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Christoph Sauser UCI XC World Cup Winner Comes Clean.
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 9/30/2004
Christoph Sauser UCI XC World Cup Winner Comes Clean.

Christoph Sauser UCI XC World Cup Overall Winner Strikes Back Against Doping In His Recent Diary Entry Swiss “Project Dope Free Top Sport”


When Christoph Sauser's toughest competitor for the overall victory in the UCI Cross Country World Cup failed to pass a doping test in Canada, the Sigriswil resident chose to use candid text: He accused Filip Meirhaeghe of betraying not only his competitors in sports, but also his entire surrounding.

Full Text:
“The two faces of Filip “Popeye“ Meirhaeghe  (July 30, 2004)
On one hand he has always been very friendly and polite to me, but on the other hand there was this question mark about his drug life.Since yesterday it is clear and every suspicion was confirmed that Popeye’s spinach was not always organic fuel!

He is out! Out, because he cheated us riders, his girlfriend, family and fans! I feel very sorry for them, but definitely not for him.
You don’t know how many times I have sufferd behind his back wheel, and I always suppressed my thoughts that his fuel could be something else. He was always an impressive rider who definitely had lots of talent. I still remember at the world cup final in Kaprun last year how he could ride up the super steep muddy slopes and we all had to run after him. Talent or drugs? Probably both.

At the press conference yesterday he said: “I am only human” Is this an excuse that humans can do whatever we want? That it’s acceptable to cheat? I am human too, but my racing brain is still thinking about my own health now and in the future, healthy performance and the spirit of sport and fair play!
There is always a life after sport and who cares about your results 10 years later! Are you still excited about it when your’re unhealthy?
I always compare this with tuning a small motorbike. It probaby “rocks like hell” for the first 4 months, but the bearings, valves, etc. are not built for that speed and inevitably pretty soon it is a wreck.”

As a consequence, Sauser got massively attacked in the guestbook of his own website – by cycling “enthusiasts” that seem to follow the logic that, “if anyone can compete with Meirhaeghe, he's gotta be using something illegal too, since top sport is not possible without the help of doping.”

But Sauser is the wrong guy to be accused: Since he's one of 21 athletes in Switzerland that voluntarily take part in the project “Doping Free Top Sport”, he has a clear conscience. Christoph got all the numbers for his blood tests from Swiss Olympic; so let the facts speak instead of unfounded allegations.

Open information as a reaction to all allegations

When personal allegations and disparages began to multiply in the guestbook of Christoph Sauser's website, the Sigriswil resident decided to take the offense. Since he had nothing to hide, he wanted the results of his blood tests to get published. ”This way, people will realize that you can be up front with the best with a hematocrit hovering around the fourties,” he commented today.

After some phone calls with people from Swiss Olympic, he was mailed an excel-file which lists all the results of Christoph Sauser's blood tests in detail.

Since not all of these values are of the same relevance, this will only communicate those parameters that are most important for blood doping according to sports physicians: Besides the commonly known hematocrit (percentage of red blood cells on the overall amount of blood), and the following: hemoglobin, testosterone and ferritine. (The latter substance is being used by EPO-dopers to speed up the production of red blood cells.) The time window, in which these detailed, costly tests have been carried out four times a year, stretches from November 2002 to May 2004.

Sauser: Constant values on a low level
For each of the tested parameters the doping regulations of the sport federations define limits. Not only values that are outside of those limits are indicative for the use of illegal substances, strong fluctuations can also give the testers important clues. Although Christoph Sauser shows slightly increased values for testosterone and ferritine in November, those values are still well within the limits given by the sports federations. In order to avoid or prevent measuring mistakes in the laboratory, there are three measurements for hematocrit and hemoglobin on the same date. 
The limits for the most important substances are as follows:
Hematocrit: 0.42 – 0.52, limit 0.50 (0.42 is 42%)
Hemoglobine: 140 – 180 grams/liter blood
Testosterone: 8.4 – 28.7 nanomol / liter blood
Ferritine (Iron level): 10 –250 Microgramm / liter blood

Here are Christoph Sauser's blood values according to the testing of Swiss Olympic Committee:
1st date, 25th November 2002:
Hematocrit: 0.416
Hemoglobine: 143
Testosterone: 16.3
Ferritine: 48

2nd date, 25th February 2003 (1st measuring/ 2nd measuring / 3rd measuring):
Hematocrit: 0.416/ 0.42/ 0.414
Hemoglobine: 139/ 139/ 139
Testosterone: 8.7
Ferritine: 66

3rd date, 20th May 2003 (1st measuring/ 2nd measuring / 3rd measuring):
Hematocrit: 0.404/ 0.403/ 0.407
Hemoglobine: 135/ 136/ 137
Testosterone: 5.4
Ferritine: 66

4th date, 27th August 2003 (1st measuring/ 2nd measuring / 3rd measuring):
Hematocrit: 0.404/ 0.408/ 0.405
Hemoglobine: 132/ 132/ 132
Testosterone: 5.2
Ferritine: 63

5th date, 17th November 2003 (1st measuring/ 2nd measuring / 3rd measuring):
Hematocrit: 0.389/ 0.387/ 0.391
Hemoglobine: 131/ 131/ 131
Testosterone: 20.5
Ferritine: 75

6th date, 5th March 2004 (1st measuring/ 2nd measuring / 3rd measuring):
Hematocrit: 0.405/ 0.408/ 0.408
Hemoglobine: 138/ 138/ 139
Testosterone: 9
Ferritine: 49

7th Date, 11th May 2004 (1st measuring/ 2nd measuring / 3rd measuring):
Hematocrit: 0.392/ 0.392/ 0.393
Hemoglobine: 132/ 132/ 132
Testosterone: 7.6
Ferritine: 43

Comments: Well said and "Good on ya" Christoph! The often heard complaint and rampant lie that you have to use dope to perform at a high level should take one broadside from Christoph's brave attack. You want to be World Class don't cheat.

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