Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España, Tour Down Under and more
The idea of the passport (in a nutshell, don't want to go too deep into it) is to create a baseline for each rider to which will if done properly will show irregularities if a rider is doping. Because the products that produce the biggest gains in endurance sports ie. epo, autologus blood doping etc will have certain effects on your blood profile. (this is where all the technical stuff comes into it. ie. reticycles, off-scores, hemoglobin, hematocrit etc). All this is analysed by the UCI experts and i guess they are probably starting with the cases that have the most/biggest irregularities. Pellizotti's fishy values apparent;y came from just prior to the tour last year. I guess after that he was flagged for some targeted testing and earlier this year he was asked to explain why he had these dodgy values (obviously in private, because his team didn't even know till the other day) and he apparently had one month to respond and since he didn't or they thought his answer wasn't up to scratch, they built a case against him and since they believe they have him hook, line & sinker they have now opened proceedings. So it has been quite a time coming.
The flip side of this passport coin is that since the riders knew in advance that about this passport as it was publicised at the time (revolutionizing sport, will help clean up cycling, yadda, yadda, yadda, that stuff we have all heard before) were able to create an inflated baseline for themselves where they have a higher or different starting point where upping or slightly changing their program will not create such a pronounced change in their profile. Another flaw people see in this system is the same flaw they saw in the '50% hematocrit rule' ie. where the UCI are basically saying 'you can dope but don't over do it' - 'just do it within the set limits and it'll all be sweet'.
Sorry, i've gone a bit off on a tangent but i hope that helps you understand the system a bit better. If you want to know more you should visit the cyclingnews.com forums, as there is a doping forum there with alot of very knowledgeable posters some even apparently have medical backgrounds. Just be aware that they can be a little extreme ie. they believe just about everyone is doping (but with the history of cycling it is quite a logical conclusion and there is a very big anti Lance Armstrong group on there, i don't know your views on him but when you read alot of the evidence stacked against him it is hard to see him as anything but a doper). Sorry going off on more tangents.
Hope that helps,
thanks for that - interesting stuff. i'm broadly aware of the basics, but what you've written really underlines my suspicions about the process - that it still provides both broad scope for doping within boundaries, but also doesn't definitively prove doping even when someone's blood parameters are outside the allowable limits. i take it that in the latter case, the authorities feel confident enough to conclude that doping is the only reasonable cause, but it seems to me that this just leaves the door open for the usual "it must be an anomaly!' arguments.
i'm also of the school that believes doping is widespread. from what i understand, most cyclists have or had haemocrit levels at about the 50% limit. it's hard not to believe they were cheating, but then, i'm not an authority on it.
Taken from the previously linked article :
Will it pick the cheats? Probably not. Will it maintain a level playing field? Well - more level than not.
Interesting that Cadel's values always (claimed) sat between 42 and 44.
I ride, therefore I am.
...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
El Imbatido thanks. One flaw that was aware of with the passport is if a rider is already doping when they start - then their values are normal.
but wouldn't they have to keep doping continually? from what i've read, that isn't a good thing. marco pantani's health deteriorated as a result of reported "over" doping, which was suspected to be the cause of his depression. from what i understand, dopers only like to dope "strategically", i.e. not all the time.
I was working at the AIS when the scandal of massive steroid abuse in the women's weightlifting programme occurred. Some of these women had side effects so bizarre that to describe them would only encourage the Moderators. The risk -- or even the actuality -- of side effects doesn't appear to discourage dopers.
Agree - the dopers are not naive, in this day an age it is pretty obvious that there are health problems and career risks.
Jules21 - yes, they have to somehow keep their level up however I am certain that there would be allowances for rest phases - all cyclists need recovery periods and the performance and condition drops during this phase. Otherwise, when training and competing, doping is strategic because they have to dodge the controls - so is more a matter of following the doping plan to keep the body in the elevated level performance.
Im no expert but i think Jules has got the gist of it, you cant take epo 365 days a year you have to pick periods where your going to use it to train or recover in events. So thats where the BP comes in.
We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works (Douglas Adams)
Link stolen from the Cycling News forum - gotta laugh
Top 10 doping excuses ..... sorry REASONS for a +ve test
UCI denies reports of motorised "doping"
Says no evidence exists that illegal mechanical aids are in use
The UCI has played down media speculation that a type of mechanical doping could already exist in the peloton, saying that there is no evidence that riders are utilising small motors to power their bikes and thus gain an unfair advantage. However the UCI have confirmed to Cyclingnews that they are looking into a method of screening frames in order to remove any doubts.
