cycling stories in today's press

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by davek, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. davek

    davek New Member

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    There's a piece about Phillippe Gaumont in today's (Tuesday) Guardian and his claims about drug-taking in the pro peloton.

    I also saw over someone's shoulder on the train this morning something in the Metro about cycle helmets - something to do with the large number of cyclists in London who don't wear them. Didn't manage to pick up a copy of Metro today so can't give any further details.
     
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  2. davek

    davek New Member

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    Here's the Gaumont piece (probably all covered in more depth in the cycling press already, I guess):
    http://sport.guardian.co.uk/cycling/story/0,10482,1170107,00.html

    Cyclist boasts of duping dope-testers
    French rider boasts of one positive test in ten years of drug taking
    William Fotheringham
    Tuesday March 16, 2004
    The Guardian

    Advances in drugs testing are meaningless because cyclists and their trainers have devised methods that are guaranteed to evade the controls, according to the French rider Philippe Gaumont.

    Gaumont, a team time-trial bronze medallist in the 1992 Olympics, is heavily implicated in a police inquiry centred on drug-taking in the Cofidis team, and yesterday he told the French newspaper Le Monde that he had taken drugs in all his 10 years in the sport but had tested positive only once.

    He confirmed suspicions that among top cyclists blood trans fusions to maintain the red-cell count have taken over from use of the red-cell booster erythropoietin, because a test introduced in 2000 means EPO can be detected within three days of its injection. EPO, he says, is used only when a cyclist knows he will not be tested.

    "The haematocrit [blood-thickness count which includes red cells] of a cyclist coming to the Tour after a course of EPO can drop from 50% to 44 or 45 after a week," he explained. "With






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    one bag of blood a week, a cyclist can keep it at 50, while the other guys finish the Tour at 40%. But only the big names can use this, because you have to pay a doctor to do the transfusions."

    Gaumont also maintains that the practice of obtaining false prescriptions to permit the use of banned corticosteroids is continuing.

    "The team doctor sends you to an allergy specialist, he diagnoses that you are sensitive to mites and prescribes a nasal spray. We were told to ask for Nasacort, at all costs. Why? Because it means you can use cortisone. At the control they can't tell the difference between the spray and an injection.

    "Then the doctor sends you to a dermatologist. You scratch your testicles with salt, show the doctor they're all red, and he prescribes you six months' worth of Diprosone cream. Then you can inject Diprostene [a banned liquid suspension] without risking being positive."

    The issue of cortisone on prescription caused a furore after last year's Tour de France, when World Anti-Doping Agency observers questioned the fact that corticosteroids were found in 46 urine samples but, on medical grounds, the tests were not deemed to be positive.

    Gaumont, recently found to have traces of cocaine in hair samples, has been sacked and is not expected to race again. He is one of four Cofidis team members under investigation. The team are led by Britain's David Millar
     
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