Why does the role played by transfusions in the years before Gen-EPO matter? Why does the role played by transfusions during Gen-EPO matter? It matters because it alters our perception of what happened in those years. Many cycling fans have a somewhat rose-tinted view of doping in the years before Gen-EPO, comparing the two eras to pop-guns versus howitzers
…You can compare EPO to howitzers if you want, but you cannot say that transfusions were just pop-guns.
The path from transfusions to EPO is clear and unambiguous. In one you inject red blood cells into the body, in the other you inject a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells. For the men who worked with transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s, the progression to EPO was as natural as upgrading your smart phone. One might be more powerful than the other, or at least easier to use, but the two are, in essence, the same thing….
Hormone rebalancing, blood transfusions, EPO, they really aren't all that different. The members of Gen-EPO, were they really all that different from the generations that went before them? Scapegoating them for doing the same as the generations that had preceded them had done, does that really make sense? But they're the ones who are going to be held accountable. They're the ones who we are clamouring for truth from. While we sit back and watch the generations who preceded ride off into the sunset in glorious silence, never to be held to account for the role they played in creating Gen-EPO. Because they were only playing with pop-guns.