Really bad news

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Davide Tosi, Jan 23, 2003.

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  1. Mike Owens

    Mike Owens Guest

    Ryan Cousineau wrote: ...snip..

    > Well, let's put it this way: Had he died in his 60s or beyond of heart failure, nobody would have
    > said boo. Being a cyclist who dies in your 30s of heart failure is not conclusive evidence of
    > anything except that heart failure kills people, but it is a pointer that the possible
    > contribution of EPO use to premature death should be investigated. I knew it (and said so), the
    > coroner knew it (because he specifically addressed the issue),

    Only because the media asked or the coroner knew the media would ask.

    > and you knew it, though you properly showed a little more respect for the dead. I tried to be as
    > circumspect as possible in my question, but it's better to ask the question and have it answered
    > than to just pretend EPO abuse doesn't exist, and that it doesn't occasionally kill cyclists (in
    > their 30s, by heart failure).
    >

    I know of no physiological basis nor medical evidence that EPO use causes heart failure. EPO use has
    been associated with severe (life threatening) anemias in some individuals using the european
    product. This appears to be a manufacturing difference and not a clear, normal (i.e. predicted)
    adverse effect of EPO. The deaths associated with EPO appear to be related to slow resting heart
    rates in fit athletes coupled with very viscous blood (a result of the highly increased hematocrit).
    This has been suggested to lead to ischemic events in the brain and elswhere (coronary arteries?).
    Think of it as a stroke, not heart failure, and only when the hematocrit is very high (this hs never
    been an issue with medical use of EPO to get hematocrits up into the low to mid-30s).

    This leads to another pet peeve of mine. Someone started the ball rolling by writing that: because
    Zanette collapsed at the dentists office and because the writer heard that some people have to worry
    about some heart thing when they go to the dentist, there could be a relationship. The writer was
    neither a dentist nor a physician because ALL dentists and physicians know that endocarditis, a
    serious complication of dental procedures in vulnerable individuals, is an infection that develops
    and damages over time. My point is that while everyone likes to speculate, please speculate based
    upon some educated hypothesis. It saves time and allows the truth/facts (if they can ever be known)
    to come out earlier rather than later. Thanks. -Mike

    >
    > In this case, the coroner says no, and more important, I think we can rule out an impossible three
    > generations of EPO abuse in favour of three generations of unlucky genes. The family history is a
    > preponderance of evidence against this death being drug-related.
    >
    > I apologize to anyone who thinks I was out of line, and my heartfelt prayers go out to Zanette and
    > his family.
    >
    > --
    > Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     


  2. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    Mike Owens <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Ryan Cousineau wrote: ...snip..
    >
    > > Well, let's put it this way: Had he died in his 60s or beyond of heart failure, nobody would
    > > have said boo. Being a cyclist who dies in your 30s of heart failure is not conclusive evidence
    > > of anything except that heart failure kills people, but it is a pointer that the possible
    > > contribution of EPO use to premature death should be investigated. I knew it (and said so), the
    > > coroner knew it (because he specifically addressed the issue),
    >
    > Only because the media asked or the coroner knew the media would ask.
    >
    > > and you knew it, though you properly showed a little more respect for the dead. I tried to be as
    > > circumspect as possible in my question, but it's better to ask the question and have it answered
    > > than to just pretend EPO abuse doesn't exist, and that it doesn't occasionally kill cyclists (in
    > > their 30s, by heart failure).
    > >
    >
    > I know of no physiological basis nor medical evidence that EPO use causes heart failure.

    There are two problems. One is that EPO can cause ioron deficiency while causing all of the symptoms
    of iron poisoning. As the body is forced to manufacture red blood cells faster than it should, these
    cells are generally improperly formed and tend to die much faster than normal red blood cells. This
    means that the liver is trying to rid the body of the iron that was in the hemoglobin. At the same
    time the body's iron can be depleted by the massive growth in red blood cells.

    To counter this Euro-pros have been using massive doses of iron and tests of the European peloton
    revealed that most of them had very high blood iron.

    One of the symptoms for very high iron or very low iron is heart disease. Since the onset is
    relatively slow, if is possible we'll see more of this amoung athletes who abused EPO in the fairly
    near future.

    Interestingly enough in light of all of the bone breakage lately is that another symptom of low iron
    is brittle bones. I can't find any strict citations but isn't another symptom of chronic renal
    failure (say, due to iron overload) brittle bones as well?
     
  3. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    I didn't mean to say that he had. But Zanette's record of slowly improving year by year and
    winning on a lucky day when he was feeling good makes it unlikely that he was using performance
    enhancing drugs. Therefore I merely suggested that if it WAS drugs I'd have expected it to be
    recreational drugs.

    A man on a domestiques pay with a wife and children probably wasn't able to afford a drug habit and
    I didn't think that he had.

    "Davide Tosi" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Tom Kunich) wrote:
    >
    > >I'm sort of surprised at the comments here. Young athletes generally have a limited social life
    > >and a lot more disposable income than others in their age group. This means that partying takes
    > >on the same frenetic pace as their training and the use of recreational drugs isn't unusual in
    > >this sort of group.
    > >
    > >Cocaine is well known to cause the sorts of heart damage implied by Zanette's demise.
    >
    > Zanette wasn't that young and he was also married with two little daughters. This kind of familiar
    > situation doesn't agree with a "Ullrich style" life. Also he wasn't known to be that kind of guy,
    > he came from the Friuli province, extreme North East, where people work a lot and make no parties.
    > In case of similar death by a southern racer like figueras, sgambelluri, commesso, that would be a
    > sound hypothesis, but in this case I frankly reject it as not plausible.
     
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