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-   -   My (slightly tearful) reaction to the Armstrong news (http://www.bikeforums.net/professional-cycling-fans/605867-my-slightly-tearful-reaction-armstrong-news.html)

DXchulo 09-02-12 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApostateAbe (Post 14683660)
Thanks. Such knowledge may be well-known among the competitive bicycling community, but I am looking for reputable sources that affirm the existence of the various methods of cheating those tests.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2012...ughts-and.html

Look under #1.

Then you have the less scientific ways of passing tests like "donations" to the UCI.

Eclectus 09-02-12 07:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApostateAbe (Post 14682299)
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?

I don't even know anymore. I can tell only tell you this stuff is in the archives. I know this sounds like a copout, but when I was an undergrad at Berkeley, they didn't have the journal articles I was looking for, I had to go over to UCSF to get to deeper-historic sources. When I was a stupid lab tech at UCSD, I had to find out what the Scripps Institute Library had that USC Bimed library didn't. When in Orange County, I had to go to UCLA Biomed to get to first-report sources. When at Harvard, I had to go deep into the basement stacks at Francis Countaway Library. Basement level 3, yeah I did that Information exists, but accessing it depends upon where you are.

What I showed, in two lines of research was, "Here is what has been presented, the next logical step is obvious." The next logical step hadn't been appreciated by anyone else, but it was lying out there, ready to be jumped upon.

I had really low expectations. I just wanted to get into med school. My machinations worked, I had a 3.4 GPA, but profs said, "Admit this kid." Mostly I was interested in cool stuff, like radioactivity. Like I called Rosalyn Yallow, whose published method wasnt working. She gave me advisement on the phone. It totally worked. Fortunately I called her before she won the Nobel Prize. I have no idea why her Nobel-Prize-winning published stuff was crap. I only knew, "I'm really good in the lab, I've repliccated your published materials and methods, and it's not working, what am I doing wrong? And she shared with me her unpublished secrets.

"You aren't really using guinea pigs, you are using rabbits?" After harvesting antibodies from female, injectate-harmed NZ rabbits, I let them **** with male rabbits and make babies. I have no idea why I did it, but those rabbits really loved ****ing. I live in a place where rabbits nibble at stuff. That's okay.

ApostateAbe 09-02-12 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eclectus (Post 14684417)
I don't even know anymore. I can tell only tell you this stuff is in the archives. I know this sounds like a copout, but when I was an undergrad at Berkeley, they didn't have the journal articles I was looking for, I had to go over to UCSF to get to deeper-historic sources. When I was a stupid lab tech at UCSD, I had to find out what the Scripps Institute Library had that USC Bimed library didn't. When in Orange County, I had to go to UCLA Biomed to get to first-report sources. When at Harvard, I had to go deep into the basement stacks at Francis Countaway Library. Basement level 3, yeah I did that Information exists, but accessing it depends upon where you are.

What I showed, in two lines of research was, "Here is what has been presented, the next logical step is obvious." The next logical step hadn't been appreciated by anyone else, but it was lying out there, ready to be jumped upon.

I had really low expectations. I just wanted to get into med school. My machinations worked, I had a 3.4 GPA, but profs said, "Admit this kid." Mostly I was interested in cool stuff, like radioactivity. Like I called Rosalyn Yallow, whose published method wasnt working. She gave me advisement on the phone. It totally worked. Fortunately I called her before she won the Nobel Prize. I have no idea why her Nobel-Prize-winning published stuff was crap. I only knew, "I'm really good in the lab, I've repliccated your published materials and methods, and it's not working, what am I doing wrong? And she shared with me her unpublished secrets.

"You aren't really using guinea pigs, you are using rabbits?" After harvesting antibodies from female, injectate-harmed NZ rabbits, I let them **** with male rabbits and make babies. I have no idea why I did it, but those rabbits really loved ****ing. I live in a place where rabbits nibble at stuff. That's okay.

Ever think about joining Mensa? I am not kidding. The consensus of the online Mensa forum is that Armstrong's drug testing record proves his innocence, and they could really use some of your knowledge.

colombo357 09-03-12 01:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApostateAbe (Post 14683660)
Thanks. Such knowledge may be well-known among the competitive bicycling community, but I am looking for reputable sources that affirm the existence of the various methods of cheating those tests.

