Bio not provided
Just a side note, a few minor things have been pointed out.
Lagrou is no longer at Vacansoliel but now at Saxo Tinkoff Bank. When the basis of a lot of this was originally done last year in this thread, http://velorooms.com/index.php/topic,1360.0.html Lagrou was still listed as being on the Vacansoliel payroll.
On the case of Van Mol, @freiboshas pointed out that Het Laaste Nieuws was forced to pay LeFevre 500,000 euro for making the allegations.
1 year, 10 months ago on Is there a doctor in the house?
" This is despite the fact that Spain is still the only country to tackle the doping issue at its source."
I really hope that Spain is not the yardstick by which European anti-doping efforts are being measured in other parts of the world.
1 year, 11 months ago on Pointing the Finger – Who are the organised criminals?
@PystolPete Which moves onto the theory of detecting doping in Footballers. In theory it is possible to calculate, but it would mean a researcher setting a standard on a) how to measure it and b) what the normal considered ranges were. In cycling its easy, vo2 max, power to weight are all commonly known things and for researchers like myself its relatively easy to produce sets of figures on a certain rider. We also have tangible comparisons to use, such as how long it took a certain rider to climb Alpe d'huez in 2000 v how long it took a different rider to climb Alpe d'Huez in 2012.
For football we dont have that tangible information to go on. There is a wealth of info on opta, and Im sure club staff measure players vo2 max, hct levels (levels of red blood cells in the blood - normal levels are around 38-45, but increasing offers large performance boosts), but there simply isnt the data there to analyise that there is in cycling. Partly because well, nobody has every published it, but partly because football doesnt really want to address the issue of doping. Not wanting to single out Spain, but its well known that in several sports Spain has huge doping issues. Fuentes was rumoured to have been a doctor for both Barcelona and Real Madrid. I watch Spanish football and what frequently amazes me is the sheer pace of the game from start to finish. Knowing what I know from cycling, some of the performances, notably when you see players in teh last 20 minutes of a match still as fresh as dasies, stands out to me as pretty obvious that they are resorting to illegal means.
An example, Manchester United, and this is in no way an accusation against Utd. They are currently by far the most succesful team in the last ten minutes of matches anywhere in Britain suggesting that their levels of stamina and endurance surpass those of the competition. This could be viewed simply as a improved fitness levels and increased endurance, or selecting athletes that have advanced anaerobic capabilities. If it was cycling, this is equivalent to a rider consistently being able to drop other top riders in the final few km of a cllimb and serious questions would be asked.
1 year, 12 months ago on Armstrong: The Fall of an Iconic Sporting Superstar?
@PystolPete there are probably three very distinct variations of doping.
Strength - use of things like Human Growth Hormone, Steroids etc that will build muscle mass and power. Of course with these effects come additional weight.
Endurance - Drugs that enable the body to maintain its full threshold for longer, this will include drugs like EPO or transfusions, that increase the amount of red blood cells and in turn the bodies ability to absorb oxygen and carry it around the body.
Recovery - Will also include things like EPO, transfusions, but also cortisoids, testosterone etc.
All three varieties of doping will have advantanges to different sports. In cycling the vast majority of doping revolves around endurance and recovery. Epo, transfusions, testosterone, cortisoids. Very occasional use of HGH amongst sprinters to help develop muscle mass and power. In cycling its much easier to show the benefits of certain things. We have things like average race speed to look at, but one of the most widely used statistics is power to weight ratio. Ie. the riders power output, v his weight, which can be calculated from knowing time taken to ride a climb, vertical height of the climb etc. The resultant figure can give a good indicator of the riders ability and with that an indicator if they are reaching suspicious levels. But this is of course helped by knowing the specifics, weight, distance etc, and most riders have power metres on their bikes. Much harder to track something like this in football.Another key marker is Vo2 max, or the maximum oxygen capacity of the rider, the higher the natural vo2 max, the higher their ability and endurance. A rider with a very low vo2 max, who can constantly push out very high power to weight ratios is highly suspicious.
