Search the news archive:
 
Doping in Bicycle Racing - Fact and Fiction - Rebuttal
 
By Guest Contributor
Date: 7/19/2007
Doping in Bicycle Racing - Fact and Fiction - Rebuttal
 

Doping in Bicycle Racing - Fact and Fiction - Rebuttal
A rebuttal... So while it is a fact that a winner of the Tour de France is mainly the result of genetics and training, unfortunately...

By Dr Conor McGrane

Doping in cycling has unfortunately been around since the sport began.
Cocaine, strychnine, morphine, amphetamines, even alcohol have all been abused in the past. There was no beneficial effect on performance of course.

Dr Adams in his article makes a number of comments regarding EPO and other drugs and their effects on the Tour de France. There are a number of assumptions he makes which are difficult to verify. A number are also factually incorrect.

“What is the truth about Bjarne Riis? Riis was a strong rider in the Tour de France in 1993, 1994 and 1995 when he was fifth, fifth and third overall. He won the Tour in 1996, when he admitted to using erythropoietin. In 1997, he was seventh overall, without erythropoietin. Riis was a strong rider who had the talent to do well and even win the Tour. Erythropoietin probably hurt him as much as it helped him.”

Bjarne Riis has actually admitted doping from 1993-1998 (source cycling4all’s transcript of his press conference). So the only non doped tours were prior to 1993. For the record he was 95th in 1989 and 107th in 1991 compared with 5th,14th,3rd,1st,7th and 11th while doping.

Richard Virenque was a member of the Festina team in 1998 and to compare results based on assumptions that he was doped in some and not in others is at best dubious science.

Marco Pantini was a tragic figure and again trying to work out what wins were doping assisted and which were clean is a matter of opinion rather than fact. As a rule the standard scientific norms of published research is difficult to apply in doping. This is because it is usually done illicitly and secretly and results are rarely subjected to peer reviewed journals.

Research that has been published includes “Effect of rhEPO administration on serum levels of sTfR and cycling performance Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 32(7):1238-1243, July 2000.BIRKELAND et al”

This showed an average increase in haematocrit from 42 to 50% and an increase in VO2 max from 63 to 68. There are also various other studies which show a higher ventilatory threshold, maximum heart rate and endurance performance with EPO. (9 references available on request) 

The risks are substantial, dehydration, embolic phenomena and even death.

So while it is a fact that a winner of the Tour de France is mainly the result of genetics and training, unfortunately EPO for one can and has given riders enough of an advantage to win. On talent and training alone its would be hard to see how Riis could have achieved the results he did. EPO does seem to have turned the “donkey into a racehorse”.

Max Sciandri put it in perspective when he said in 1993 “Jesus… beaten by a guy like Riis!”.

Dr Conor McGrane
MB, BCh, BAO, DMH, MFSEM, MRCGP
Family practitioner and medical Officer Cycling Ireland

Doping in Bicycle Racing – Fact and Fiction
Doping in Cycling - Fact and Fiction a Clarification

This and other cycling events can be discussed on the Daily Peloton.com Forums.

Other Related Articles:
Tour de France 1904 - 2007

Tour of Scandals
Cycling’s Winter of Discontent 
Cycling’s Winter of Discontent The Reason Why
At Long Last, Is There No Sense Of Decency?
Cycling: Can we handle the truth? We are our own worst enemy
Doping in Cycling – One Fan’s Point of View
WADA Driving Innocent Athletes Out of Sport

Without a Doubt - CSC Anti-Doping Program
Team CSC Launches Anti Doping Program
Team CSC'S Doctor Rasmus Damsgaard Responds
Team CSC Anti-Doping Program - 6 Month Report

Doping in Bicycle Racing - Fact and Fiction
Doping in Cycling - Fact and Fiction a Clarification
Doping in Bicycle Racing - Fact and Fiction Rebuttal

Recommended Reading:
Giorgio Squinzi: Mapei's anti-doping crusader
The UCI’s Hein Verbruggen on the World Anti-Doping Code
An Open Letter to Wada Chairman Dick Pound
Reflections on Dick Pound
Bad News is Good News. Good News is No News
Floyd Landis Talks with the Daily Peloton
Without a Doubt - CSC Anti-Doping Program
Skibby - Forstå Mig Ret -"Understand Me Correctly"
Play the Game Communication Conference
Message from Phil Zajicek
Two Sides of the Story - US Cycling Suspension
Christoph Sauser UCI XC World Cup Winner Comes Clean
Andy Hampsten Speaks on the Dopage Issue
Andy Hampsten - An American Pioneer
Andy Hampsten - The Interview
A Prime Alliance
How to Deal With the Problem of Doping
Student of Life: An Interview with John Lieswyn
Interview with Amber Neben
Chuck Coyle's Racing Chronicle: Scott Moninger
Chuck Coyle's Racing Chronicles
Cannondale Open Letter Re: Simoni
Saeco Speaks Out!
The VDB Fiasco: A lot less than I would like to say
Interview with Doping Hunter Professor Frank Delbeke
Amber Landis: The Interview, Part One
Amber Landis: The Interview, Part Two
Amber Landis: The Interview, Part Three
Lance Armstrong – No More heroes
The Tour, Tour de France Novel - Author Interview
I've Got to Believe it's Getting Better: Doping 2004
Lance Armstrong Cleared by Independent Investigators
Fallout From Operation Puerto - Dave Shields
Official statement from WADA on the Vrijman Report
Blood doping
Cycling: Dopage
A Doctor’s Perspective - CASM Annual Conference Part 1
Tyler Hamilton Interview Part 1
Tyler Hamilton Interview Part 2
"You Can Ask Me Anything" A conversation with Tyler Hamilton
Simeoni's verdict
Adam Bergman Comes Clean

 
Related Articles
Team CSC Anti-Doping Program - 6 Month Report
Tour de France 1904 - 2007
The Tour of Scandals begins...

Copyright © 2002-2011 by Daily Peloton.
| contact us |