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Uh oh - Heras

Discussion in 'Road & Cyclocross' started by Heidi, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Heidi

    Heidi Der hund ist laut und braun

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    Spanish rider Roberto Heras, four-time winner of the Vuelta a Espana, has been suspended by his Liberty Seguros team following a non-negative A sample test for EPO from stage 20 of the the 2005 Vuelta.

    The team's management company Active Bay suspended Heras on October 27, but did not announce the action while it awaited results of the counter-analysis of the B-sample, the team said in a statement. However, the team said a leak to the press had forced it to reveal the case.

    The team said it believes Heras is innocent of the charges, but affirmed its dedication to the fight against doping.



    I wouldn't be surprized if it was true.
     
    #1 -   Nov 8, 2005

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  2. peter6061

    peter6061 Turbo Monkey

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    Holding out judgement until sample B is tested.
     
    #2 -   Nov 8, 2005
  3. MtnbikeMike

    MtnbikeMike Turbo Monkey

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    :stupid: As much as I hate to say it, they're very likely all doing it. :(
     
    #3 -   Nov 8, 2005
  4. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    I hate to say this, but did he pick it up from his current team, or his old one...
     
    #4 -   Nov 8, 2005
  5. The Toninator

    The Toninator Muffin

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    Uhhh yea me too but didnt he have a crappy tour? then all of a sudden he's back on top?
    likely? no.
     
  6. OGRipper

    OGRipper Turbo Monkey

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    Me too. It doesn't make sense. He passed a bunch of tests during the race, it is the sample from the last time trial that came up positive. Going into the last time trial, he had over four minutes, all he had to do was stay upright. Why risk it at that point? Either he got away with it earlier or something is wrong. But we've heard that before.
     
  7. Wumpus

    Wumpus makes avatars better

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    Wonder if Virenque and Pantani were hanging out in the Postal bus?

    And what about these guys:

     
  8. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    That is a very informative piece. I was going to write that everyone doped in that period, but there could have been racers which did not, and instead of wonderful careers, they rode cleanly to no palmares.
     
  9. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    That is a very informative piece. I was going to write that everyone doped in that period, but there could have been racers which did not, and instead of wonderful careers, they rode cleanly but no palmares.
     
  10. Heath Sherratt

    Heath Sherratt Turbo Monkey

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    Come on now, who thinks there are really clean athletes in contention in these pro tour races?
     
  11. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    Probably the bottom half of the pack, and I bet even some of them dope to keep up.
     
  12. Muuqi

    Muuqi Monkey

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  13. Zutroy

    Zutroy Turbo Monkey

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    As much as I'm of the opinion they are all taking something....this whole case seems messed up. Why would anyone who knows they are going to get tested take something they know will get caught in the test? Plus what was the whole delay in announcement cause of questionable reults on the first attempt to test the B sample really makes ya wonder.....who accredits these labs? What kinda audit system is there? Between this, the Tyler mess and all the CAS over turns on test lately...it really makes ya wonder what's going on.
     
  14. Muuqi

    Muuqi Monkey

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    It seems to me like Dick Pound (WADA president) has something out for cycling. Shouldn't they be conentrating testing on football player or baseballers? IMO steroids are more dangerous than a cyclist taking a physician prescripted dose of a blood cell booster ya know? EPO is legal (sort of), steroids are not. I personally do not see how taking EPO is any different than drinking 6 shots of espresso before a race.
     
  15. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    1. WADA does not administer football or baseball. Otherwise, you would see half the teams flunk.

    2. I don't see EPO any worse than drinking a glass of orange juice:

    3. Really, the issue is not how dangerous performing enhancing drugs are, but who is and who isn't taking them. Jerome Chiotti, a middle-of-the-pack pro, won the World Championship over Thomas Frischknecht. Chiotti eventually forfeited the WC a few years later after his EPO usage came out, dening Frischknecht the personal and financial rewards of the wearing the rainbow jersey.
     
