Armstrong Tour Blood Values Suspicious?

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by Ashley.S.Olsen, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Ashley.S.Olsen

    Ashley.S.Olsen New Member

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    Armstrong Tour Blood Values Suspicious?
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    9/3 Update: There's another article out now with Jakob Mørkebjerg pointing out that Armstrong's reticulocyte numbers are also unusual, and may be indicative of EPO or transfusions. Some interesting discussion going on here as well.

    9/2: A Danish paper is reporting today that "one of Denmark's leading blood researchers believes that Lance Armstrong's blood values from the Tour are suspicious and indicate blood doping." The blood researcher, Jakob Mørkebjerg (ominously google translated as 'James Dark Mountain') claims that Armstrong's blood values stayed the same from the first day to the last day of the Tour, with a spike in the middle. Armstrong's values fell during the Giro, but not the Tour.

    Armstrong's Tour values are here, and his hematocrit and hemoglobin on 7/2, 2 days before the start of the race, was 42.8 and 14.3. On 7/25, one day before the last day of the race, it was 43 and 14.5. Also, 7/13 was a rest day, and his numbers rise from 40.7 and 13.7 on 7/11 to 43.1 and 14.4 on 7/14. On 7/20, another rest day, his numbers are 41.7 and 14, and then 43 and 14.5 on 7/25.

    The Giro values are here. His values on 5/7, two days before the race, were 43.5 and 14.8. On 5/31, the last day of the race, those numbers were 38.2 and 13.

    I hope to speak to some experts in blood doping in the next 24 hours and will report results. To be clear, we're not making any accusations here, just passing along the article. As you can see below, there may be innocent explanations for these values.

    The article is here, and below is the Google translation. If there are any Danish readers out there that can verify the accuracy of the Google translation we'd really appreciate it.

    Armstrong suspicious blood values

    One of Denmark's leading blood researchers believes that Lance Armstrong's blood values from the Tour de France looks suspicious and indicate blood doping

    Lance Armstrong impressed in his Tour de France comeback this year with a third place. But maybe it was not surprising for one of Denmark's leading blood researchers, James Dark Mountain from Bispebjerg Hospital, has looked at American's blood values over and they can indicate the use of blood doping, "he DR gate.


    Both the number of red blood cells, hematocrit and hemoglobin were essentially the same on the first day and last day of Tour'en, which is quite unusual.


    Furthermore, increased hematocrit value during 11th-14th July, representing the middle of Tour'en, 40.7 to 43.1, which is also strange, does Dark Mountain.
     
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  2. Andrija

    Andrija Member

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    If Mørkebjerg can prove his suspicion, and prove it with strong support of valid facts, highly related with AFLD, UCI and WADA standards, results and methodology, then we all here will be happy. We'll get proof for our suspicion. We'll get satisfaction... Hey hey hey, that's what i say!
    I'm not sure if cycling bosses and Nike will be happy, so I'm afraid that availability of truth will depend on corporate interest and dignity of Mr Mørkebjerg. Is he immune on corruption? Or is he doing this to be corrupted?
     
  3. Cobblestones

    Cobblestones New Member

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    You're conflating scientific fact (which is what Morkeberg delivers) with legal proof of guilt (satisfying UCI and McQuaid). They are not the same. Have you ever been called in for jury duty? Lawyers usually avoid having scientists in the jury.

    ETA I just noticed you're from Serbia which probably means a completely different law system, but you might've seen enough Hollywood movies to get my point.
     
  4. Andrija

    Andrija Member

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    Legal proof of guilt, in this case, should be based (and usually is when doping is in question) on scientific facts. I'm saying that his claims, based on facts, should methodologically be shaped to be congruent with methods of organizations in charge in this case. In that way these facts will be valid for court. I hope you understand my point here now.
     
  5. Cobblestones

    Cobblestones New Member

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    should=/=is

    Welcome to the world of McQuaid.

    And even if in the future such an increase in off score is considered proof of doping, it won't be applied retroactively for legal purposes.

    To make another example: Do you consider EPO use as doping? Do you consider it as doping when it was done before EPO appeared on a list of banned substances? Is your answer scientifically or legally correct?
     
  6. Andrija

    Andrija Member

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    Consider "is" in bracket, rather than "should" out of it. I'm commenting the logics in doping cases.
    McQuaid's world is my topic in corruption note in my first post.
    Retroactive testing is still subject of discussion, and has to be... Every aspect of it (legal, scientific and ethical).
    I consider EPO use as doping whenever it was done. I consider it, but it can't be subject of legal process. Every confession is just satisfaction for us - fans. Like in Riis case. And that's what I'm pointing out - we must not be cheated. .
     
  7. No_Positives

    No_Positives New Member

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    Low 40's crit. No wonder he didn't win.
     
