Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fallout 23

ESPN/Reuters says that according to the AFLD Ricardo Ricco tried to avoid being tested at the Tour by running away from the controllers.

The JournalGazette thinks that doping at the Tour de France is nothing new, it just matters more now that sponsors are pulling out and thanks to Lance we all know what it actually is.

TAS-CAS issued a press release noting acceptance of three disciplinary cases. Rasmussen is appealing his suspension by the Monaco Cycling Federation; and there are two appeals of EPO cases that address WADA criteria. One is by an biathlon skiier/shooter Kaisa Varis, who appears to be claiming the B sample was not done properly; the other is by the IAAF, which is unhappy the Slovenian Athletic Federation ruled the B sample of distance runner Helena Javornik was not positive.

Psychiatry MMC, a peer-reviewed journal, looks at where the line should be drawn on use of drugs by athletes. Abstract:

The integrity of sport is predicated on the assumption that all athletes compete on a level playing field. Unfortunately, the use and abuse of performance-enhancing drugs has become ubiquitous, creating complex challenges for the governing bodies of individual sports. This article examines the complexity of these issues within the world of professional golf, major league baseball, and Olympic competition. Integral concepts like, What is a therapeutic exemption? and When does restorative function end and performance enhancement begin? are discussed in detail.

It being Psychiatry MMC, not Journal of Andrology, it concludes with this policy puzzler:

Another developing concern is the use of antidepressants for treating what is commonly termed over-training syndrome. Overtraining refers to a negative response to training stress and is often due to chronically high training levels without periods of lower training loads.[12] Overtraining also can lead to fatigue and depression.[13] It has been hypothesized that overtraining syndrome may involve disregulation of brain serotonin and neuroendocrine function.[15,16] Treatment logically dictates that SSRIs and SNRIs should be effective, and these have anecdotally been reported to help athletes with this common problem.[17] Moreover, the use of SNRIs for various pain conditions makes one consider if this class of drug can benefit endurance athletes who inherently cope with tremendous pain during training and competition. The question should be asked if the use of an antidepressant in these situations is fair.

Pez has an interesting article on a recent study on hydration, suggesting less is adequate. No Landis content.

Rant notes that we seem to be living in "interesting times", just look at Saunier Duval if you doubt it.

Racejunkie suggests that there might be a whole lot of "cheatin'" goin' on at the Tour de France this year. At least some riders seem to be trying, while others are denying.

Fellowship of the Chainring looks at Ricco's bust with approval, and
I cant imagine what might have happened had Floyd Landis won his appeal.

We the SportsPeople, says, "Floyd Landis we hardly knew ye"

re: Cycling says at the end of the day, you're on your own climbing, and witnesses the Stage 16 bonk.

Reference Desk
A reader asked about the ProTour "double your ban" rule that we think now obsolete. We've found a copy of the agreement, which we believe isn't a UCI regulation, but a voluntary statement by the teams amongst themselves. It isn't really a "double your ban" rule, but a four-year "no-hire" policy for cases of intentional doping.

Bummer for Vande Velde today.


m said...

Update on French Criminal Law.

Seems I was wrong, and the new French anti-doping law penalizes both possession and use of doping substances and processes. The penalty is up to 1 year in prison and a fine of 37500 Euros. See Code du Sport, Article L232-9, L232-26.

However, Ricco is being charged with use and/or possession of "poisonous" substances under the Health Code, with a penalty of up to 2 years in prison. This code covers narcotics, poisons, hazardous subtances and prescription medicines etc. Unclear whether doping substances could be covered under this law. Ricco might have had some illegal narcotic or prescription medicines, or maybe the syringes are prohibited under this law. See Public Health Code, Article L5132-1 -8. The prosecuting attorney in his press conference specifically noted that no sports doping substances were found, although tests were still being performed on unidentified materials.

pensum said...

All these EPOs etc. will soon be things of the past, if they already aren't, as evidenced by this article from today's GlobeandMail about a German documentary:
In the documentary, the reporter posing as an American swimming coach meets with the head of the gene therapy department of a Chinese hospital. It did not name the doctor, or the hospital. The fictitious coach says he is seeking stem-cell treatment for one of his swimmers. "Yes. We have no experience with athletes here, but the treatment is safe and we can help you," the doctor replies. "It strengthens lung function and stem cells go into the bloodstream and reach the organs. It takes two weeks. I recommend four intravenous injections ... 40 million stem cells or double that, the more the better. We also use human growth hormones, but you have to be careful because they are on the doping list." The two-week course was offered for $24,000.

link to full article: http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080722.wsptdope22/GSStory/GlobeSportsOther/home

m said...

Oops typo,

Make that a fine of 3750 Euros, not 37500.