The whole discussion is stupid because none of us really understands exactly what the lab evidence is or how convincing it is. There's a bunch of shouting from each side, but no one who really has any expertise is posting in these threads, so the whole thing is a waste of time.
As is BF in general.
Just ask Dr. Michael Ashenden.
According to some people here, he's a god an knows everything about Lance and doping.
Passing 500 drug tests may convince some people..but Marion Jones passed several dozen, yet later admitted she took PEDs.
If somebody designs PED-dectection-foiling methods that work 40 times straight, they can work 500 times straight, or 498, and you can talk your way out of the 2 test-failures, as anomalies.
How would you beat PED/blood-transfusion tests?
It's not that hard. You use modern biochemistry--the same biochemistry that created EPOGEN--to create antibodies against erythopoeitin, and use bioreactors to generate large amounts. You give EPO-receiving athletes the antibodies, which bind the EPO, and then it gets transported to the lymphatic system, and ends up in the liver. It doesn't pass into the urine.
On blood tests, if you get caught "at the wrong time", the abs block radioimmunoassay or enzyme-linked immunoassay's antibodies from binding EPO, because the EPO binding sites of the test antibodies are blanketed by the athlete/team doctor injected antibodies.
Similarly for testosterone and mimicking drugs. You just give antibodies before the tests are administered.
You could do daily drug testing. Then the administered test-defeating antibodies would work, but also neutralize PED effects, rendering PEDs ineffective.
On "blood doping" it's really easy to beat hematocrit tests. IV infusions of salt solutions, can expand circulatory volume, and reduce hematocrits (concentration of red blood cells per deciliter of blood), to create "legal" hematocrits.
The anti-cheating solution of EPO and blood doping, is to do bone-marrow aspirations and count reticulocytes. Far abnormally high reticulocyte counts = EPO usage, far low reticulocyte counts = blood transfusion, because red blood cell manufacturing slows down if the system measures too many red blood cells.
There are easy methods to measure total red cell mass, if somebody uses red cell dilution to achieve a within-bounds hematocrit. If a rider shows normal-range hematocrit, but far out of range total red cell mass, this can be detected.
Antibodies binding EPO, HGH and testoserone-mimics, can be detected.
With not-daily drug-level testing of blood and urine, which can be defeated, how can testers beat cheaters? Bone marrow taps can show if
Maybe all the testing is performed by gooberment employees, the most incompetent of all the worlds workforces.
The legend of the '500'.
Lance probably only took about 230-250 tests.
Bernhard Kohl in October 2010:In 2009:Quote:
“I was tested 200 times during my career, and 100 times I had drugs in my body,” he said, according to the New York Times. “I was caught, but 99 other times, I wasn’t. Riders think they can get away with doping because most of the time they do. Even if there is a new test for blood doping, I’m not even sure it will scare riders into stopping. The problem is just that bad.”
And also in 2009:Quote:
"Kohl said that he was not worried about testing positive. Many substances are still undetectable, he noted. “And when you have a product in your body that can still be found after eight or nine hours, you close the door, turn off your mobile phone, turn out the lights. And if the doorbell rings, you don't open the door."
As he had already confessed earlier, Kohl had two litres of his own blood available for re-injection at the Tour, of which he used 1.5 litres. "Nothing else," he said. "Too many surprise controls. No testosterone patch, nothing, except caffeine, pseudo-ephedrine and some analgesics. EPO, growth hormone, insulin - I took that before [the Tour], not during the race."
The blood transfusions took place in the evenings at the team hotels. Kohl's manager, Stefan Matschiner, flew to France three times during the Tour to meet the cyclist and provide him with a pouch of 0.5 litres of blood. "He sent me an SMS: 'You can come to my room'. I disappeared for 20 minutes, nothing more. Nobody noticed anything," Kohl stated.
The rider continued by saying that the anti-doping controls taking place at 7AM on the mountain stages could be outsmarted. "By re-injecting half a litre of blood, the blood parameters are not subject to suspect variation. My manager also injected me with albumin to dilute my hematocrit. Moreover, I always practiced the transfusions 48 hours before the decisive stages: you're not at the top on the next day, you have to wait two days for the effects to be felt."
The International Cycling Union 's (UCI) biological passport failed to prevent Kohl from practicing blood doping on a regular basis during his career, he said. "The top riders are so professional in their doping that they know very well they have to keep their blood values stable not to be detected. The UCI sent us the values resulting from the controls: we thus referred to those to mark the next ones. In a way, the passport almost helped us."
As to his positive control for third-generation EPO, CERA, Kohl did not know why it was him who tested positive - along with teammate Stefan Schumacher and Riccardo Riccò - and not other Tour de France riders.
"Everybody in the cycling scene was convinced that this EPO was not detectable. Many more riders had taken it. Oddly enough, we were only three to fall. I am convinced that the top ten could have been positive," the Austrian said. "It just happened to be me, tough luck. I didn't ask for a counter-analysis: this masquerade was over."
reticulocyte counts are abnormally high Their levels can be meaured in bone marrow These are replicating red blood cell precursor-cells. Epo raises their numbers.
Red blood cell mass, in the circulatory system, refers to the raw volume of RBCs, irrespective of their surrounding plasma volumeThe way you test for RBC mass is to inject a specific number of 51-Chromium (radioactive isotope) labeled RBCs, which have a specific measurable radioactivity per million RBCs, inject them into a subject, and then 1 minutes later, take blood samples from the subject.
From measuring total RBCs per dL, and measuring 51-Cr-labeled RBCs per dL, you can calculate total circulating RBCs.
Now, you have to set arbitrary standards of "plausible natural limits" for total circulating RBCs. It's not a perfect science.
Did Lance use PEDs? I don't know. If he did, I wonder how much money Trek made that it wouldn't had not their spokesperson won 7 TDFs, or even one? How much money would Livestrong have collected for cancer research, had Lance been a domestique for his whole career? His superstar status made things happen that would not have happened if he had not risen to the ultra-top. If it was natural, just based on genetics and super-hard training, awesome. If it was based on PED use, maybe not so awesome. Trek selling bikes that wouldn't have happened without the record TDFs, cancer contributions that wouldn't have happened either, what is the take-home lesson?
Eclectus, you write like a professional pharmacist. Would you mind letting me know, roughly, how you know this stuff? What are some of the sources of this information?