Legal doping



  • Some interesting dilemmas from the hacking of athletes' files.

    Bunch of athletes have been taking performance enhancing drugs, most notably British cyclists.

    Perfectly 'legal', but obvious point is that it undermines the integrity of the level playing field.

    Seeing Froome TdF wins in a new light.

    A review of exemptions was apparently already in train.



  • Not sure if it can be accessed (could be behind a paywall) but there is an excellent article concerning the TUEs and Team Sky published today.
    Basically the Froome ones have been upfront but the Wiggins ones are a bit iffy. For some reason the only time he needed TUEs was in the week before TdF and despite these being injections of strong steroidal treatment he emphatically denied receiving any injections in his books (a fact he is now back-tracking on saying his comments were of a different context)



  • From the Times, some of the article by David Walsh.

    Wiggins’s case is very different. Though there is no evidence that he has abused the system in any way, questions arise over the dates when he obtained the three TUEs in his Team Sky years, and in the detail of the treatment. Since 2008, Wiggins has had six TUEs; three of them while riding for the Garmin team, and a further three at Sky. His Garmin TUEs were for the asthma drugs salbutamol, formoterol and budesonide, which he could inhale, two puffs, twice daily.

    These are not performance-enhancing drugs and can now be used without a therapeutic exemption. It is the TUEs ­Wiggins received while riding for Team Sky that are problematic. First, the timing. In 2011, three days before the start of the Tour de France for which Wiggins was one of the favourites, he was given a TUE to have a one-off 40mg injection of the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone acetonide.

    A year later he was the favourite for the 2012 Tour and four days before the race was given permission for another one-off injection of triamcinolone. Ten months later and 12 days before the start of his major target for that year, the 2013 Giro d’Italia, Wiggins got another TUE for a 40mg injection of triamcinolone.

    Between the second and third TUEs Wiggins wrote an autobiography, My Time, that covered his 2012 Tour victory. It may be understandable that Wiggins did not want to mention the TUEs, fearing that fans might think he was seeking an unfair advantage, but he went further than not mentioning them. “In British cycling culture, at the word ‘needle’ — or the sight of one — you go, ‘Oh s***’. It’s a complete taboo ... I’ve never had an injection, apart from I’ve had my vaccinations and on occasion I’ve been put on a drip, when I’ve come down with diarrhoea or something.

    Yesterday Wiggins insisted that what he had meant in his reference to “needles” was that he had not had IVs, that is products fed into his system intravenously. In their seven-year history, Team Sky have applied for 13 TUEs. Given the number of races, especially the number of grand tours, that is not a high number. What is surprising is that Wiggins should have accounted for three, and the timing of them: shortly before his biggest race of that season.

    Opinions differ on the performance-enhancing qualities of triamcinolone acetonide but there is agreement that it is a potent steroid. In his first Tour de France “victory” it was the corticoid found in Lance Armstrong’s urine and the American only avoided a doping ban because his team backdated a medical prescription, which the cycling authorities then accepted.

    One former Postal rider, who asked not to be named, said that in his career he had used the two drugs given to Wiggins and Froome under the TUE system. “Oral prednisolone works on clearing your airways but it doesn’t affect performance. Injected Kenalog [triamcinolone], that’s ­different. That is a powerful drug and it sure as hell helps performance.”

    David Millar described having the same intramuscular injection given to Wiggins in 2011, 2012 and 2013. “It is probably the most potent drug out there,” he said, before adding: “With the right prescription it could be used legally.”

    Team Sky have been reluctant to get into any debate about the medical information leaked by Fancy Bears, citing medical confidentiality. Trawling through Wiggins’s own accounts of the 2011 and 2012 Tours, it is clear he did get ill in the week before the 2011 race and it might be argued that he needed his corticosteroid injection to treat that.

    The 2012 injection is far more difficult to explain. Wiggins had won all of the prep races for the Tour that year and had been impressive in his last pre-Tour race, the Criterium du Dauphine. In his book he writes of his great form going into the Tour. There is no mention of any illness.