The only reputable source in this case would have to be a rider who hasn't ever been caught for doping, has nothing to gain, and comes forward about his personal doping experience without writing a book about it.

Ain't gonna happen.

harpon 09-03-12 07:58 AM

I read several days the statement from the governing agency- wish I'd clipped it for here.

The methods were three fold according to them:


1. Blood doping- i.e. the Transufusions I described above
2. Cortisone- a pain killer, I think often injected, as Bernard Thevenet back in the '70's admitted to
, and
3. testosterone- not sure if that means steroids or what- some of you know his testicular condition so I have to wonder if he'd have some defense here.

at any rate- the charges are NOT about stimulants, but other performance enhancing substances and techniques- the transfusions are not really detectable, like the stimulant testing- I'm not sure about the cortisone and testosterone
but if others on the team were going to testify about a lot of use, then Lance could be on shaky ground I guess

Beaker 09-03-12 08:20 AM

It's a little known fact that bikeforums is an online feeder school for Mensa.

gsteinb 09-03-12 08:37 AM

Does one need to be a member of mensa to beat a drug test or to provide insight into how it occurs? It seems between Hamilton's book, Kimmage's book, Vogt's book, Millar's book and a host of articles and interviews it's pretty clear that the knowledge of how to dose or use masking agents is out there. This is not rocket science...just chemistry.

Shimagnolo 09-03-12 08:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gsteinb (Post 14685804)
Does one need to be a member of mensa to beat a drug test or to provide insight into how it occurs? It seems between Hamilton's book, Kimmage's book, Vogt's book, Millar's book and a host of articles and interviews it's pretty clear that the knowledge of how to dose or use masking agents is out there. This is not rocket science...just chemistry.

I recently read Vogt's book and Parkin's, and it is clear you don't always need chemistry when there are assorted ways to ensure the fluids that are tested by the lab did not come from the individual supposedly being tested.

mprelaw 09-03-12 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApostateAbe (Post 14684480)
Ever think about joining Mensa? I am not kidding. The consensus of the online Mensa forum is that Armstrong's drug testing record proves his innocence, and they could really use some of your knowledge.

Just proves my long-held opinion that education and intelligence don't necessarily go together. There are such things as highly intelligent ignoramuses (ignorance being lack of sufficient information to come to an informed opinion).

ApostateAbe 09-03-12 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mprelaw (Post 14685949)
Just proves my long-held opinion that education and intelligence don't necessarily go together. There are such things as highly intelligent ignoramuses (ignorance being lack of sufficient information to come to an informed opinion).

I think you are right. It is like having a computer with a high clock rate and bad software.

colombo357 09-03-12 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApostateAbe (Post 14686014)
I think you are right. It is like having a computer with a high clock rate and bad software.

Or like having a computer with a bad clock rate and high software. Yes?

ApostateAbe 09-03-12 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by colombo357 (Post 14687065)
Or like having a computer with a bad clock rate and high software. Yes?

As you prefer, but I take intelligence (IQ) to be more analogous to clock rate and software more analogous to knowledge.

DXchulo 09-03-12 08:53 PM

Here's a good podcast on the background of the case:

http://velocastcc.squarespace.com/ra...l-edition.html

Shimagnolo 09-03-12 09:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DXchulo (Post 14688075)
Here's a good podcast on the background of the case:

http://velocastcc.squarespace.com/ra...l-edition.html

They make an interesting point about the doping tests prior to LA's diagnosis; Testicular cancer causes a spike in testosterone levels which should have been flagged in the tests but that never happened.

DXchulo 09-03-12 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shimagnolo (Post 14688253)
They make an interesting point about the doping tests prior to LA's diagnosis; Testicular cancer causes a spike in testosterone levels which should have been flagged in the tests but that never happened.

Here's an article on Jake Gibb, who may have been saved by a positive test: http://missoulian.com/sports/olympic...a4bcf887a.html

DXchulo 09-03-12 10:09 PM

Also, isn't it possible that instead of them missing the test or covering it up that Armstrong was taking masking agents to pass the test?

ApostateAbe 09-03-12 10:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DXchulo (Post 14688075)
Here's a good podcast on the background of the case:

http://velocastcc.squarespace.com/ra...l-edition.html

Thanks. Very informative and disturbing. I hope to eventually come across a good defense of Lance Armstrong. I am starting to believe that Lance Armstrong is the Antichrist, and I don't even believe in the Christ.