On Tuesday morning the newspaper Lâ€™Avvenire ran a story about what it termed were â€˜invisibleâ€™ motors that could be hidden within bike tubing and help to power a bike along. It suggested that a rider could utilise such a setup to save energy in the first five hours of racing, then change to a standard bike and ride the finale with an unassisted machine.
The resulting energy saving would make a clear difference in the run-in to the finish, it suggested, as the competitor would be much fresher and thus have more power than his fatiguing rivals.
Il Giornale followed up the story on Wednesday by claiming that spot checks are already being carried out, and saying that some of the bikes of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders had been scrutinised.
There is some confusion as to whether this is a problem for the present or the future. Rumours about this have existed in the peloton for several months. However, speaking to Cyclingnews, the UCIâ€™s Enrico Carpani said there were no indications that riders had already tried to use such motors in races.
â€œWe do not have any knowledge if this product is already in use in competitive cycling,â€ he said. â€œAt this point in time, we donâ€™t have any evidence that leads us to the conclusion that this kind of engine is already in use in the peloton.
â€œBut our equipment commission will follow this issue very carefully because they are obviously interested in everything that could affect cycling in the future. The UCI is studying the machine to find a method to detect it.â€
The Giroâ€™s assistant race director Stefano Allocchio also quashed the claims. "There are no souped-up bikes at the Giro," he told the Italian news agency ANSA.
"According to all the checks that have been done, all the bikes are ok. The chief judge is very attentive - if there was something unusual, he would have seen it straight away."
"I understand it's something the UCI have been looking at since last November but at an amateur level, not a professional level. Everything is okay here at the Giro."
However Marco Bognetti, a previous member of the material commissions and consultant to Jean Wauthier, the current head of the materials unit at the UCI, spoke with a little more urgency.
"It's all true, thereâ€™s a suspicion that there are teams and riders who used a 'pedal-assisted' bike,â€ he told L'Avvenire. â€œWe were first told about it last July, during the Tour de France. We first heard about it from the USA and it set alarm bells ringing."
He elaborated on this to Il Giornale. "We've discovered that it could save a rider between 60 and 100 watts, which is an enormous advantage in the finale of a race. Checks are under way, others are planned. Our technicians are working on a special scanner that will discover the hidden motors inside the frames. All the bikes at the major races will soon be checked."
Lâ€™Avvenire gave one example of a mechanism that currently exists on the market. Called the Gruber Assist, the motor is inserted down the seat tube and interacts with a standard bottom bracket axel via a bevel gear unit. It is practically invisible, although the model displayed on its website has an external on/off switch plus a battery pack that is mounted in a saddle bag. The total weight of all of the components is 1900 grams, and can provide 100 watts of power.
Modifications of this or other such devices could presumably limit the external signs of the motor, as a saddle bag would be perceived as unusual in pro racing.
This would have been a great one for April 1st.
Sadly, I think some people think it is......then again, Fab really did power up the climb in Flanders ....
looks like he didn't take it to the Tour of Cali...he was suffering on the climb yesterday
Disgraced Floyd Landis admits to doping - short story on Bikebiz and he "accuses others of doping duplicity including Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer and Dave Zabriskie.".
A least a pat on the back for coming clean - even that helps because in the midst of accusations and denials, the truth is hidden.
Love the accent on that... won't be hard to detect though - just look for the noisy riders.
Wires everywhere on Di2 bikes now...not hard to hide.Battery is the problem...but 100w is a lot of power.But I still think it is a bit silly at the moment.
Some interesting figures re Alpe d'Huez....
Fastest Alpe d'Huez ascents
Profile of Alpe d'Huez
Panorama of the famous 21 bends towards Alpe d'Huez with outlineThe climb has been timed since 1994 so earlier times are subject to discussion. From 1994 to 1997 the climb was timed from 14.5 km from the finish. Since 1999 photo-finish has been used from 14 km. Other times have been taken 13.8 km from the summit, which is the start of the climb. Others have been taken from the junction 700m from the start.
These variations have led to a debate. Pantani's 37m 35s has been cited by Procycling and World Cycling Productions, publisher of Tour de France DVDs, and by Cycle Sport. In a biography of Pantani, Matt Rendell notes Pantani at: 1994 - 38m 0s; 1995 - 38m 4s; 1997 - 37m 35s. The Alpe tourist association describes the climb as 14.454 km and lists Pantani's 37m 35s (23.08 km/h) as the record.
