Heras and Faith in the testers



T

Tom Kunich

Guest
I'll make a comment on this: Jon seems to be under the mistaken opinion
that DETECTING mixed types of red blood cells is infallible. This
couldn't be further from the truth since there are several reasons that
a test could fail to find different types of blood or identify the same
type as being different.

Also, concerning Pantani - measuring hematocrit is a fairly straight
forward process. You can get reasonably accurate readings with a
microscope and a good eye, but you can use either a centrifuge and
measure or there is presently a portable instrument that will
automatically do what a lab technician used to do which is to actually
could the blood cells in a given volume.

Both the EPO and the homologous transfusion tests require a great deal
of technical knowledge and are complex testing sequences in which very
minor mistakes can effect the results.

So while no one with technical training would confuse the hematocrit
results it is quite easy to do so with the EPO and blood doping tests.

I tend to give weight to the testing bodies but the UCI and WADA have
been doing a number of things that bring their ethics into question -
they have been leaking all sorts of stuff to the media in a rather
blatant attempt to sway public opinion against those wishing to defend
themselves and they have been releasing conifidential information to
the press before those accused have any chance to defend themselves or
in some cases to even find out before it hits the news. This smacks
rather loudly of someone who has only weak positions and who wants to
use the forum of public opinion to stiffle objections from the accused.
 
J

Jonathan v.d. Sluis

Guest
"Robert Chung" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Jonathan v.d. Sluis wrote:
>> Where
>> did I say that it's unnecessary that all tests, whether they were
>> developed early or late, should be evaluated for error rate?

>
> here:
> http://groups.google.com/group/rec.bicycles.racing/msg/858efa82060fb6db
>
> And here:
> http://groups.google.com/group/rec.bicycles.racing/msg/b1c0aeadec54a708


Those are about the homologous blood tests only, you're repeating the same
false argument.

>
> And here:
> http://groups.google.com/group/rec.bicycles.racing/msg/b0fe37ca2c64aeee
>


That one doesn't say it's unnecessary that all tests, whether they were
developed early or late, should be evaluated for error rate. You are
repeating the same false argument. I conclude that you are unable to find
any reference where I stated that it's unnecessary that all tests, whether
they were developed early or late, should be evaluated for error rate. Why
do you believe that these references would contain an answer when anyone can
see that they don't?
 
P

Patricio Carlos

Guest
FACS technology is used for many other types of tests - not just for
feto-maternal haemorrhage - although that is the most similar to the
homologous transfusion test.

If someone worked out some useful information was to be gained by
centrifuging blood to calculate the volume of white blood cells - let's
call it a leucocrit - such a test would require minimal validation and
one paper plus a whole lot of experience would be sufficient.
 
T

Tom Kunich

Guest
"Patricio Carlos" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> FACS technology is used for many other types of tests - not just for
> feto-maternal haemorrhage - although that is the most similar to the
> homologous transfusion test.
>
> If someone worked out some useful information was to be gained by
> centrifuging blood to calculate the volume of white blood cells - let's
> call it a leucocrit - such a test would require minimal validation and
> one paper plus a whole lot of experience would be sufficient.


Would you be willing to bet someone else's career on that sort of half-assed
test adoption?
 
P

Patricio Carlos

Guest
Yes - especially with all the other circumstantial evidence that looks
extremely bad on Tyler's part.

But I know it is hard to accept that your hero cheated. So feel free to
disbelieve.
 
T

Tom Kunich

Guest
"Patricio Carlos" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Yes - especially with all the other circumstantial evidence that looks
> extremely bad on Tyler's part.
>
> But I know it is hard to accept that your hero cheated. So feel free to
> disbelieve.


Where did you find any circumstantial evidence? Exactly what have you any
real knowledge of?

It would appear that you are ready, willing and quite able to punish someone
else for something you suspect them capable of.
 
P

Patricio Carlos

Guest
The majority of that evidence is in the recent cyclingnews.com two part
"Wire in the Blood" articles. Surely the heamatocrit of 49.7% makes you
a little suspicious? Especially with the low retic counts.
On top of that, there are:
(1) the accusations from Prentice Steffen
(2) the fact that two homologous transfusion tests since the Vuelta
were negative making the chimera theory much weaker
(3) the fact that the only other positive in all sports combined is his
suddenly improved team mate
(4) this all happened in a team that was suddenly getting much, much
better results

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck ...
 