  16. Muuqi

    Muuqi Monkey

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    If EPO is really scary stuff then it would not be as common as it is. A friend of mine who works in a hospital sees it on a daily basis, and when it is administered by a doctor or physician who knows what they are doing and the risks to watch for, it is quite safe. Erythropoietin is used to help treat cancer patients and those who suffer from anemia, and how often do you hear about those people "mysteriously" dying? The fact is when it first came out, athletes did not know how to use it safely and wound up taking doses that were way too high and they also did not check their hematocrit level on a weekly basis, so of course their blood became dangerously thick. So if athletes were being given EPO by a physician or coach who knew what they were doing, then EPO could safely be used to increase one's endurance. The problem is that young riders who don't really have the expectations from sponsors on them that team leaders do decide that they want to try and give their performance an easy and quick boost. Aside from the fact that they don't even really need to prove anything or improve drastically, they don't know what they are doing and wind up taking more than anyone should, and that is why you hear about so many young riders dying in their sleep of heart failure.
     
  17. JRogers

    JRogers talks too much

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    First off, this really stinks. I like Heras and he is a great rider. Whether he did it or not, I feel bad for him.

    So, what is the test they use to look for EPO? I know a few years ago it was essentially hematocrit level or something like that; it was not a test for EPO itself. One could get a false positive if some care was not taken. Is the test the same? Did Heras have other tests done during the Vuelta? I mean, Heras' desfense makes some sense if he had other tests during or near the race and a false positive is possible- why would he take EPO right before an almost assured win in a major tour where he knew he would be tested? That would be plain stupid, not just immoral.
     
  18. Muuqi

    Muuqi Monkey

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    Yeah, it used to be that if you had a hematocrit level of 50 or higher, then they said you were using EPO. Now the new test, which I believe some French scientist created and patented, can supposedly differentiate between naturally occuring EPO and artificial EPO. "Supposedly" is the big word there, though. Dick Pound and the WADA stand behind the test and say that it is completely reliable, but many have said that it can be hard to tell the difference between natural and synthetic EPO. I don't really know what the labs to or how the differentiate. . .they just do somehow? Lol.
     
  19. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    1. Gasoline is widely used as well. I don't advise sniffing it, however.

    There are many many drugs which have medicincial effects if prescribed properly. Anyone who has read Lance's autobio knows what EPO is supposed to be used for.

    2. You sound like the muscle head with pimples on his arms who tells you juicing is the way to go. Yes, I know there have been no recent deaths because of EPO. You also have long term studies of the effects EPO has on the immune system, I assume.
     
  20. Wumpus

    Wumpus makes avatars better

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    Heras confirmed positive
    Liberty Seguros rider Roberto Heras has been confirmed to have taken blood booster EPO to achieve his record-breaking fourth Vuelta a España victory this season. The counter-analysis of his returned positive A sample, taken on the penultimate stage of the Spanish Grand Tour on September 17, revealed the presence of the banned substance today.

    This finding will most probably end the rider's career and strip him of his last Vuelta win, which will now be awarded to Rabobank's Denis Menchov. Heras will face a two-year suspension as well as immediate sacking from his team, whose future might now be compromised. The Spaniard has repeatedly denied having taken EPO to enhance his performance, and in light of recent statements from himself and his lawyer, an appeal against the decision seems likely.

    Hours after the news broke, an official statement was released by Active Bay, Management Company of the Liberty Seguros-Würth team.

    It read: "After receiving confirmation of his [Heras'] positive test in the counter-analysis, we regret to inform that as a result of the commitments pledged through the ethical code endorsed by all UCI-ProTour Teams, we will proceed to terminate the contract of Roberto Heras as soon as we receive an official confirmation from the International Cycling Union, following which the rider will step down from the team."
     
  21. Muuqi

    Muuqi Monkey

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    I've heard gasoline sniffing actually improves your performance by 4 to 7 %
     
  22. jaydee

    jaydee Monkey

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    Only if it's premium unleaded. And you have an aluminum head.
     
  23. Muuqi

    Muuqi Monkey

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    Hmm wonder what's gonna happen with the Liberty-Seguros team w/o Heras? Vino the new leader maybe??
     