Other sources give Pantani's times from 1994, 1995 and 1997 as the fastest, based on timings adjusted for the 13.8 km. Such sources list Pantani's time in 1995 as the record at 36m 40s. In Blazing Saddles, Rendell has changed his view and listed it as 36m 50s as does CyclingNews. Second, third, and fourth fastest are Pantani in 1997 (36m 5s), Pantani in 1994 (37m 15s) and Jan Ullrich in 1997 (37m 30s). Armstrong's time in 2004 (37m 36s) makes him fifth fastest, highlighting how the 1990s had faster ascents than other eras.
A number of cycling publications cite times prior to 1994, although distances are typically not included, making comparisons difficult. Coppi has been listed with 45m 22s for 1952.
In the 1980s Gert-Jan Theunisse, Pedro Delgado, Luis Herrera, and Laurent Fignon rode in times stated to be faster than Coppi's, but still not breaking 40m. Greg Lemond and Bernard Hinault have been reported as having the times of 48m 0s in 1986.
It was not until Gianni Bugno and Miguel Indurain in 1991, that times faster than 40m were reported, including in the 39m range for Bjarne Riis in 1995 and Richard Virenque in 1997. For 2006, Floyd Landis was listed at 38'34" and Andreas Kloden at 38m 35s.
Procycling listed FrÃ¤nk Schleck in 2006 as 40m 46s, the first in more than 40 minutes since 1994. The increased speed in the 1990s had been attributed to Erythropoietin or EPO. Riders with sub-40m times, such as Alex ZÃ¼lle, Riis, and Virenque, have admitted using such products. Landis subsequently had a positive drugs test. There is also strong evidence that Pantani took EPO.
....PED's certainly sped things up.
Yeah they are and you'd be right about other factors coming into play. Here is another list....
Sign at Bend 16 on the climb to Alpe d'Huez
Alpe d'Huez in summerRank Time Name Year Nationality
1 37' 35" Marco Pantani 1997 Italy
2* 37' 36" Lance Armstrong 2004 United States
3 38' 00" Marco Pantani 1994 Italy
4 38' 01" Lance Armstrong 2001 United States
5 38' 04" Marco Pantani 1995 Italy
6 38' 23" Jan Ullrich 1997 Germany
7 38' 34" Floyd Landis** 2006 United States
8 38' 35" Andreas KlÃ¶den 2006 Germany
9* 38' 37" Jan Ullrich 2004 Germany
10 39' 02" Richard Virenque 1997 France
11 39' 06" Iban Mayo 2003 Spain
12* 39' 17" Andreas KlÃ¶den 2004 Germany
13* 39' 21" Jose Azevedo 2004 Portugal
14 39' 28" Miguel IndurÃ¡in 1995 Spain
15 39' 28" Alex ZÃ¼lle 1995 Switzerland
16 39' 30" Bjarne Riis 1995 Denmark
17 39' 31" Carlos Sastre 2008 Spain
18 39' 44" Gianni Bugno 1991 Italy
19 39' 45" Miguel IndurÃ¡in 1991 Spain
20 40' 00" Jan Ullrich 2001 Germany
21 40' 46" FrÃ¤nk Schleck 2006 Luxembourg
22 40' 51" Alexander Vinokourov 2003 Kazakhstan
23 41' 18" Lance Armstrong 2003 United States
24 41' 50" Laurent Fignon 1989 France
25 41' 50" Luis Herrera 1986 Colombia
26 42' 15" Pedro Delgado 1989 Spain
27 45' 20" Gert-Jan Theunisse 1989 Netherlands
28 45' 22" Fausto Coppi 1952 Italy
29 48' 00" Greg Lemond 1986 United States
30 48' 00" Bernard Hinault 1986 France
* The 2004 stage was an individual time trial.
Making it into that top 20 gets you listed beside some pretty serious names. All bar maybe 4 or 5 have been done for drugs before, which could almost make the non cheats guilty by association. How else can you go 3,4 or 5 minutes quicker then some of the greats?
Further on from TLL with the Gruber Assist - the modern mechanical doper actually uses a different model - from Hungary (rather than the Austrian Gruber Assist). It is quieter than the Gruber.
Full story care of BikeBiz - and you have to decide whether it is a conspiracy or real.
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