ChasH 09-04-12 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Equinox (Post 14650780)
If we are to believe the drug testing agency that Armstrong cheated without ever being caught, the only logical conclusion is that all of the negative tests are unreliable an ALL of the competitors doped. A negative test is meaningless, apparently.

Yes, in a way. A more scientific way of putting it is that the negative predictive value (TN/(TN + FN)) of the doping test is relatively low, while the positive predictive value (TP/(TP+FP)) is relatively high - but not necessarily high in absolute terms.

where:
TN = true negative
FN = false negative
TP = true positive
FP = false positive

No test is going to be 100% accurate, which would mean that there are no false negatives and no false positives. When designing a blood doping assay that uses a binary classifier, the cut-point (i.e. the boundary between a "positive" and a "negative" result) would have been selected with the aim of minimizing false positives, for obvious reasons, with the result that the percentage of false negatives is relatively high.

If you wanted, you could set the cut-point such that there are very few false negatives, i.e. the test would be much more "sensitive" in detecting cyclists who were doping. But then there would almost certainly be a lot of false positives and no-one would believe that a "positive" result actually meant anything. Such a test would have little credibility with anybody.

If you really want to understand what I'm talking about, look up "receiver operating characteristic" in Wiki or somewhere. This is a very good article that I've used in giving a seminar to a group of statisitians:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Receive...characteristic

Note: I am not a statistician myself but I do run these sort of analyses. I'm often in the business of selecting cut-points when running correlative analyses on predictive biomarker data in oncology. Trust me, these are difficult and somewhat arbitrary decisions to make but there's no getting around making them if you want to have an assay with any actual utility. Sometimes I find myself defending a particular cut-point to journal reviewers, collaborators and the like. There are ways to optimize cut-point selection but these also have their limitations.

Eclectus 09-05-12 06:52 PM

Thanks AA, but my IQ has dropped by 20 points. Interestingly, their tests have really good puzzles. You can study them, get the answers, and learn what they are thinking, and re-frame your thinking to attack the tests. If you take the time to learn, you can join Mensa.


I have no idea why most Mensa members support Lance's innocence. What do I think? I don't know what he did. I know when I saw successful premeds drink caffeine, and drug-free I wasn't making the grade, but with it, I excelled. I learned from a pretty good biochemist (ultimately a billionaire biotech entrepreneur)that med students, interns and residents routinely took amphetimines in the 50s and early 60s to get through 36-48 hr no-sleep shifts. They learned to do what they had to, to get through grueling high-perforance regimens.

Amphetimines didn't work for me, for last-minute cramming in college. I learned that I really needed to take notes, make margin notes ASAP after class, rewrite them at night, go to office hours for clarification, study my xme-day and previous notes everynight, make high enough grades to get access to library stacks, camp out, read amazingly informative papers dating back nearly a century (starting with recent papers, reading their references, and then backtracking their references), so I could understand the evolution of scientific thought. I once came upon a Science article with a two-image hemoglobin drawing, with an accompanying red-green pair of glasses. "Oh, 3D hemoglobin structure, this is AMAZING. I SEE! Wow!"

Who comes up with this kind of stuff? Geniuses. Artistic scientists.

Back to Lance. I could envision a poor Dallas-project-raised youngster being informed he could dramatically improve his performance using drugs. And then, being helped to employ drug-detection-defeating agents. I can see how the technology was existent.

For example, I used Rosalyn Yallow's telephone-conversation methodology to get rabbits to produce antibodies to gastrin. I radiolabled the antibodies with Iodine-125. Centrifugation precipitated the gastrin, radiolabeled antibodies. We counted the precipitate. The gastrin left in the solute was really small. But you can majorly reduce circulating EPO by giving antibodies, and letting the immune system do the plasma removal.

Could Lance, or any other cyclist, beat EPO detection? Totally. How about the effects of EPO, generating red blood cells? Easy enough to beat, by diluting rbcs with salt solutions or salt and albumin solutions, to enable high rbc counts to be "masked" in simple hematocrit counts.

Did Lance use drugs, self-transfusions? I have no idea. In an era of rampant performance-enhancement, he was at the top in the TdF. He was a real athlete. Nobody says he didn't work really hard.

Beaker 09-05-12 08:17 PM

I think my IQ has dropped 20points just reading this thread.

ApostateAbe 09-06-12 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beaker (Post 14696481)
I think my IQ has dropped 20points just reading this thread.