@PystolPete the same with say marathon running, 2 hour race, probably at all out peak threshold for maybe 20% of the time max. Most of the time, tapping out a stead rythm, running to a schedule. Wih occasional bursts of max wattage to get away from other runners or close down gaps.How is it, in football, that some teams are able to maintain their players playing at maybe 75-85% max threshold, constantly for a full 90 minutes. FA Cup is a great example, pro, full time teams maintain their endurance far better than a part time team. You frequently see in the last 20 minutes of matches, the pro team playing better.So how is it that certain pro football teams, seem to be able to maintain that pace better than other pro football teams.
@PystolPete Thats probably an over simplistic view, but the basic would probably be yes, Looking at the stage for the Tour featuring Sagan that I put the figures up for. An early breakaway tries to go away, the teams of the GC leaders dont like the breakaway so pull it back and do a bit of work, eventually a break is allowed to go away. The break builds up a lead of maybe 9-10 minutes, eventually the Liquigas team of Sagan will decide enough is enough and start working on catching the breakaway, maybe at around 50km to go. Sagan meanwhile will shelter in the peloton, doing relatively little, just cycling along at a regular pace. His Domestiques work for 40km bringing back the break and with about 5km to go Sagan moves towards the front, upping his effort, with 1km to go hes now at a reasonable level of effort, 500m to go, he kicks it up a gear and the final 100, he goes full out.
Take Wiggins as a seperate example. One day its a flat stage, he knows there a mountain stage the next day, he stays in the pack, pedals a steady 70rpm, sticks at around 200-220 watts. Finishes in the main group. The next day, a mountain stage, one big summit finish at the end. The first 130km, no pressure, just tap out a steady pace, the foot of the climb, his team come to the front, the front rider pedals at about 420w to make sure nobody can atack, Wiggins, five riders back behind his team pedalling at about 380w, benefitting from slipstream. Finally with about 3km to go his last teammate has gone, its him and the other GC contenders, 420w each, riding up the climb, someone attacks, maybe a 450w burst for 100m 200m, he responds, gets on their wheel, back to 380w again. its very hard to explain briefly, but a cyclists role is about conserving energy, and saving that energy for the key moment, which may be in the case of a sprinter 1, or 2km from the end of a stage, its the domestiques job to get them in that position, which is why a domestique may be in the lead group with 5km to go, but finish 3 or 4 minutes behind the winner, maybe more.
I would guess that a footballer would be at their peak threshold far more frequently during a match. Cavendish could be at 120bpm for 199km and 160bpm for 1 minute at the end, a footballer would have constant bursts of energy throughout the 90 minutes. Not saying footballers are fitter, but its a different type of fitness, bursts v endurance. Like comparing a 100m runner to a marathon runner.
It would be actually fascinating for Joey to wear a heart rate monitor for 90 minutes nad publish his values online to compare them with other sports.
@fitzpatrickkarl @gorsafcanolog there is overwhelming evidence that the majority of the peloton in 1999 was not on epo. They retested 100 samples in 2005. 6 of Armstrongs tests came back positive for EPO, and only 7 other samples out of a hundred also tested positive for EPO. Its largely accepted that after festina in 98, and majority of the teams cut back their doping programs, except Postal. It was only in 2000 and 2001 when teams started doping again to compete against Lance. Ullrich has already pretty much comfirmed this as well.
@PystolPete Football, Cycling, Apples and Oranges. Totally different sports and totally different way in which they are approach. Stages are more like 6 hours in the Tour but for a stage of the race a rider will only be at maximum power output for a small percentage of the time.
Take on one hand a sprinter such as Cavendish, on a 160km stage he will spend the vast majority ticking along at about 100bpm, 50% power output, he will only kick it up over the final 5km and its only the last 200metres or so he is working at max power threshold.
Simililary with GC riders, Wiggins on a 160km stage with 2 mountains, maybe 30km of climbing, so already hes only climbing and really working 20% of the time. The bulk of the cllimbs he is behind his domestiques and working at maybe 70-80% threshold, its only the final few km oof the climb that he is working at peak watts. The nature of the race has to be taken into account as well. Riders may work harder in the mountains, but the next day on a flat stage will take it relatively easy. Joey would be a better one to comment on football, but I will imagine the amount of time you are at maximum lactate threshold is considerably more. The ecquivalent in football would be jogging up and down the sideline for 85 minutes and coming on for the last five.
