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Old 08-04-10, 10:51 PM   #1
HigherGround
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Former team manager accuses Leipheimer of manipulating blood values

Here we go again. It would be interesting to know if Holczer confronted Leipheimer with these test results, and what Levi's side of the story was.

Link

From CyclingNews.com

Quote:
Former Gerolsteiner team manager reveals details from 2005 Tour in new book

Former Gerolsteiner team manager Hans-Michael Holczer has claimed that Levi Leipheimer's blood values during the 2005 Tour de France “showed a very high probability of manipulation,” the German press agency SID has reported.

Holczer made the accusation during the presentation of his book called “Garantiert Positiv” (“Guaranteed Positive”) in Germany on Wednesday.

He claimed that the UCI informed him on the first rest day of the 2005 Tour de France in Grenoble that Leipheimer's blood values had an off-score co-efficient of 132.8. That is just 0.2 under the limit of 133. A normal score is 85-95 and scores over 133 can be considered evidence of doping.

“It was clear to me: Leipheimer had manipulated,” Holczer told SID and other media during the book presentation.

With Leipheimer’s values just under the limit, Holczer said the UCI advised him to try and find another reason to remove Leipheimer from the race, something he felt unable to do. “I was caught between a moral obligation and a legal threat,” Holczer said.

He knew that if there had been a scandal about Leipheimer’s blood values during the Tour de France it would have been the end of the team. The Gerolsteiner sponsorship agreement specified that if there were two doping cases in the team, the contract would end immediately. The team had already had its first case earlier that same year when Danilo Hondo tested positive. “Ever since then we’d been sat on an economic powder keg. I would have gone totally bankrupt,” Holczer said.

Leipheimer went on to finish sixth overall in the 2005 Tour de France, 11:21 behind winner Lance Armstrong. a few weeks later he won the Deutschland Tour, beating Jan Ullrich. Leipheimer finished 13th in this year’s Tour de France, while riding with Lance Armstrong in the RadioShack team.

Gerolsteiner announced in September 2007 that it would end its sponsorship of the team at the end of the 2008 season. At the 2008 Tour de France, Bernhard Kohl and Stefan Schumacher tested positive for the new blood-boosting drug CERA. Schumacher and Davide Rebellin also tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing a few weeks later. The team was broken up and the infrastructure sold off at the end of the 2008 season.
Considering the book already written by Landis, does anyone else think "Guaranteed Positive" was not the best title?
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Old 08-04-10, 10:53 PM   #2
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I'm sure Levi has one finger to give Holczer and it's not the #1 sign.
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Old 08-05-10, 12:31 AM   #3
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I always knew Holczer was full of ****, even before the 2008 TdF. I understand he was in a difficult position and imo there's no doubt he really cares about the sport of cycling but this whole image of a clean cycling team he tried to portray never was believable to me, so I'm not surprised this Leipheimer thing either.
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Old 08-05-10, 01:12 AM   #4
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I always knew Holczer was full of ****, even before the 2008 TdF. I understand he was in a difficult position and imo there's no doubt he really cares about the sport of cycling but this whole image of a clean cycling team he tried to portray never was believable to me, so I'm not surprised this Leipheimer thing either.
This again is proof-positive that the entire pro peloton is dirtyyyyyyyyyyyy!

I, for one, definitely not surprised.

And the sport of pro cycling is not gonna be cleaned up by the UCI either. The UCI is either corrupt, or at the very least, seriously incompetent. It is for this reason that I welcome the Novitzky investigations.

I refuse to be a sucker!
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Old 08-05-10, 07:47 AM   #5
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This again is proof-positive that the entire pro peloton is dirtyyyyyyyyyyyy!

I, for one, definitely not surprised.
Agreed.

If the UCI thinks that a 132.8 is proof of doping, why did they set their limit at 133?

I know in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals (and other industries), tests often have several alarm limits. You hit the first and you watch the process more closely; you hit the second and you make adjustments and retest; you hit the third and the batch is trashed.

So if UCI thinks 132.8 creates suspicion of doping, then that should trigger a test/investigation. UCI shouldn't have to go to the manager and ask for some other way to drop a rider from a race or team.
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Old 08-05-10, 08:43 AM   #6
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If anyone knows about doping, it would be Holczer. Look at their team's track record. It sure looks like he's trying to spin this to make himself look like he was helplessly uninvolved.
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Old 08-05-10, 10:35 AM   #7
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Agreed.

If the UCI thinks that a 132.8 is proof of doping, why did they set their limit at 133?

I know in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals (and other industries), tests often have several alarm limits. You hit the first and you watch the process more closely; you hit the second and you make adjustments and retest; you hit the third and the batch is trashed.

