Thursday, July 06, 2006


I'll post my own thoughts on this at some point but this is very interetsting and explains, rather well, some of the misconceptions with doping.

I do ask you, if these riders are the only ones doping than wouldn't they have had some quantifiable shift in performance that could easily be graphed? Doping, by definition, is performance enhancing (makes you go faster). Yet, there is no evidence of this sort. This either means that no one dopes, which seems unlikely in the face of these allegations, or that everyone does. There is truly no other explaination when you look at the numbers. The problem, perhaps, is that what is actually doping is misunderstood.

Reported on

Fuentes: "Tour at that speed impossible without doping"
In an extensive interview broadcast by Spanish radio Cadena Ser, gynaecologist and doping expert Eufemiano Fuentes has talked about his behind-the-scenes activities in the sport. First of all, he insisted on his belief that he was not a criminal and only attended to his medical duty of preserving the athlete's health.

"I'm don't feel like a criminal; I haven't killed anyone and I haven't destroyed anyone's health," he said. "I'm a health professional; my priority is to cure my patients because I think that the sport at high level is not healthy. I'm accused of crime against public health, but they should sanction those who play at being doctors." So instead of boosting the rider's performances, Fuentes considered that he only "supplemented and adjusted" those bodily functions of the riders which showed a deficit.

"[Cyclists] are very special sportsmen because they reduce their heart rate by half when resting," he continued. "Their hearts are big, and when they stop cycling their hearts reduce their size to normal within six months, which results in what we call 'sudden death'."

Fuentes, who added that his treatments also concerned other sports than cycling (football, tennis, athletics), said that it was possible to ride the Tour de France without "medical" help, but not at that speed. "You just can't ride four of these mountain stages successively at that speed, it's very harmful," he said, adding that in his opinion it was more dangerous for a cyclist to start the Tour de France with a hematocrit level of 31 percent, than one of 51 percent - even though this meant that the rider would be excluded from competition.

The Madrid-based doctor named two cyclists, Alberto Contador and Vicente Ballester, but only to say that he did not know them and that he did not know why their names were on the list established by the Spanish criminal investigators. He also said that there were riders still participating in the Tour de France that he had treated and that he "had enough of the hypocrisy. The Tour direction sent home riders that I never treated, and there are now clients of mine in the peloton. I'm furious. People were named that I don't even know but other names were concealed."

Moreover, he stated that the bags of blood that were found were destined "for use in the next ten years", and that the quantities of EPO seized "for a family member who might need it." he also added that he had been threatened not to reveal any persons involved with him. Fuentes felt "lynched by the media" and "killed professionally".

This second story concerns Lance Armstrong's former personal coach:

Leipheimer in Ferrari hotel
German press agency dpa has reported that Gerolsteiner team manager Hans-Michael Holczer had confirmed information according to which his Tour de France leader, American Levi Leipheimer, had possible contacts with controversial preparatore Michele Ferrari. At the start of stage five in Beauvais, Holczer admitted that Leipheimer had stayed in the same hotel during a training camp on Spanish island Tenerife last year. "But he assured me once again that he isn't working with the Italian," said Holczer.

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