As an idea, heres srm data from Peter Sagan in stage 6 of the 2011 Tour. http://www.srm.de/images/saganStage6file.gif As you can see, for the bulk of the 200km stage he isnt actually doing that much. Pedalling at about 50-70rpm which is pretty comfortable for a relatively fit cyclist. His power output rarely goes over 200 watts, again a pretty leisurely pace. Compare that with the final 3km of the race http://www.srm.de/images/saganStage6last3km.gif where he hits over a 1000 watts of power output in bursts, and the final 10 seconds of the race http://www.srm.de/images/saganStage6_200m.gif where he averages over 1000 watts.
So 200km, 5 hours of racing, and only the last 5km is spent at a high pace, and only the last ten seconds is spent at maximum wattage (he won the stage). Thats equivalent to a footballer jogging around the field for 90 minutes and making one flat out 3 second run into the box. Would be interesting to see a midfielder wear a hrm over 90 minutes and see the data
Joey, some while back, way down there somewhere I mentioned Operacion Peurto and the number athletes beleived to have been doping but only the 50 cylists ever named and shamed. The case comes to court tomorrow, but the Spanish Authorities are likely to try and prevent any evidence coming out that links the players of Madrid, or Barca or the World Cup Squad. Good cover article in the Scotsman today. Worth a read. http://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/sport/other-sports/tom-english-fuentes-doping-case-silent-on-football-1-2761603#.UQVMG7PACos.twitter
@DianeMars @nochain the exact figure is around 230. I did an article on cyclismas a while ago where i looked at all the test he had had (this including evidence from people closely involved in the case) and came up with a total of 236. http://www.cyclismas.com/2012/07/the-legend-of-the-500/ A few weeks after I published that article the UCI admitted they had tested him around 215 times. A few days after that they said "ooh, but WADA, and AFLD etc also tested him." the afld were formed in 2006, WADA (and i have confirmed this) have done virtually no testing on Armstrong so the total still stands at around 233. A few weeks later I did a follow up article http://www.cyclismas.com/2012/09/the-numbers-game/ as preperation for a BBC interview where I broke down that 236 further, and its fairly well accepted that not only is 236 close to the actual figure, but we now know from that that Armstrong was tested around 50 times for EPO, the drug of choice in the peloton. A 20 year career, seven tours, and tested for EPO just 53 times.
2 years, 3 months ago on Armstrong: The Fall of an Iconic Sporting Superstar?
Interesting article from ESPN worth a read, comparing cyclings work on anti doping and cycling fans perspectives of dopers compared with other sports such as Football and Athletics. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story/_/id/1190178/brewin:-too-good-to-be-true?&buffer_share=86b1d&utm_source=buffer&cc=5739
And joey starting to make it onto the cycling news sites http://road.cc/content/news/68980-armstrong-scandal-cycling-not-only-sport-drugs-problem-says-top-footballer
blame lies everywhere. theres a brilliant article in the independant today by the former editor of cycling weekly who admits hiding the truth. He admits knowing about the doping problems but through a variety of reasons from threats from riders and teams, to not being able to get acccess to races, not saying anything. Its actualy a pretty damning admission from him, and shows just how far the corrutption ran. Riders, teams, press covering things up, fans demanding ever more exciting races. everyone to blame in some way. :( @KevinAstle
. @Joncolburt they actually retested the 1999 tour de france samples in 2004 and found that something like 85% of the samples were clean, of the remaining 20 or so samples, nearly half of them belonged to armstrong. its widely beleive that the 99 tour was pretty much clean except for Armstrong and it was his blatent doping that caused teams to renew their doping programs in 2000 and 2001. theres also the financial side, its known that armstrong paid dr ferrari over $1m. Not every rider or team has those kind of resources.
@Joey B @keithhatter fwiw I beleive that EPO is widely used in football. Its a perfect drug, more red blood cells, more oxygen, you can run harder and faster for longer and done properly its virtually undedectable in urine. Injected Subcutaneously it sticks around in the urine for about a week, but injected in small doses direct into the vein you can take it at night and by the morning you will pass a urine test. Blood doping on the other hand would be less effective, you have to withdraw blood first which leaves you a bit weaker, and then re-infuse it within a month so it would be much more difficult to do (although a player could easily miss a game and tranfuse out, then transfuse in on the morning of a big match). But EPO, certainly, im sure if you asked around Joey outside of france (who are one of the better ones at anti doping efforts) you wouldnt have too many problems getting some.
