Do you have to use perfromance enhancers to be a pro?

Discussion in 'Doping in Cycling' started by hilljunkie, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Drug use in powerlifting and bodybuilding has been going on for many years. Back into the 60's in Arnold's, Segio and Franco's day.

    I started using in college in the 80's and it was extremely easy to get and it wasn't counterfeited as much as it is in today's time.

    I bailed out of competitive bodybuilding after qualifying for the NPC National in 1993 and my choice at that time was to step up to the next level by using GH and insulin or get out. My last cycle of gear was in 1996.

    As much as I hate to admit to it and not to critize others, Muscle & Fitness along with the other magazines is nothing more than marketing hype. I still pick one up from time to time just to see who is doing what in the pro and national ranks, but take every thing else with a grain of salt.

    As far as I knew as a competitor drug use was secretly condoned and reward in the NPC behind the scenes and condemned in public media.

    Look at the appearance of the distended bellies on the athletes and the facial appearance of the competitors and you will see the result of GH abuse. It is very obvious for most of the competitors.
     


  2. Meek One

    Meek One New Member

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    I started lifting in the mid 80's and actually believed I was going to look like Arnold or Mentzer if I followed their routines and ate right. Weider proclaimed everyone was drug-free and as a teenager believed it. Around 1989 I was wondering if i had Danny Devito's genes instead of Arnie's(TWIiNS).

    Only after Momo's death (93?) did Weider start acknowledging that some used it. Then Freitas got busted by customs. Dillet almost died. Etc. I saw Matarazzo :eek: at Musclemania after winning the NPC's you were at.

    Now of course I realize why I couldn't bench 500 and didn't have 19+ inch arms and why all teenagers now are already as strong as I am (still benching a little over 300). What's nice though is that I have been lifting so long naturally, I never seem to lose strength even if I take relatively long periods off.

    What is scary though is that Matarazzo just had bypass surgery, Quadzilla just died, Momo is dead, Muntzer is dead, etc.
     
  3. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    A well known and most recent bad experience is with Tom Prince.

    He is now retired, but I am glad that he has taken his life to be more important and the warnings from the doctors serious over trying to remain as a competitive pro bodybuilder.


    I would guess that with my genetics (including receptors for androgens/anabolics) that steroids gave me a 10 to 20% advantage over my natural state, but my base was built from previous years of natural training and now I have returned to natural training for the past 9 years.

    I have to say that my personal best ever that will not escape my memory. The one lift that I made that I cherish was at the age of 37 and was a drug free lift. I did 6 reps with 695 on hack squats below parallel (full squat). I am 5'6" and weighed about 180 at that time. Almost everyone in the gym stopped to watch even world class lifters were freaking out and it was done while drug free. I actually did this on two seperate occassions, but the day everyone stopped to watch meant the most to me.
     
  4. Meek One

    Meek One New Member

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    That's awesome.

    Last year I was in the gym with only a couple of guys. This guy in the corner did a No/No/No full squat with 290kg stopping at the bottom for what seemed like an eternity to me. I swore he wasn't going to budge. Sure enough straight up. Impressive.
     
  5. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    I know Ted. Grew up in the same town, his dad was my orthodontist. Eventually we trained at the same gym for a bit. Ted wasnt clean, but did have gear genetics too. My friend Joe Bianci will do 700 under 220lbs. He is a freak, and clean There are many guys that can do amazing things in all sports that are clean. I dont have enough knowledge of cycling performance to make assumptions of what cyclist might be on something. I rarely buy into lifting numbers that guys post in the squat any how. What is a squat?? How low was the lift. Did he use equipment...wraps??...Why cant the the same dude deadlift a similar number? I have done half squats with 700 with just a belt....so what!!!. Notice I said HALF. I have never used anything, and never will, I dont think about the drug users much;it takes too much energy. Keep grinding away!! Thanks BP
     
  6. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Some powerlifters use that technique of "rest pause" or "box squats".


    Very impressive to see guys do this and it will build some very explosive power coming out of the bottom. Resting at the bottom is pure strength where as many guys will use momentum or bounce off of their hamstrings off their calves to keep the momentum going. I used to incorporate one or two sets of pauses to help build that explosive strength.

    The same technique is more often used for bench presses.
     
