the total number for each year, not just the Tour de France.

1999: 15 urine tests

2000: 12 urine tests
2001: 10 urine tests
2002: 9 urine tests
2003: 9 urine tests
2004: 8 urine tests and 1 blood test for the detection of hemoglobin synthesis.

UCI controls from 1999 to 2004 in total = 63. or 10.5 per year.

You think that is more tests than people who were riding a full year's program, and winning or placing - people like McEwen for instance.

63 tests in 5 years."

Keep in mind that for all intent and purposes Armstrong stopped riding after July almost every single year after he won his first Tour in 1999. The cycling season goes on until October. Top riders who race all year get tested WAY more than this, given that during a stage race like the Tour the leader usually gets tested daily, as does the winner of each daily stage. He didn't seem to get tested all that much for someone who won as many stages and for the number of days he rode as the leader at the Tour.

2) Armstrong Never Tested Positive-

Those tests in section 1 above were all urine tests. With no blood testing, which is much more precise and thorough it's as if he was never tested at all, because everyone knows that those urine tests administered by the UCI are a joke. You really have to have a bad doctor or team director to fail one of these. So the point is moot.

Here is a list of riders who have podiumed alongside Armstrong in each of his 7 Tour wins along with their situations regarding PED's-this list comes courtesy of poster "Johnny Rad", also of the Weightweenies site-

1999, GC
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Alex Zülle-admitted doper; suspended/Festina Scandal of 1998
3. Fernando Escartín-Rode for infamous Kelme Squad, but never implicated

2000, GC
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Jan Ullrich-alleged doper; suspended/retired (Alleged ties to Operation Puerto)
3. Joseba Beloki-alleged doper; Once Squad (Manolo Saiz, director sportif at the heart of the Operation Puerto Scandal)

2001, GC
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Jan Ullrich-alleged doper; suspended/retired
3. Joseba Beloki-alleged doper;

2002, GC
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Joseba Beloki-alleged doper;
3. Raimondas Rumšas-alleged doper; suspended (His story deserves a post all to itself)

2003, GC
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Jan Ullrich-alleged doper; suspended/retired
3. Alexander Vinokourov - alleged doper; suspended (transfusion of another person's blood)

2004, GC
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Andreas Klöden-alleged doper (Freiburg Clinic Scandal)
3. Ivan Basso-alleged doper; implicated and suspended (Operation Puerto)

2005, GC
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Ivan Basso-alleged doper; suspended (Operation Puerto)
3. Jan Ullrich-alleged doper; suspended/retired (Operation Puerto)

Somehow, Armstrong was able to dominate every single Tour from 1999 to 2005 without ever being seriously challenged, by riders who all had clouds of suspicion over their heads. So for the sake of arguing, let's just say most of them were doping while they raced against him. And he was able to beat them handily while riding clean.

Does any sane person believe this? Give me a fucking break already. That is not humanly possible. It is physiologically impossible to pull something like that off.

Curiously enough, when some of his urine samples for the 1999 Tour were retroactively tested, six of them came up positive for EPO. He of course came out with the usual denials, blaming unreliable chain of custody of said samples, mishandling/improper storage, a French conspiracy, etc. But there it is. Of course, the Armstrong Tifosi will hear none of it, screeching about the country's collective bitterness at needing the United States save them from the clutches of Nazi Germany in WWII. Yes, folks-this is how it's been described on some of the cycling forums. I swear if Einstein could have come up with a formula to measure the quantum expansion of stupidity, he'd have to re-write it after reading some of these explanations.

3) Cycling has the most intensive anti-doping program in pro sports-

What this latest revelation tells us is that testing in pro cycling is an absolute joke. Floyd Landis stated that he doped throughout his whole career and got caught for a substance he wasn't even taking at the time. This part I don't believe, but right now it's beside the point. The point is, as much as cycling pays lip service to their supposedly tough anti-doping measures, a rider who can pony up the requisite cash has access to the expertise necessary to circumvent the tests.

Ricardo Ricco, the disgraced Italian rider who recently finished serving a two-year ban for the new generation EPO drug CERA said exactly the same thing. When he confessed, he said with all the times he used the drug it was a surprise to him that he wasn't caught earlier.

Here is an excerpt from the New York Times article entitled "Cyclists Find New Way to Use Old Doping Tool"-

"In a research paper published five years ago, Michael Ashenden, a prominent Australian exercise physiologist and a scientific adviser to the cycling union, and scientists at the University of Montpellier in France injected two athletes with EPO. Ashenden said it took only about a week for the laboratory in France to devise a dosing program that escaped detection, assuming that athletes are not required to provide samples in the middle of the night.

The biological passport, which cycling introduced two and a half years ago, attempts to overcome problems with conventional tests by analyzing blood samples of athletes regularly for signs of unnatural, long-term patterns that indicate manipulation.

Ashenden and the French researchers have recently repeated their earlier experiments. Somewhat to their surprise, they found that the bodies of the test subjects adapted in a way that hides microdosing from the passport program. For various practical reasons, the passport tests measure only the concentration of red cells in athletes’ blood, not the total amount of red cells in their bodies.

Microdosing, however, appears to increase users’ blood volumes significantly. So although EPO raises users’ overall red blood cell level, its concentration stays constant because of the increased blood volume.

The body’s adjustments, Ashenden said, also disguise changes to other markers in the blood that would normally prompt an investigation under the passport program.

Ashenden said that the group also found that athletes could receive the same benefits from EPO with much smaller doses than they used in their first experiments. (To avoid providing a how-to guide, the group has not published its dosage information.)

Despite improvements to the urine test, Ashenden said that microdoses still evaded it, assuming that the samples were not taken from athletes in the middle of the night. Although it is theoretically possible under WADA’s rules for testers to wake up athletes, they have been reluctant to take that step because athletes already complain about the intrusiveness of testing.

“Small injections we previously thought didn’t have a biological impact do work,” Ashenden said."

And how hilarious is it that the one person quote to rebuke this information is none other but Dr. Michele Ferarri, the most notorious doping facilitator in pro cycling-

"Not everyone accepts the researchers’ conclusions. Among them is Michele Ferrari, the controversial Italian sports medicine doctor whose clients have included Armstrong. “It’s a bit like playing Russian roulette,” Ferrari said in an e-mail exchange. “There is absolutely no microdose that can be taken without the risk of getting detected by out of competition controls within a 12-hour window.”

Now how would our good friend know this if he wasn't an astute practitioner of the fine art of EPO administration for use as an athletic performance enhancer? Hmmm...

Inquiring minds wanna know, doctor.

I want everyone to pay attention to the above photo-it comprises all the Tour de France winners from 1996 to 2006. Every single one of them have either admitted to doping, were caught doping, retired under pressure from doping allegations or are currently under suspicion. One way or another, this has got to stop. Pretending the past doesn't matter, or wishing to sweep it under the rug only means that the perpetrators get a clean slate. They don't deserve a clean slate. They deserve to get hounded until they either fess up, leave the sport or preferably both.

The only people who would make such statements are people who have something to hide about their past. There have been concerted efforts from the aggrieved parties to stimey, genuflect or otherwise cast aspersions elsewhere. The only way this gets cleaned up is when the most powerful and influential people in the sport who have derived great profits from aiding and abetting the cycle of doping to be exposed once and for all. This will only happen if more people step up to the plate and speak their truth.

No comments:

Post a Comment