@Joey B @keithhatter Something to bear in mind. Anti Doping is not just about fair play, its also about protecting athletes health. Autologous blood transfusions come with many risks. Blood can only be stored for a fairly short period of time, and at extremely controlled temparatures. Tyler Hamilton talks in his book about being incredibly ill following a transfusion where the blood had maybe got too warm. Riccardo Ricco ended up in hospital last year with complete kidney failure after botching a transfusion at home. there are serious health risks associated with doping.
Another example is EPO, it increases the number of oxygen carrying blood cells in the blood, but that in turn makes the blood thicker. The UCI in 2000 put in place a 50% hematocrit limit meaning if you went over 50% red blood cells you were automatically suspended. Prior to that riders would push further and further, pushing their Hematocrit to 55%, 60% etc. There are stories of riders having to set alarms for every hour during the night so that they could get up and walk around, or take blood thinning medications so that they didnt have heart attacks as a result of HCT. There were many instances of deaths in riders over the years. Which makes you just pause and think, just how many footballs over the last ten years have suffered sudden heart attacks, while apparently in peak physical shape. All put down to "undiagnosed" heart problems. Certainly not saying that those tragedies were a result of doping, but the question should at least be asked.
Anti doping is not just about cheats, or catching them, its also about athletes health.
@mmmiddy Well by donating to Livestrong you wouldnt have been donated to cure cancer. Livestrong are about support and "raising awareness" because nobody ever heard of cancer before 1996 :DThe car thing was just an example of how Lance will bully anyone who stands in his way. He did his very best to destroy Lemonds business as hes tried to destroy Frankie's life since. He forced Simeoni out of cycling for speaking up, Bassons was forced into early retirement, he created a culture of secrecy and deciept that ruined our sport for ten years. People who spent thousands of pounds travelling to watch races on the roadside, were watching a lie. The trouble is there is so much more to the story and its very hard to explain. This is an interesting situation because its the blog of a footballer and so is attracking both cycling fans and those who maybe arent so familiar with the sport of cycling. So its hard to try and explain the passion some of us have for the sport. Personally ive been involved for several years in trying to get the truth out there about armstrong. Ive written several articles including some this year, uncovering the truth behind things, and so yes, its something i feel strongly about. So yes, im angry, but im also positive about the huge steps cycling has now taken. Yes, im angry about cycling being portrayed the bad guy while other sports do nothing to address the problem. I should stop now before i take over Joey's blog and make it my own.
@mmmiddy its not just about the doping. Lance bullied a lot of people. He tried to ruin Greg Lemonds business because he said he thought visiting dr ferrari was dodgy. He tried to ruin Frankie and Betsy Andreau, hell, even this year a team that Frankie manages got no race invites to the major American races, why, because Business partners of Lance ran the races. He investigates everyone who speaks up against him, tries to find out about them, find ways to get at them, make their life difficult. Bassons, Simeoni, whos careers were ended because they stood up against Lance. He sued the Times because they printed articles that are true, but sued them for damages. He went to court against SCA and under oath denyed ever doping to claim $7.5m in insurance and in court slated the likes of Betsy calling her fat, ugly, and bitter. Even little old me, stood in Paris in 2009, a radioshack car drives past on teh other side of the road, it pulls across the road to me, the windows wide down, and i get abused by the occupants. Hes a bully. Thats why we are so angry.
@lpgaff @Joey @dimspace
To try and sum up Puerto briefly. It was a Spanish operation against a doping doctor. Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. He had on his list of clients about 200 athletes from various sports, around 50 cyclists but the other 150 came from Football, Tennis, Athletics and it primerily involved Spanish Athletes.
He was raided, huge amounts of documents were seized, he kept meticulous records of all his clients, their doping calendars, their details, unfortunately he didnt record them by name, but instead by keywords and his general advice on choosing a secret name was to pick the name of your Dog.