  7. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    Free weight below paralell pause with over 600lbs. Thats a strong guy.World class in any weight class
     
  8. gt3guru

    gt3guru New Member

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    The truth is, anyone who knows won't talk. Speculate all you want but even with the little I've seen I feel uneasy talking about it. Even ritalin can be a performance enhancer.

    But as far as athlete deaths.. cyclists push their heart and lungs harder than is safe. I had seen 235 bpm in a sprint and would hold 200 BPM for hours a day. Any minor heart problem and you're dead.
     
  9. JohnDDD

    JohnDDD New Member

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    I don't think as many cyclists are taking now dope as before.

    I think it has improved, especially in the last couple of (4, 5) years.

    According to Patrick Lefevre, teamboss of Quick-Step, he believes the "30 or 40 in the peloton who still take dope should be eliminated".

    I think back in the days of 93 up to 98 there was no way you could compete in a big race without at least raising your hematocrite up to 55. Since the EPO test in 2001, I think this has improved although there are probably a lot of good ways around the urine test.

    It seems quite evident to me there are still cyclists with a hematocrite level of about 41 who have no trouble raising this to 49, masking the EPO in their urine with some unknown substance.

    When Marc Lotz, (ex?-)rider of Quick-Step was caught with EPO in his home, he said he was sure that he wouldn't be caught, although he never explained this.


    It has been suggested by a few people how this is done; I believe mister Manzano has claimed that blood tests for hematocrite levels were easily passed by Kelme riders although their values were often over 50.

    He says, and I quote from memory, that there were two or three cyclists within the team who were totally clean. When there was surprise blood test, these cyclists would go first, and the bigger ones of the team would go to another room and they would lower their hematocrite temporarily. I think this was done by drinking a lot, or, I cannot remember exactly, by administering glucose directly into the bloodstream.

    It was also rumoured that Jan Ullrich had lowered his hematocrite with some substance in 1998 when he lost those 9 minutes I believe to Pantani because he had hear about a blood test after the race; it went wrong and he could hardly move.

    This is just a rumour though.

    I think another ex-cyclist had said that teams do still dope. He claims that in the earlier months of the season, cyclists are given EPO and go train on the altitudes to make "good" blood (in other words, hematocrite very high).

    This blood is then taken away from them and is stored. Because surprise blood tests are often on the early mornings of the race, the stored blood cannot "just" be given to the riders during the big races. It is said that they wait for any surprise blood tests in the morning and then minutes before the race they replace the "bad" blood with the stored blood. Just after the race the blood is taken out again, and blood of lesser value is put in, to avoid getting caught in the blood test in the evening.

    Apparently, the cyclists have become blood robots.

    As for the health problems amongst cyclists, cycling itself is not really a healthy sport, no matter if there is doping involved or not. If there are 100 great cyclists, there will always be a 101st who is about as great but who is willing to damage his health to win.

    Heart failure does not really seem like a weird phenomenon to me...

    However, Lance Armstrong's cancer does make me wonder. The guy was about 25 I think when it was discovered he had testicular cancer, which had spread to his lungs, brain, stomach, ... well I think it was just about everywhere.

    So this must have been a very strong cancer.

    How much we all like to accept cancer these days, it is in fact not normal. Cancer is a disease which, I believe, is caused by the bad foods we eat these days, bad air, radiation from phones, PC and TV, the pill for women, etc. This can explain many of the cancers we see today; colon, stomach, lung, throat, brain, breast cancer...

    How does one explain testicular cancer however? It must have something to do with hormones and messing about with them.

    It seems quite obvious to me that - although I don't want to believe it - the most likely way for a young, very fit and healthy man to get a cancer as bad as this is by using performance enhancing hormones, like steroids, and growth hormones.

    Let's not forget Armstrong was a very strong rider full of power and that he got most of his good results in a time when doping, especially EPO and hormones, were sort of freely used.

    This makes it ever stranger that he came back so extremely well prepared for the mountains and time-trials. Of course, his muscle structure and body changed after his cancer and chemotherapy, but I wonder if this could explain it all.

    Are there any suggestions LA has used dope to win his seven tours? I think there might be. For example all the stories about 1999, the positive urine tests and the stories by that Emma woman, who said Armstrong told her he would raise his hematocrite.