Shoot. Does that mean you'll vote Republican?

himespau 09-06-12 09:12 PM

Does Tyler Hamilton's book give any clues as to how they did it? There's a pro who has admitted to doping.

I know when I was in high school for our physicals we needed to compete in sports we had to take a piss test. The guy next to me offered to buy my cup of piss, but it'd taken me like 15 minutes to work it out so I wasn't giving it up to anyone. I'm sure professional athletes have more stringent controls on them than that, but I heard of a pro football player getting busted with something called the Whizzinator.

dahoss2002 09-07-12 01:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DXchulo (Post 14683756)
http://www.sportsscientists.com/2012...ughts-and.html

Look under #1.

Then you have the less scientific ways of passing tests like "donations" to the UCI.

+100.... and tests are easier to pass when you have "TIME TO STUDY"

Ninety5rpm 09-07-12 05:39 PM

Great thread. It's quite apparent that there are a whole host of methods to dope and avoid detection, and remember that Armstrong hired the best positive-test-evading expert in the world, Michele Ferrari, to help him exclusively. So they were probably using masking agents, techniques and maybe even PEDs that nobody else even knew about, much less could test for.

But something not mentioned yet is that the premise that he never failed a test is false. From a review of Hamilton's book:

Quote:

The 2011 60 Minutes story on Armstrong’s doping reported that he had once failed a drug test in 2001 at the Tour of Switzerland, a story Hamilton backs up: “Yes, Lance Armstrong tested positive at the Tour of Switzerland.” He describes an encounter with Armstrong just after Stage 9 of the race. “You won’t ****ing believe this,” he allegedly told Hamilton. “I got popped for EPO.” According to the 60 Minutesinvestigation, the UCI stepped in after the positive test, requesting that “the matter go no further,” and then set up a meeting between the lab’s director, Armstrong, and team director Johan Bruyneel. The insinuation is clear: Lance was using connections within the UCI to help his cause. Hamilton describes a climate in which this doesn’t seem at all far-fetched. “Sometime after that, I remember Lance phoning Hein Verbruggen from the team bus ... and I was struck by the casual tone of the conversation. Lance was talking to the president of the UCI, the leader of the sport. But he may as well have been talking to a business partner, a friend.”
The USADA has already indicated their suspicions of the UCI's involvement in protecting Armstrong. Who knows where this might go.

Ninety5rpm 09-07-12 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChasH (Post 14690613)
Yes, in a way. A more scientific way of putting it is that the negative predictive value (TN/(TN + FN)) of the doping test is relatively low, while the positive predictive value (TP/(TP+FP)) is relatively high - but not necessarily high in absolute terms.

where:
TN = true negative
FN = false negative
TP = true positive
FP = false positive

No test is going to be 100% accurate, which would mean that there are no false negatives and no false positives. When designing a blood doping assay that uses a binary classifier, the cut-point (i.e. the boundary between a "positive" and a "negative" result) would have been selected with the aim of minimizing false positives, for obvious reasons, with the result that the percentage of false negatives is relatively high.

If you wanted, you could set the cut-point such that there are very few false negatives, i.e. the test would be much more "sensitive" in detecting cyclists who were doping. But then there would almost certainly be a lot of false positives and no-one would believe that a "positive" result actually meant anything. Such a test would have little credibility with anybody.

If you really want to understand what I'm talking about, look up "receiver operating characteristic" in Wiki or somewhere. This is a very good article that I've used in giving a seminar to a group of statisitians:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Receive...characteristic

Note: I am not a statistician myself but I do run these sort of analyses. I'm often in the business of selecting cut-points when running correlative analyses on predictive biomarker data in oncology. Trust me, these are difficult and somewhat arbitrary decisions to make but there's no getting around making them if you want to have an assay with any actual utility. Sometimes I find myself defending a particular cut-point to journal reviewers, collaborators and the like. There are ways to optimize cut-point selection but these also have their limitations.

In other words, the tests are designed to be reliable for positives (if it returns positive, it's almost certainly a true positive), at the price of often being unreliable for negatives (a negative says very little about whether the subject is truly negative).

Further, the cut-points are known to the riders' doctors, so they can design regimens that allow them to dope without testing positive. There is a plethora of evidence that this is exactly what happens, especially for the rich riders like Armstrong who can afford the best doctors.


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