T

Tom Kunich

Guest
I have a natural hematocrit of 49%. If I'm in the least dehydrated I
test over 50%. I've never lived above sea level for any period of time
except when I was in the Air Force and stationed at Denver for a year's
schooling.

I would expect that those with naturally high hematocrits would
gravitate to the higher reaches of athletics. And most of the top
riders try to live at altitude. This suggests that MOST of them would
be able to test over 50% a great deal of the time for completely normal
reasons. And if that's the case, wouldn't you think that team doctors
would continually test them and transfuse water to keep them below the
50% level?

1) "The now former TIAA-CREF team physician Prentice Steffen has
retracted the comments he made recently in L'Equipe concerning Lance
Armstrong and other athletes, and doping."

2) 3) 4) We are discussing Heras are we not?

The fact is that you have suspicions. That's all well and find to have
but unless it is backed up by infallible science suspicions and $4 will
get you a late' at Starbucks in San Francisco.
 
P

Patricio Carlos

Guest
The frequent references to Tyler and homologous transfusion testing
must have confused me.

Very few people have a hct of ~50%. Even amongst elite athletes.
Serious training (eg >5 hours a day on the bike) will generally lead to
a drop in your hct. Tyler's has previously been in the high 30's - low
40's as you'd expect. Suddenly it's 49.7% with low retics. What does 2
plus 2 equal?
 
G

gds

Guest
Patricio Carlos wrote:
>
> Very few people have a hct of ~50%. Even amongst elite athletes.
> Serious training (eg >5 hours a day on the bike) will generally lead to
> a drop in your hct. Tyler's has previously been in the high 30's - low
> 40's as you'd expect. Suddenly it's 49.7% with low retics. What does 2
> plus 2 equal?


Just FYI. My hct is ~ 49 and has tested at that level each year for
years. And I am not a elite athlete. I am 60 yo and now purely a
recreational rider. In a discussion with my internist he assured me
that he sees other hct's at this level. He also assures me that if I
were to measured afer a long hard ride that the mild dehydration would
surely drive it above 50.
This says nothing about Heras or anyone else, but it sure mystifies me
why 50 was picked.
 
P

Patricio Carlos

Guest
Regardless of your & Tom's high natural hct, the normal range is such
that very few people are like you. Having a high natural hct doesn't
make you an elite athlete and not having a high hct doesn't preclude
you from becoming one.

50 would have been picked because it is unusual for anyone (including
elite endurance athletes even with altitude training) to have that
without "assistance". It is not to say it is impossible - as you and
Cunego show - just that is is rare.
 
W

William Asher

Guest
Patricio Carlos wrote:

> Regardless of your & Tom's high natural hct, the normal range is such
> that very few people are like you. Having a high natural hct doesn't
> make you an elite athlete and not having a high hct doesn't preclude
> you from becoming one.
>
> 50 would have been picked because it is unusual for anyone (including
> elite endurance athletes even with altitude training) to have that
> without "assistance". It is not to say it is impossible - as you and
> Cunego show - just that is is rare.
>
>


What would be interesting is for the level to be increased to say 55 and
see if everyone in the peleton starts testing in at 53 rather than 49.

I'm not sure what it would prove, but it would sure stimulate some debate
here. Not that help is required in that department.

--
Bill Asher
 
T

Tom Kunich

Guest
"Patricio Carlos" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> The frequent references to Tyler and homologous transfusion testing
> must have confused me.
>
> Very few people have a hct of ~50%. Even amongst elite athletes.
> Serious training (eg >5 hours a day on the bike) will generally lead to
> a drop in your hct.


This is what I'm questioning Carlos. Certainly athletes under stress of
racing and heavy training have a drop in hematocrit but it usually seems to
be connected to an increase in total blood volume. But unstressed I wouldn't
be in the least surprised to see a lot more than half of them with natural
hematocrits in the region of 50%.

> Tyler's has previously been in the high 30's - low
> 40's as you'd expect. Suddenly it's 49.7% with low retics. What does 2
> plus 2 equal?


Again - where do you get those numbers? You're getting them from printed
stories from people who are as likely to write rumors as fact.
 
T

Tom Kunich

Guest
"Patricio Carlos" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Regardless of your & Tom's high natural hct, the normal range is such
> that very few people are like you. Having a high natural hct doesn't
> make you an elite athlete and not having a high hct doesn't preclude
> you from becoming one.
>
> 50 would have been picked because it is unusual for anyone (including
> elite endurance athletes even with altitude training) to have that
> without "assistance". It is not to say it is impossible - as you and
> Cunego show - just that is is rare.