  24. DBR X6 RIDER

    DBR X6 RIDER Turbo Monkey

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    They said they didn't plan on bringing in anybody to fill Heras' spot on the roster. I'm seeing that as cautious optimism from Liberty Seguros mgmt.
    I still believe Heras didn't do it. I'm not saying that he wouldn't dope, but he surely wouldn't do that for a stage where he basically just had to stay upright and keep a respectable tempo for around an hour. As Spock would say, "that's not logical, Captain".:confused:
     
  25. Muuqi

    Muuqi Monkey

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    Yeah, seriously. I really hope he didn't, mainly just because he's like one of the last "greats" and it's too bad that all this bad publicity is going to soil his image. I'd cry if DiLuca, Vino, or Basso ever got caught doping.
     
  26. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    Wow, that's too bad. It seems unlikely he'd take EPO just before his big win...it doesn't make sense, especially with the other tests. I see three possibilities:

    1. Heras is telling the truth and the test is flawed, which seems highly likely. WADA is seems to be pulling out all the stops and is probably willing to accept some false positives to prove the point that they are test, hard. A 'B' sample doesn't do much good if the test is flawed and reports a second positive. Hopefully they are smart enough to use an entirely different protocol on the second sample, but I doubt it. They seem more interested in headlines than fairness.

    2. Heras is really smart and had some sort of masking agent, but it failed for some reason on this test.

    3. Heras is an idiot.
     
  27. The Toninator

    The Toninator Muffin

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    Winners are automatically tested.
     
  28. Muuqi

    Muuqi Monkey

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    WADA keeps assuring everyone that the test is legit, but if it is flawed, then of course WADA would not admit it because then they would be flooded with court cases from previously accused and convicted dopers. I'm hoping that it's flawed and they just don't want all the headaches of lawsuits.
     
  29. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    All laboratory drug tests carry at least a small possibility of false positives. For the sake of argument let's say it's 1%.

    If you tested the top 5 in each stage at the TDF, that's more or less 20 tests * 20 days = 400 tests. Four will be positive even if everyone is clean. So they test the 'B' sample. If they from lab error, or cross contamination they will probably test clean, more or less a 4% chance of failure due to the chance of a second false positive.

    But, If the test result is a "real" false positive, not a lab error, and you retest with the same protocol, you stand a good chance of having all four samples come back positive. If you use a different protocol you still have the chance of a false positive with the new protocol.

    Back in the old days in the Navy, they started drug testing to get rid of all the dopers, arguing drugs are a potential safety issue when you handle bombs, guns, and thermonuclear warheads. In one case the Leading NCO on a Marine base was popped for heroin. He was a 4.0 Marine, and insisted all the way through his court-marshal that he never did drugs. He was given an Other Than Honorable discharge, fined, and spent time in the brig.

    What's the point? About two years later, after a bunch of people had been discharged for alleged heroin use.....The Navy found out their test was detecting poppy seeds commonly found on buns, as well as heroin. The Marine NCO....turns out he loved poppy seed buns and beagles..was just about the only bread he ever ate.
     
  30. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    That assuming you think the testers not the cheaters have the advantage...
     
  31. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    Of course. If you believe otherwise there almost isn't a point to testing.

    I said earlier it's possible(but unlikely) that Heras may have a masking agent of some type, and it failed this once. I'm an engineer, not an organic chemist so that's all speculation. Maybe he gives blood in the off season, has the epo extracted and stored and then uses it during the on season? I'm not even sure it's feasable, or maybe they found a way to make natural EPO somehow? I read in a journal about 15 years ago that an english firm was using sheep to manufacture pharmacuticals...They injected the mamary glands of fetus (I think) with the chemical they wanted and later when it was older the milk would contain a trace, but fairly significant amount of the chemical.

    In the end all we can do is speculate, Heras is the only one who knows if he doped. If he did I hope they hang him out to dry. If he didn't I hope he finds a way to fight it. It almost seems like the atheletes should give a "c" and "d" sample for safe keeping just incase they need to appeal a false positive. But at that point it starts to get silly.