    Though they say they cannot publicly discuss Wiggins’s case and the rider provides no detailed explanation as to why he needed the injection, it is believed the TUE was sought for preventative reasons, to combat asthmatic symptoms that could have arisen during that Tour de France. Few if any of Wiggins’s teammates knew he had been granted that TUE; the same for the support staff.

    The team that wanted to be seen as whiter than white had been dealing in shades of grey. What they did was legal but it was not right.



  • Bit of a coincidence that Froome, Wiggins, Mo Farah and the gal who beat Valerie Adams in Rio are all asthmatics. 💪



  • No coincidence the Ruskies targeted them, though!



  • This is one of those times you go "Oh no!" hide your head in your hands and hope it all goes away. Say it aint so Brad.

    Smells fishy though, doesn't it?



  • Can't stand the Russians and their pathetic attempts at trying to get back at everyone else but this really isn't a good look. I'm fine with there being exceptions, IF they're legit, but there needs to be a hell of a lot more transparency around the whole thing.



  • @Unco said in Legal doping:

    Can't stand the Russians and their pathetic attempts at trying to get back at everyone else but this really isn't a good look. I'm fine with there being exceptions, IF they're legit, but there needs to be a hell of a lot more transparency around the whole thing.

    The Russians may lift the lid on a lot of this doping malarkey. We are just starting to see what is in there, and this shit is the legal stuff.

    Remember kids - if there hadn't been a whisteblower (who promptly got banned) WADA and IOC and IAAF would have no idea of the pervasive, state sponsored doping that was going on.

    any bets on when we may see this in the olympic sport 7s?



  • @infidel something like 80% of cyclists are registered as 'asthmatics'...

    amazing how they can compete in a grueling sport like that when you're an asthmatic huh!?



  • Ah, I knew Asthmatics were the master race... at least when they get access to their meds!!



  • @WillieTheWaiter said in Legal doping:

    @infidel something like 80% of cyclists are registered as 'asthmatics'...

    amazing how they can compete in a grueling sport like that when you're an asthmatic huh!?

    Are you asthmatic?



  • @Bones said in Legal doping:

    @WillieTheWaiter said in Legal doping:

    @infidel something like 80% of cyclists are registered as 'asthmatics'...

    amazing how they can compete in a grueling sport like that when you're an asthmatic huh!?

    Are you asthmatic?

    no. but my missus is so i just use her sh*t. ha.



  • @WillieTheWaiter It wouldn't stop anyone from being able to compete at that level, depends how badly affected. The odd puff to clear the airways, but otherwise like normal.



  • @Bones said in Legal doping:

    @WillieTheWaiter It wouldn't stop anyone from being able to compete at that level, depends how badly affected. The odd puff to clear the airways, but otherwise like normal.

    i'm pretty sure froome had a 'proper' asthma attack at some stage this year while racing



  • @WillieTheWaiter said in Legal doping:

    @Bones said in Legal doping:

    @WillieTheWaiter It wouldn't stop anyone from being able to compete at that level, depends how badly affected. The odd puff to clear the airways, but otherwise like normal.

    i'm pretty sure froome had a 'proper' asthma attack at some stage this year while racing

    Yeah, Froome copped some shit for his TUE one year so refused another even when he obviously needed it. The questions raised are around Wiggins and why he only seemed to need TUEs just before the TdF and that he steadfastly denied having had and 'needles' until came out.



  • Two more good articles about this in the UK press today. One in the Times about the medical reasons for a higher prevalence of asthma in athletes and another in the Guardian debating whether TUEs should be allowed.



  • I know there's what appears to be a remarkable statistical anomaly in the amount of swimmers who have/ had asthma when they were younger. This, of course, ignores that a lot of children with asthma are encouraged to take up swimming to help counter their respiratory condition.



  • The crux of the asthma article explains that asthma is often onset by mouth breathing (nose not filtering air) and the intake of cold air into the lungs. Basically this can cause respiratory inflammations.
    The other article is at pains to explain that Team Sky are doing nothing illegal but the Wiggins TUEs point to them using the TUE system to it's fullest possibly to gain an advantage. They refer to another cyclist admitting use of the same drug on the basis of a contrived prescription (his admission). He explains its effect in that he lost a lot of weight quickly but felt stronger and had more stamina.
    The conclusion is that TUEs should be declared publicly which may curtail dodgy use.



