Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday Roundup

The CyclingNews reports that Eddy Mazzoleni has been recommended for a two year suspension by CONI for his involvement in the "oil for drugs" affair. And the UCI's conflicts over the pro tour continues, now it's with various European cycling federations, too bad everybody can't just get along. Finally Georg Totschnig is suing the ARD German television station for erroneously reporting that he was involved in the Humanplama doping scandal:

Georg Totschnig will sue the German television station ARD for libel and defamation for its broadcast earlier this month claiming he was a blood-doping client at the Viennese blood bank "Humanplasma", even though he knows that "the damage can't be mended."

Form and Fitness Q&A @ CyclingNews answers a question about blood doping detection, hinting at a way of detecting homologous transfusions based on red cell characteristics. It sounds hypothetical at this stage.

ESPN says that "beefed up" drug testing will be the rule at this year's Amgen Tour of California. If a rider tests positive he will be expelled from the race, but his team can continue to compete. Samples taken during the event will be stored for future testing when a test for HGH becomes available. Other changes include:

Blood samples will be collected from every rider, and urine samples from 30 percent of the riders, before the race. The samples will be tested for banned substances such as steroids, hormones including EPO and masking agents.

The stage winner, the current leader of the general classification and three other riders will have a full screen every day for banned substances. There also will be random or targeted full screen testing for three other riders during mornings and evenings.

The participating teams will guarantee that all their members of their teams, including coaches, trainers and support staff, are not the subject of any open doping investigations.

In other news at ESPN Justin Gatlin has formally filed a CAS appeal of his four year suspension. Gatlin is represented by Landis lawyer Maurice Suh.

The San Diego Union Tribune posts a piece about the newly established drug testing program instituted by the PGA which is set to begin July1. An old "friend" makes an appearance:

Richard Young, an expert and speaker on anti-doping training with more than 30 years experience, was pleased to see 60 players at the morning session yesterday.

“I wouldn't expect there to be a problem,” said Young, who was involved in the Floyd Landis and Marion Jones doping cases. “The important thing is to make sure the education really sinks in.”

Young said golfers who have repetitive-use injuries might take steroids to recover. He also said golfers might try stimulants or attention-deficit disorder drugs

Which leaves us confused-- using steroids to help recover from repetitive use injuries is good or bad? Golfers who understand "drive for show, putt for dough" might be more inclined to use beta-blockers as done by marksmen (biathletes) or Archers than stimulants of any kind which are likely to cause rather than cure the "yips." This may also account for notorious and endemic self-medication at the 19th hole.

Blogs posts confirmation that Floyd will participate in the 2008 NUE MTB series:

“The great experience I had last year was a big part of my decision to commit to the whole series,” remarked Floyd, “I had a great time and felt very comfortable. It really gets you connected with why we all chose to ride bikes. The races are fun, healthy and very competitive and the racers, staff and sponsors for these events are truly great people. I can’t wait for the first race in April.”

The 2008 NUE Series Schedule:

April 19 - Cohutta 100, Tennessee

May 31 - Mohican MTB 100, Ohio

June 14 - Lumberjack 100, Michigan

July 19 - Breckenridge 100, Colorado

July 26 - Wilderness 101, Pennsylvania

August 16 - Fool’s Gold 100, Georgia

August 31 - Shenandoah Mountain 100, Virginia

September 6 - Tahoe-Sierra 100, California

Kerryindenver notes the problems with current drug testing and says the "scrappy" Floyd "Frickin'" Landis is NOT going away.

Robert writes about the pursuit of perfection and the distractions therein. He notes the many victories achieved by Floyd Landis in 2006 and is saddened by the trials Floyd has faced. Still Floyd may be racing in Ohio later this year, and that's cool.

Nick thinks thee is a more practical way to solve the confusing conundrum that faces cyclists and anti-doping agencies. Play "Battleships". Achhh it still turns out the same, at least for "Dead Floyd" and "Dead Mayo".

Sara Best writes about Axel Merckx's new career, that of cycling tour guide.


calfeegirl said...


wrt to Drug testing at Cali...

1) Who is paying for all this testing?

2) How much blood do they take with each draw? I just wonder about how many days a rider can "donate" his blood for the antidoping cause before there's a drop in blood volume where his body can't make up the loss (especially those teams who are doing their own testing on top of it all)...when does a body start to feel the blood loss and when would it start to affect his performance??? Or maybe the amount isn't significant???? Can a body under that kind of duress replace the lost blood in between race efforts?