Thats kind of where it ended, the Spanish Authorities chose to do nothing, in fact doping wasnt even illegal in Spain at the time. The football authorities ignored it, as did everyone else, expect for cycling authorities and more notably cycling fans and bloggers. The riders were slowly identified, but still the Spanish authorities did nothing. It was only when other bodies like CONI (the Italian Olympic Comittee) managed to steal records from the Spanish that we saw the likes of Valverde banned. Now, because of the efforts that went into identifying the riders, Operacion Puerto is largely known as a "Cycling" problem. Feuntes was doping cyclists, the other 150 odd athletes are conveniently forgotten.
I think part of the problem is doping is so obvious in cycling. If a guy suddenly leaves others for dust on a mountain, eyebrows are raised. In football exceptional performances are put down to fitness, or natural talent, or practice, teamwork etc. I think as well, football fans dont really care or even know about doping, and as long as the fans dont raise it as an issue everybody is happy to turn a blind eye to it.
The worst sport however for turning a blind eye is undoubtedly tennis. Del Moral was recently banned by USADA for doping riders at US Postal. He has several tennis players on his books. The ITF originally said hes now banned from treating tennis players, then they said "well, we prefer it if you dont see him". They barely test their players, in tournaments they test you when you lose. Top players can go years without having any out of competition tests, yet the likes of Nadal, Murray have all screamed about how much it infringes their lives having to give drug tests at all.
returning briefly to Armstrong and the idea that he had to dope to put him on a level playing field. In 1998 cycling was rocked by the festina scandal and in 1999 large numbers of the riders were pretty scared to even attempt doping. In 2004 the French retested a whole host of samples from the 1999 tour de france. Less than 20 of around 100 samples tested positive for EPO, and nearly half of those 20 belonged to Armstrong. The overwhelming evidence is that a vast majority of the peloton in 1999 were clean, but Lance was not. It was then in 2000, and 2001 that the other riders, realising the only way to beat Lance was to dope, resumed doping again. Several team managers have confirmed they didnt dope riders in 1999 and 2000 but in 2001 they returned to doping. Lance by doping in 1999 arguably, was responsible for the doping arms race that cycling saw for the next ten years.
Anyway, ive rambled far too much now.
Interesting read, in amongst all the stroppy angst theres a very thoughtful mind at work. Pleasing to see someone highlight the relevative lack of testing in Football. Im a cycling fan, I have been for 30 years, I live, and breathe the sport. I love it dearly. I also love football with a passion. What frustrates me the most as a cycling fan is we are portrayed as the dirtiest sport around.. "Tour de France, yeh, they are all dopers".. "Cycling is dirty".. "all cyclists are cheats".. "oh surprise surprise another cyclists failed a drugs test".. Even in the Olympics Vinokourov was reported in the press as "Former doper", or "Disgraced Doper", yet we celebrated other former dopers taking the podium in athletics events, like they were somehow duped into it, or innocent victims.
You can go back to Opercion Puerto, huge amount of athletes involved, football players, allegedly most of the players from Barcelona and Real Madrid visiting Fuentes clinic for Blood transfusions and EPO. Tennis players, and of course Cyclists. The names of the cyclists are mainly well known, cycling tried to deal with its part in the problem, and Fuentes himself is due in court in January. But footballers, Tennis players, the rest, ignored by their sports federations, ignored by governing bodies, swept under the carpet, and cycling once more is the "problem"
Football has huge problems. I watched a Spanish league game a few weeks ago, and the pace of the game even in the 80+ minute was laughable. It was clear to me having watched cycling performances over the years that top Spanish teams are doping. Tennis, the situation is the same, the Williams sisters have been tested out of competition less than once a year for the last five years by their Anti Doping Agency (And the ITF seemingly has no interest in performing drug testing - they actually test the losers at tournaments).But its nice to see someone in football saying that the football authorities dont do enough rather than just saying "our sport is clean, its just cycling"
UCI Today said they had had 215 tests done on Armstrong http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/cycling-chief-considers-doping-amnesty-for-riders-officials-in-wake-of-armstrong-case/2012/09/07/1a30840e-f928-11e1-a93b-7185e3f88849_story_1.htmlAdd to that a handful of USADA tests (Less 14 that were done for the UCI, so net of 18) and you come out at 233.Its not clear if the AFLD tests would be seperate but its fairly certain these were done on behalf of the UCI as would have been all tests done by agencies other than USADA. Just leaves a handful of tests done in the nineties by Caitlin.. myth officially busted
2 years, 4 months ago on The Legend of the 500
Just an update on this that i forgot to record at the time, was USADA's interesting little dig in Appendix A of one of their submissions
"Allegation 3. "Throughout his twenty-plus year professional career, Mr. Armstrong has been subjected to 500 to 600 tests without a single positive test." Am. Compl. ¶
16 Correction USADA has requested that Armstrong's counsel provide USADA the factual basis for this claim and Armstrong's counsel has, to date, refused"
2 years, 5 months ago on The Legend of the 500
@ThomasKnox the thought of Bob Roll acting as a courier amuses me. The sad thing is, anything is possible. :S
2 years, 5 months ago on Lance Armstrong’s business links – a flowchart by @dimspace
Very well written Stef, and good to see somebody with an inside knowledge of the womens side of the sport address this issue. Ive had long conversations pretty much since the formation of the mens team with many people about this and be trying to convince them why a womens team of a similar structure would do nothing to benefit the sport, for many of the reasons you outline above.