  • Well that's a suprise, the British press getting in behind Wiggins and Team Sky, just like they did with Mo Farrah and the Oregon Project.

    I read Wiggins book a couple of years ago, and he goes to great lengths to tell the reader "he's never used needles in cycling" ... yet now we find out he has had injections of a very powerful cortisoid in 2011/12/13 just prior to the Tour.

    This is a fucking powerful drug, and good luck getting any normal doctor to precribe it for Hayfever... unless it's really fucking bad.

    A few current and former pro's have been pretty scathing of this, and rightly so in my opinion.

    David Millar breaks it down pretty well I reckon.... and the man definitely knows his drugs, as his record will attest
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cycling/2016/09/19/drugs-used-by-sir-bradley-wiggins-should-be-banned-says-david-mi/

    Or Jorg Jakse, also a well known drug cheat
    http://cycling-today.com/jorg-jaksche-about-team-sky-bunch-of-hypocrites/



  • I was all against the 'fancy bears' at first, because I think that athletes, as people, have a reasonable right to privacy.

    However, this case in particular suggests that it's all dirty - even if it's not officially dirty, it's still ugly and dirty and people are lying and trying to backtrack and say, well, when I said no injections, I was meaning doping injections, even though this is kind of like a doping injection, but wasn't.

    I can't see why it is OK to compete while under the influence of drugs that everyone pretty much knows have a significant performance enhancing influence.

    All TUEs should be declared openly and available for evaluation.



  • Totally agree, rule should be that any TUEs are open to public scrutiny and your opponents know what you're on. Transparency trumps medical privacy; if you want to compete in front of millions of people and be paid millions of dollars, the public/fans have a right to know.

    In his instance, know that your asthma that you've had all your life but never mentioned before in several books and zillions of interviews, just happened to flare up right at the most convenient time before the 3 biggest races of your career, so badly that you needed fucking horse steroids, to treat a pollen allergy that happened to occur at different times and different places depending on when and where the Grand Tours were. Horse steroids that any normal doctor would only prescribe an asthmatic that was basically an invalid due to the severity of their condition, and only then after exhausting every other avenue.

    Wiggins will never come back from this in the court of public opinion. He'll be lucky to keep his knighthood. One BBC commentator summed it up very well when he said its a bit like the tax arrangements of multinational corporations; legal in the the letter of the law, but doesn't stop people being mightily pissed off when it all comes to light, and rightly so.



  • Look I agree that Wiggins has been a bit of a knob over all of this (and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve thought he was a knob) but I believe him when he says he received the TUEs not to get an advantage, but to get back onto a level playing field. From what I understand he’s a bit of a worrier. Going into the biggest races of the year as a favourite he’d be acutely aware of any little symptom of potential ill health and do whatever it look legally to ensure he wasn’t affected.

    I’m no professional cyclist but I do suffer from asthma and hay fever. If I sense even the slightest bit of aggravation before a race I’ve trained extensively for, I dose up fully as a result of being slightly paranoid that I’ll be hamstrung in my ability to perform my best. I think this is where Wiggins is coming from.

    That said, I do think there are others in the peloton who probably exploit the whole TUE process; I’m probably in favour of more transparency or an overhaul of what products fall under the TUE umbrella (filtering out any potential borderline cases like corticosteroids)



  • Yeah but its been well-documented by both doctors (first link) and former dopers (second link) that its doesn't make you as good as a healthy person, it makes you significantly better. Kenacort is catabolic, so recipients immediately drop 1-2kgs of the residual body fat that no amount of training /diet can shift. Considering these guys are all emaciated 60kg stick figures to begin with, the weight loss alone is a huge advantage at the elite level where margins are so fine.

    link text

    link text



  • @TeWaio I agree. The fault lies with the procedures that allow the drug, Sky (and Wiggins) are just using the 'loophole' to their advantage.
    However, both Sky and Wiggins would know that this drug provides them with more than just a level playing field so their self-righteousness at times regarding drug enhanced performances reeks of hypocrisy.