So if UCI thinks 132.8 creates suspicion of doping, then that should trigger a test/investigation. UCI shouldn't have to go to the manager and ask for some other way to drop a rider from a race or team.
This is the entire point of the passport system as a matter of fact. You have suspicious results you get tested more. It is also hard to say well this guy is doing drugs when you have actual test he did. You simply say this does not look right.
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Old 08-05-10, 11:47 AM   #8
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Sounds to me like someone wants their book to sell well. If the UCI was concerned, and went to him with these numbers, would they not have targeted Leipheimer for loads of additional testing, to this day? Despite their concerns, they let him race the TdF every year except 2008, as part of the barring of Astana. He even podiumed in the Vuelta since then, and the Vuelta is predominantly controlled by the TdF ownership.

I'm not saying it isn't true, but the level of collusion seemingly involved is borderline preposterous. Do the UCI and GT organizers really want clean cycling, or not?
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Old 08-05-10, 12:29 PM   #9
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Do the UCI and GT organizers really want clean cycling, or not?
Be careful there, you're getting close to asking the correct questions.
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Old 08-05-10, 02:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by telebianchi View Post
If the UCI thinks that a 132.8 is proof of doping, why did they set their limit at 133?
The Velonews article has a bit more thorough info on this particular statistic:

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/...pheimer_133494

Apparently "normal" is 80-100, and 133 is considered strong evidence of autologous blood doping. Gotta draw the line somewhere, and if the allegations are true, it's lucky for Levi he didn't cross that line.


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Originally Posted by telebianchi
So if UCI thinks 132.8 creates suspicion of doping, then that should trigger a test/investigation. UCI shouldn't have to go to the manager and ask for some other way to drop a rider from a race or team.
It's only in 2008 that the UCI started suspending riders on this basis. It may not have been considered strong enough evidence in 05, especially if the riders weren't tested often enough to make a solid case.

E.g. it's plausible that Levi could've said in 05 "132 isn't that abnormal for me," and the absence of tracking evidence might make this a difficult charge to press. If he had results of 80-90 in June and 133 in July, all of which is tracked by the "biological passport" program, that's much harder to explain -- especially if other data supports the hypothesis / accusations.

I also am not too surprised at this type of backroom dealing, either in the past or present.
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Old 08-18-10, 01:06 PM   #11
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In this week's "Spiegel", Holczer says some more interesting things. Yeah, he's selling a book and he's certainly bitter and he doesn't seem to be saying quite everything he knows, but he's also been a cycling insider for many years and is unburdened by any connections to the sport now, so take it however you want.

[my translation, original is in German, sorry if it sounds a little strange]
Quote:
Spiegel: Did it seem strange to you that your team was affected by the CERA follow-up tests but other teams were not?
Holczer: I did ask myself: What's going on here? After Schumacher and Kohl were caught it was clear to me: If they are the only ones who get exposed in the follow-up tests I don't believe anything anymore. According to rumours all in all more than 40 riders were tested positive.

Spiegel: Do you know more about that today?
Holczer: I don't have any evidence, nothing concrete that we were specifically targeted. But I wondered whether I lost a kind of insurance protection I didn't even know existed, because of the approaching end of my team. Or phrased differently: Would that have happened to me also if I had still had a long-term sponsoring contract?
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Old 08-19-10, 10:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
The Velonews article has a bit more thorough info on this particular statistic:

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/...pheimer_133494

Apparently "normal" is 80-100, and 133 is considered strong evidence of autologous blood doping. Gotta draw the line somewhere, and if the allegations are true, it's lucky for Levi he didn't cross that line.



It's only in 2008 that the UCI started suspending riders on this basis. It may not have been considered strong enough evidence in 05, especially if the riders weren't tested often enough to make a solid case.

E.g. it's plausible that Levi could've said in 05 "132 isn't that abnormal for me," and the absence of tracking evidence might make this a difficult charge to press. If he had results of 80-90 in June and 133 in July, all of which is tracked by the "biological passport" program, that's much harder to explain -- especially if other data supports the hypothesis / accusations.

I also am not too surprised at this type of backroom dealing, either in the past or present.
Thank you for the background and information.
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Old 08-21-10, 10:52 PM   #13
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Gerolsteiner -- the name speaks for itself.

Levi can always argue that he was being given a "liquid iron supplement" and had no knowledge of any doping.
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Old 08-21-10, 11:11 PM   #14
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I'd like to see test data taken over years of Levi and other riders, using the same methods. Cycling and other sports argue statistics and handling and all sorts both for offense and defense. Can we see the real data rather than these anecdotal stories?
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