I through the mens fansite am frequently talking to people and whenever the girls do well the screams for a womens team start up. Would be no benefit at all to have a big budget superteam in the sport when there are so many other fundemental issues needed to be dealt with first. If Sky want to make a commitment to womens cycling there are so many ways they could do it. Sponsorship of race series, maybe put the funding in place to make the womens tour series cover the full series, media coverage, obtaining rights to highlights packages, using their associations with not just BskyB but Sky Italia, Sky Germany to increase sponsorship of races and media coverage. Sponsor development teams, there are countless different things they (or the guys at IG Markets etc) could do if they want to benefit the Womens sport for ALL women, not just those lucky enough to be British, or on the right team. Theres no reason why they cant support all riders, not just the Brits, the cream will still rise to the top.
2 years, 5 months ago on So why do I say “no” to Team Sky for women?
@jonnyirock Catlin performed one test between September and February when he was finally dumped. The only internal figures we have for Damsgaard is that he performed "Two or three tests between December and February". If he kept up that rate we could in theory add about another 12-20 tests to Armstrong record. Of course, we are starting to get details on which pre 99 races had testing and can zap a similar number of the recorded total for that. Swings and Roundabouts.
2 years, 6 months ago on The Legend of the 500
@geoffbumble The 20 year period quote from Armstrongs lawyers is very much an approximation. We could add in 2011 and 2012 to make it twenty years but it would only increase his number of tests by about 3 that he had since. The period up to 1998 as well is grossly overestimated. Many of the races Lance competed in an won in his early career didnt have testing, and we have also gone as far as crediting him with a test for every single podium, and the chances of those podium places being tested in early 1990's is absolutely zero. None of the people I have spoken with have any idea where the 200-300 missing tests are, in fact, dissapointment was expressed that I was so generous with the numbers, the true figure is almost certainly below 200.
@cyclismedopage thanks cyclismedopage. On the whole I think your figures are very accurate. I do question the L'equipe report from 2005 as I dont think they included all the tests, and again, we have been very generous with the number of tests that were conducted prior to 1999.
Surprised Hunt didnt make the squad. He is Canadian after all.
2 years, 6 months ago on Stannard fuming over ‘immigrants’ being selected for Team GB road race
Just a little personal note on all of this.This is a project I have been thinking about and planning for a while and now seems a particularly relevant time to put it in the public domain. A lot of questions are being asked, about how, if Lance was doping, USAC never did anything, or noticed, and its important that people realise just how intertwined everything was back then. Its also relevant when you see situations like Bazaarvoice doing the PR for Lance to understand how that relationship works, how Lance's companies are involved in the Livestrong brand. Theres a lot of information out there, but only the most serious people will want to read through pages of articles, this is the attempt to make it all a bit clearer. This is only the start of the project, theres a lot more information out there. The consortium that wanted to buy the Tour de France, links to the UCI, Verbruggen and McQaid, the groups use of the media to promote their side of the sport.
2 years, 7 months ago on Lance Armstrong’s business links – a flowchart by @dimspace
Despite being nominated myself I have to vote for @neilroad for the pundetry award after his pissed (drunk for you americans) live video coverage of the Tour of Utah. Legendary.
3 years, 3 months ago on UCI_Overlord’s 2011 Awards of Mass Distinction