  8. tmctguer

    tmctguer New Member

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    yeah...........i wonder what his hematocrit was when he DID win 7 times? 48? 49.5?

    wonder what it was in 1999 ?
     
  9. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    We know he was using EPO in 1999 because he tested positive for the drug when his urine was retrospectively tested. The team's soigneur, Ron Jongen (sp?), overheard Bruyneel briefing the team that everyone's hematocrits were just below the 50% limit.
    During the last few years of his TdF wins, something had changed in the way riders dope. Hematocrits were down in the top riders but performance levels were unchanged or better than ever.
    I don't see how anyone can be surprised that Armstrong would not be doing the same crap he was doing before.
     
  10. No_Positives

    No_Positives New Member

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    Shhhh. Don't tell anyone, or they might take away his yellow jersey from 1999.
     
  11. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Nope. There has to be a B sample to have a sanction; but since six of Armstrong's samples tested positive for EPO, there is no question that he was using drugs. Whether the UCI decides to pursue sanctions is irrelevant to the fact that Armstrong has been proven to have doped. Armstrong making a $500K under the table payment to the UCI in 1999 tends to give the UCI a reason to look the other way.
     
  12. Drongo

    Drongo New Member

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    I seem to recall Basso's haematocrit being about 43 when he was on the juice.

    I don't know what they do these days, whether it's as simple as a saline injection or something more complicated, but it seems that looking simply at haematocrit levels is misleading.

    Note that that they do go up after each rest day, though, and the OFF-score goes through the roof just before the Tour before settling back down, and the reticulocyte level is very low (so not producing too many new blood cells).

    Remember, though, that these are Armstrong's self-published values, which have a tendency to change, so query what any conclusion based on them is worth.

    And it's all subject to the underlying Armstrong division: if you don't think he's clean, what difference does this analysis make? And if you think he's clean now, what could possibly convince you otherwise?
     
  13. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    i'm not debating the interpretation of these values. simply don't have the expertise to make any judgment. but isn't this discrepancy between the giro values which showed a downward trend and the tour values which were remarkably consistent just the sort of data wobble the wada wanted the bio passport to bring forward and use to justify more detailed investigation?

    in case any are still interested, the scientist who started this latest foofaaraw elaborates on his interpretation of the data.
     
  14. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Funny how there's only one witchhunt going on...

    Wiggo, say it aint so son, say it aint so...

    ... and after further reading....
    Jeeze... and they give people like this 'air time'.
     
  15. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    The last time I had mine checked it was 45.3.
     
  16. Leafer

    Leafer New Member

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    Hey maybe can you explain to us how a clean Armstrong won 7 Tours over dopers like Ullrich, Basso, Vino, Hamilton, Landis, Heras, etc etc? Or how he managed to keep up for the most part with a juiced Contador at 38 after taking 3 years off?

    It ain't a witchhunt if it's true.
     
  17. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    oooh! i can answer that! oooh! i know!

    getting up half an hour before he went to bed so he could ride twenty eight hours in one day.
    good eating as dictated by kate moss & chris carmichael.
    sleeping in an oxygen tent on k2's peak.
    and so on.
     
  18. No_Positives

    No_Positives New Member

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    Got anything from this century?
     
  19. fscyclist

    fscyclist New Member

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    Found this article somewhat interesting. Not for the amateur analysis, but for the way they focus on Armstrong, and for Daamsgard's reactions.

    Analysis: Armstrong?s Tour Blood Levels Debated | Cyclingnews.com

    Do you think Daamsgard is really saying what he thinks? Hard to when you are employed by Armstrong's team. Maybe the other teams that employ internal dope controls and anti-doping experts should think about the conflict of interest. More importantly, journalists should. Especially those who are so vocal about doping yet fell head over heals over teams, hang out in their team bus, etc... Oh...what a farce.

    BTW...as I stated earlier, I'm racing the tour for sure now. Expecting a call from JV any day now since I've given up gluten and found out my great great grandfather was an Inuit.
     
  20. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    as for damsgard saying what he thinks, probably so, as long as we realise he knows his next paycheck depends on his "expert" analysis to serve astana and others.

    surprise one- the three men providing opinions all shared writing credit on the peer-reviewed article on blood values showing declines over the course of the tdf. two see an indication of blood packing in the data and one doesn't.

    surprise two- no mention that damsgard left the employ of that hospital due to his accepting "gratuities" from csc (later saxo) which cast doubt upon his professional independence?

    surprise three- damsgard was involved in structuring the bio-passport? and now he's hawking his services to professional teams to interpret their blood data?

    give cycling news credit, but not for hard nosed investigative questioning. also have to like that they were about a week late to the party.
     
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