  • @Crucial said in Legal doping:

    @TeWaio I agree. The fault lies with the procedures that allow the drug, Sky (and Wiggins) are just using the 'loophole' to their advantage.
    However, both Sky and Wiggins would know that this drug provides them with more than just a level playing field so their self-righteousness at times regarding drug enhanced performances reeks of hypocrisy.

    Total hypocrisy.

    Back in 2013, team sky's doctor at the time told a journalist. "We agreed as a team that if a rider, suffering from asthma, got into trouble with pollen we would pull him out of the race rather than apply for a therapeutic use exemption on his behalf"

    When now the evidence shows they did exactly the opposite

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/pursuit-of-tour-de-france-glory-costs-team-sky-their-idealism/





  • It's the book and Sky's high-handed manner that have really killed this argument for them, and damn good job.

    If they had been a bit more straight up in the past, I'm sure we would all have had a better idea about the extent to which they were prepared to take advantage of potential marginal gains. Legal? Yes.

    Ethical? If so, why is this new news? Why does it contradict statements from the past? Because you're playing the system even though you said you weren't.

    So, in summary, fuck 'em.



  • this is amazing, just tears the house of cards to shreds

    link text

    DAME WIGGY AND HIS WONKY TUES

    September 27, 2016
    This is brief and there are many more questions I believe Team Sky should provide answers for, but for now, let’s ask them to chew on these.

    The 2011 TUE

    What is known

    Applied for 30th June

    Granted by Doctor Zorzoli 30th June

    Examination to justify application 2nd July

    ‘Life long condition’

    What should be made known

    1. Why was the exemption granted before the relevant medical examination?

    2. What changes in performance data did the Team Sky coaching staff observe compared to previous Tours without the Triamcinolone? Were there positive performance gains?

    3. If the condition was truly a lifelong one, why had this treatment never been used before?

    4. Were Wiggins and the Team Sky medical and coaching staff aware that triamcinolone was a potent PED with a history of abuse in pro cycling?

    The 2012 TUE

    What is known

    Medical examination done 15th May, confirming nothing more than a lifelong condition

    Application not made until 26th June

    The TUE states ‘Event – Dauphine’ – this finished on the 10th June, 16 days before the date of the TUE

    Wiggins own accounts of the run-up to the Tour were that he was in great health, great condition and ready to go. According to Wiggins, his medical team also knew this, stating“you're on track here, you're the favourite to win this race, now we need to make sure the next three weeks... is there anything we can help with at the moment?”

    What should be made known

    1. If the examination on 15th May genuinely diagnosed a serious allergy/asthma incident, would that not have warranted treatment being given for the upcoming Dauphine?

    2. How was Wiggins able to win the Dauphine in commanding style, if he was suffering any form of allergy/asthma diagnosed on the 15th May?

    3. If he wasn’t suffering any form of allergy/asthma during the Dauphine, when did the condition start pre-tour and why was there no examination to confirm this?

    4. Why did the medical team say he was on track and the favourite, if they knew (because of the examination on 15th May) that he was suffering from allergies/asthma?

    5. Did performance data and Wiggin’s subjective feedback from 2011 treatment provide motivation for seeking TUE for triamcinolone?

    6. If triamcinolone wasn’t helpful to performance in 2011, why was it sought in 2012?

    7. Why, and precisely why, was this particular treatment sought, given that it is so rarely used in normal medical practice, and then only for very severe episodes?

    Notes:

    Having a life long allergy does not mean continual symptoms unless continually exposed to the allergen in question. This needs to be probed further re’ Wiggins and his actual health pre-Tour.

    In the interests of transparency;

    I have coached two riders who have served doping bans. Pascal Lino received a 2-month ban for amphetamine use prior to my coaching him. Before taking him on as a client, I explained that the training I would give him would negate any need to take anything and that I was 100% anti-doping. I worked with him for two years.

    I coached David Millar in his last 18 months as an amateur and 1st year as a professional. His doping ban occurred after I was no longer his coach. To the best of my knowledge he was clean in the period I worked with him.

    Personally I was prescribed prednisone in Jan 2015 for pneumonia that had not responded to 3 courses of antibiotics. I commenced racing 4 weeks after the course had finished (I could not have won the Tour of Romandie).

    That’s enough for now.

    © Dave Smith 2016


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