Acording to Williams Hematology the standard blood hematocrit is 46% with
the NORMAL variances between 42 and 50. Much smaller portions of the
population can have natural hematocrits above or below these expected
limits.

And there are a number of conditions which can cause errors in automated
hematocrit measuring that can cause errors up to 6% or more.

As I noted before, high level endurance training causes the total blood
volume to elevate faster than the erythroytes can be manufactured in the
body. However, this higher blood volume has a total RBC count higher than
the higher measured hematocrit in non-athletes and can deliver more oxygen
and scavenge more waste products from the body (which may be more
important).

Because the largest percentage of liquid loss in dehydration is from the
blood when both hematocrit and total blood volume are high measuring over
the 50% limit would be something that perhaps half or more of the peleton
would do were blood samples taken AFTER a race instead of before.

It is my ASSUMPTION that the UCI has made it so difficult for athletes to
get permission to have hematocrits elevated above 50% that in order to stay
within the rules it is simply easier for team doctors to infuse liquids to
obtain 'legal' hematocrit levels. After all, infusing saline is so common
that there were more than a dozen in the medical examination area of the USA
Junior Road Racing championships race in Texas a number of years back after
a relatively trying test on a hot day that was absolutely NOTHING like a
hard day in the Alps. So I believe that although it isn't talked about much,
saline infusion is common almost to the point of being SOP.

If so you might as well kill two birds with one stone and correct the
hematocrit at the same time.
 
Tom Kunich wrote:

> 1) "The now former TIAA-CREF team physician Prentice Steffen has
> retracted the comments he made recently in L'Equipe concerning Lance
> Armstrong and other athletes, and doping."


not exactly. he never retracted his claim that hamilton asked him for
doping products (a comment he made years ago). he only retracted the
comment he made this year which was along the lines "not only bad guys
like armstrong dope, but even nice guys like hamilton do too".
 
K

Kyle Legate

Guest
gds wrote:
> Patricio Carlos wrote:
>
>>Very few people have a hct of ~50%. Even amongst elite athletes.
>>Serious training (eg >5 hours a day on the bike) will generally lead to
>>a drop in your hct. Tyler's has previously been in the high 30's - low
>>40's as you'd expect. Suddenly it's 49.7% with low retics. What does 2
>>plus 2 equal?

>
>
> Just FYI. My hct is ~ 49 and has tested at that level each year for
> years. And I am not a elite athlete. I am 60 yo and now purely a
> recreational rider.
>


Which means that your anecdote about your hematocrit is meaningless. If
you trained >5 hours a day your hematocrit would not be 49.
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article
<[email protected]>,
"Tom Kunich" <[email protected]> wrote:

> "Patricio Carlos" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> > Regardless of your & Tom's high natural hct, the normal range is such
> > that very few people are like you. Having a high natural hct doesn't
> > make you an elite athlete and not having a high hct doesn't preclude
> > you from becoming one.
> >
> > 50 would have been picked because it is unusual for anyone (including
> > elite endurance athletes even with altitude training) to have that
> > without "assistance". It is not to say it is impossible - as you and
> > Cunego show - just that is is rare.

>
> Acording to Williams Hematology the standard blood hematocrit is 46% with
> the NORMAL variances between 42 and 50. Much smaller portions of the
> population can have natural hematocrits above or below these expected
> limits.
>
> And there are a number of conditions which can cause errors in automated
> hematocrit measuring that can cause errors up to 6% or more.


Six percent of what?

[...]

--
Michael Press
 
M

Mad Dog

Guest
William Asher says...

>What would be interesting is for the level to be increased to say 55 and
>see if everyone in the peleton starts testing in at 53 rather than 49.


It would be even more fun to see it lowered to 48...

(I'm just trying to tow the company line here)

>I'm not sure what it would prove, but it would sure stimulate some debate
>here. Not that help is required in that department.


Surely you don't define this drivel as debate?
 
T

Tom Kunich

Guest
Kyle Legate wrote:
>
> Which means that your anecdote about your hematocrit is meaningless. If
> you trained >5 hours a day your hematocrit would not be 49.


On exactly what grounds do you make claims like that?

There are MANY professional bicycle racers who have medical releases to
ride with up to 54%.

I suggest that you ought to remain silent on things you apparently
don't understand.