3) I am tormented (some would say I'm just plain tormented...LOL)by the whole "storing blood for HGH testing as soon as a test becomes available." Part of me thinks...hey that's great, it might be a deterrent...but the bigger part of me is thinking...huh???... so, 7 years from now when a reliable test is here, what are they gonna do, go back test all the samples, and then if they find a rider positive, what are they going to do? Strip the winner of his title, and ask for the money back? What if it's a domestique who placed 123rd??? Maybe they should just withold any prize/place awards until such test is developed and then award the winners. Something just doesn't sit right, but I can't put my finger on a fan, it kinda takes the wind out of my sails to not *really* know if the winner is really the winner, you know?

I guess this is the crux of the problem in my eyes..I haven't been able to follow sanctioned races with the same fervor as before because I don't know what the "officials" are going to come up with next and who is going to be the subject of the next witch hunt. I can't trust the officials to do their job, and the riders, well, until the officials do their job correctly, there's no way to know who of them is telling the truth either. (though I DO believe Floyd).

Well, enough for my 6am half-witted discourse.


Scott said...

Freakonomics co-author Steven D. Levitt discusses an interesting proposal (by a Yale Law School student) for dealing with drug use among highly paid athletes. He specifically addresses retroactive testing such as was done with Armstrong.

It'll never happen, and it wouldn't work if it did, but it's good to have ideas.

jrdbutcher said...


1) Teams and/or organizers-via sponsors (Amgen). The sanctioning bodies collect money. They don't generally generate their own pot of funds for any cause in particular, other than to sustain the bureaucracy and ensure their salaries are paid and perks maintained.

2) Usually insiginificant amounts of blood wrt athletic performance/regeneration of blood volume. More blood is often lost in crashes. Roadrash and various cuts add up to more.

3) Depends on what the "political climate" is in cycling in the future. I'll agree, it's a set-up for bad things to happen. Learning from past mistakes is important. Dredging up the past for self flagellation isn't a positive act. Hopefully, the future will provide better leadership in cycling to avoid this pitfall.

Yup. The Alphabet Soup, via their actions/inactions, may be driving away more fans from the sport than pro cyclists who actually dope? If the Alphabet Soup is not responsible for the origin of the current mess (debatable), then they are certainly responsible for the amaturish way in which it has been handled, to date. Idiots they have been. (due respect to Mr. Idiot)

p.s. I envy you for where you live. Sure could go for an L&L plate lunch about now. Not gonna happen here where I live on the east coast. Aloha

jrdbutcher said...

I'd expect more from a Yale student. The Yale Law School student proposal referenced here is crap. The mention of retroactive testing in athletics is more of bluff than a realistic deterent. Many, many problems with the proposal. Where and how will samples be stored? How is degridation of samples avoided? Who pays for storage and how much will it cost? How is proper CoC ensured. Who decides when the testing methods are good enough? Why 30 years, why not 100? Who thinks pro players will defer salary for that long? Who compensates for the lost earning power of those $'s? What makes you think a player that dopes is planning on living for another 30 years? Crap, Crap, Crap........

Now, on to pissing off golfers. Is my golf happy brother reading this?

Regarding the San Diego Tribune and Young: Golf isn't a sport anyway. It's a game. It's a game of skill with top professionals able to earn a great living. Athletic ability can be helpful, but doesn't ensure victory or even a top 10 finsih. Tiger Woods is an excellent example. He's combined technique, skill, and a solid mental game with athletic ability. On the other end of the spectrum, there are badly out of shape individuals who occasionally win or place in big tournaments. There is also a skilled pro golfer with a physical ailment that doesn't allow him to "walk the course". He applied for a waiver to allow him to ride a cart (like most duffers when they play) in order for him to be able to compete. He's an excellent golfer and there was quite a bit of resistance to him getting the cart exemption. Don't know where it all ended, but I think he was denied. If a physically impaired golfer isn't a threat to beat the top pros, then what's the problem and was was there even debate? His physical impairment was well documented.

jrdbutcher said...

BTW, with that sort of thought process, I'll give 2-1 odds that he fails his first bar exam, if he ever gets that far.

calfeegirl said...


Thanks for the response.

L&L is coming to a street corner near you....they have franchises all over now...a couple in Vegas, Cali, even one in NYC, I think.

I'm not a plate lunch kind of girl, so you can have mine! LOL