    Another strong example is what happened in last years tour de france, in the Germany stage, I believe won by Pieter Weening. Armstrongs team was nowhere to be found on the day, and Armstrong could hardly keep up with the others on a 2nd category climb. I don't think he expected an attack that day...

    So do the others still dope? I do think the better teams do, like DSC, CSC and Quick-Step, possibly. Also some of the others, like W├╝rth (obviously. But many of the other teams are clean I think.
     
  10. garnetstar

    garnetstar New Member

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  11. Aranesp

    Aranesp New Member

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    Straigt reply to topic: It is possible to be a pro without doping. Whether it is possible to win any races or not, is hard to assess. Sports medicine publications aren't exactly flooded with studies on endurance doping, which is reasonable as doping is prohibited. Which means you can't answer the win question with a simple YES/NO.

    I took some lectures with a doctor who worked in the field of sports medicine, and he didn't personally believe that doping would provide more than a couple of percent improvement.

    It is all really just a matter of how the gaussian distribution of talent looks like, what the standard deviation is, and how much you can gain by doping. Now, we know from ergometric testing that people who train just as much, have performance deviations attributable to talent in the range of +/- 20%. Meaning that 2% won't get you a long way if you are just an average rider- blame your parents.

    Now, the average talent in the pro peloton is naturally a lot higher than in the general population, meaning that the mean performance to training hours must be a lot higher. The standard deviation will probably also be a lot lower. Even if drugs gave you as little as 2% performance boost, that little increase would mean everything in the pro peloton.

    Now to the winning question. If there was an individual, a talent of the century, who was so gifted that he was 2% better than the second most talented, then he could just win without doping on a photo finish. There won't be many people with that much talent.

    It is clear that for a clean rider to both win and distance the rest of the shooting stars, it would take a huge leap in talent. Consequently, I find it hard to believe that the best riders would be clean. I find it even harder to believe that any second-best rider would be clean, as there are more riders in this category, and the probability is high that any given one of these will dope.

    So the answer is: if you got enough talent, it will take you to a domestique role without doping in one-day events where regeneration supplements are of no importance. If you had sky high talent and sky high natural VO2 max levels, there is a small chance you might win something without juice. Otherwise, I think we just have to realize that cycling is a joint juice/talent competition, and the probability that the best riders are juicing is by far outweighing the contrary.
     
  12. JohnDDD

    JohnDDD New Member

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    Poor Jan Ullrich is probably the only clean rider in the peloton, lol
     
  13. Flyer's.Finale!

    Flyer's.Finale! New Member

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    That's like saying skid marks cause car crashes.
     
  14. bikerboy

    bikerboy New Member

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    What do you have when geneticaly favorable riders train as hard and often as possible and do massive amounts of drugs? Modern sport :)
     
  15. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    My limited understanding of EPO use and effects are that it can be taken prior to an event, whereby natural heamocrit levels are increased (drug stimulates this effect). The elevated heamocrit levels are then sustained for weeks after the traces of EPO are passed out of the body. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    If the above is true, testing at the event would be as useful as steroid testing at the event. It is well known that steroids aid in mucle development before an event and the athlete simply stops ingestion at a safe period before an event to allow the body to remove traces.

    Also, are heamocrit levels regulated/tested in cycling and if so, what is the threshold?. I know that testosterone for example is given a normalized bandwidth, beyond which a rider is deemed to have used artificial means (eg. Landis case). Again my limited understanding was that high heamocrit levels were not regulated, only the presence of EPO, masking agents etc. caused a failed test. This would explain why high-heamocrit-density blood transfusions are used.

    I also heard as hearsay from a semi-pro rider that he thinks Landis inadvertently transfused some testosterone-tainted blood before his epic ride and this is why he is so angry about such a stupid error. Incidently, the probability of such a ride IMO after near-bonking the day before is next to zero without some form of artificial help. The muscles can't restore glycogen that fast IMHO.
     
  16. Pas Souci

    Pas Souci New Member

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    Considering the data you provided Brizza - 526 USA tested - 522 AUS tested. Whats Americas population in relation to ours?

    About 14:1. Now come on, we DON'T have a pro competiton and money is SCARCE for any aspiring pro.

    Sure we produce our bunch of idiots, but we're doing a lot.

    I totally agree with you Brizza.
     
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