UT Scientist responds to EPO Dope

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by bobke, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. bobke

    bobke New Member

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    By Suzanne Halliburton

    AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

    Friday, August 26, 2005

    A University of Texas scientist is coming to the defense of Lance Armstrong amid allegations that the Tour de France champion used a banned substance to help him win in 1999.

    Ed Coyle, director of UT's Human Performance Laboratory, studied the physiology of Armstrong from 1992 to 1999. He said Thursday that Armstrong's record victory streak and the edge he has on other cyclists can be explained by science and not the taking of erythropoietin, or EPO, the blood booster reportedly found in his urine samples from 1999.

    Coyle, a nutritional adviser to the International Olympic Committee and a former editor of the International Journal of Sports Medicine, concluded that the cycling champion showed an 18 percent improvement during the seven years he studied Armstrong by significantly increasing his slow-twitch muscle fibers, losing body mass and taking a modern approach to a sport that embraces obsolete training ideas.

    "Again, before searching for explanations in conspiracy and cheating, you should first look at human nature for signs of ignorance and difficulty with change," Coyle said via e-mail Thursday.

    Earlier this summer, Coyle published his observations of Armstrong in the June edition of "The Journal of Applied Physiology." European reporters have searched out Coyle this week to comment on the report in the Paris newspaper L'Equipe that alleged Armstrong tested positive for EPO six times in 1999. The newspaper reported that a laboratory outside Paris had tested the frozen Tour de France urine samples and that documents link six of the positive tests to Armstrong.

    Armstrong took the offensive after the stories were published, stating that in 1999 "when I gave those samples, there was not EPO in those samples. I guarantee that."

    The samples tested were all B, or backup, specimens. The A tests were discarded after testing in 1999. There is now nothing left to retest.

    "They've put Lance in Pandora's Box," said Bill Stapleton, Armstrong's attorney. "And he can't defend himself."

    Coyle said none of the physiological changes that led to Armstrong's seven victories could be linked to a use of an illegal chemical. EPO is a drug legally prescribed for patients with kidney problems and those undergoing chemotherapy. The substance helps build oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Cyclists and cross-country skiers have illegally used EPO to better endurance, but Coyle estimated that taking the drug gives someone only a 3 percent to 5 percent improvement in performance.

    Cyclists who use EPO inject the drug during training and not during racing, which is why the World Anti Doping Agency has been focusing so much attention on out-of-competition testing.

    Armstrong told the American-Statesman on Thursday that he has donated "close to six figures" of his own salary to the international cycling federation for the specific use of bettering a test for EPO.

    He was the focus of six out -of-competition tests earlier this year, he said. Armstrong estimated that he's been tested at least 300 times in his seven-year winning streak.

    "We have seven years of 'A' and 'B' samples," Armstrong said. "They've all been negative."

    During Coyle's seven-year study, Armstrong dropped 15 pounds and trained hard enough to increase the percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers in his body from 60 percent to 80 percent. Typically, the best endurance athletes are naturally blessed with more slow-twitch fibers, which need less energy to function at a high level for long periods of time. Most cyclists are in the 60 percent range while non-athletes are between 40 and 50 percent.

    "I'm certain these improvements have nothing to do with blood or EPO, but are due simply to seven years of training and a modest diet in the spring months before the Tour de France," Coyle said.

    Coyle also said Armstrong's two main rivals — Germany's Jan Ullrich and Italy's Ivan Basso — do not come into the Tour with the same conditioning as Armstrong. Ullrich, the 1997 champion, usually comes into the Tour overweight and is at his best in the race's final week. Basso, who finished second to Armstrong this July, rode the three-week Giro d'Italia in May, which may have sapped his strength.

    "What I'm saying is that Armstrong's European competitors are beating themselves by entering the race tired and unprepared to climb," Coyle said.

    [email protected]
     
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  2. Ullefan

    Ullefan New Member

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    Let his word comfort you, if you choose to. I choose to believe there were six poisitves from Lance that were found to have epo. It's as simple as that, unfortunately. Don't worry texan scientist, we are not trying to discredit your study, it may be right, but that doesn't change that there were six positive samples.
     
  3. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    Armstrong told the American-Statesman on Thursday that he has donated "close to six figures" of his own salary to the international cycling federation for the specific use of bettering a test for EPO.

    But he said during the CNN interview the test was unreliable and was in doubt ? So even when he donates ‘six figures’ to the test its still unreliable ?; Just to understand all of this for one minute. Some on this forum have criticised and raised concern to the link between the lab, the newspaper (L’Equipe) and the WADA.

    However we have no concern that an athlete has paid ‘six figures’ to the very people who undertake the testing for the very substance he tested positive for ? I’ll let you draw your own conclusion. Regardless of the fact if he is innocent or guilty what is a cyclist doing providing money for the very constituent that governs the drug testing for all cyclists ? Can you actually understand the implications of this ? It is like me saying that because I donate money to the drug testing unit at NYPD and when I am detected of using crack I claim I’m innocent despite testing positive and make reference that the drug testing facilty is non-standard ? It would never hold in a caught of law and you cannot have it both ways. (By providing funds you are sayng that you support its authenticity and practices) This is abominable and there are several precedents in law simply does not tolerate this. It is actually a criminal offence. You cannot pay the very body that subpoena the persons drug control. Directly or in directly. I repeat no athlete has the right directly or indirectly to provide money or to influence directly or indirectly the testing methodology, the technology or the process of drug testing that the person is subscribed to by there association to the UCI.

    By this fact the entire testing process which Armstrong has brought into question when positive and his ‘intention’ by donating money to ‘better’ the test is not actually intended when himself is tested ‘positive’. Do you see the issues a court would have with this argument ? I think you see the problems that I have with, you can see the problems that an everyday man in the street would have with it, you can see the problem that other cyclists would have with it. Just for the fact that you have more wealth than other cyclists does not mean that you are above them and are able to pay the authorities that govern them a fee for better testing. Why ? You are a non-elected member of the cycling peleton in the community sence, The CPA is the elected body of representatives for professional cyclists. Did they have an opportunity agree that this payment could made ? Were they aware that he was above thes law when testied positive and could question the test and its process for testing ?

    The newspaper and the French lab has now come into question over its testing and reporting but its Armstrong own money which has assisted this testing. How can he say the test is poor when it his own money which has funded the testing ? Could the question arise that he paid them so he would not come into question as he funded their very existence ?

    Coyle also said Armstrong's two main rivals — Germany's Jan Ullrich and Italy's Ivan Basso — do not come into the Tour with the same conditioning as Armstrong. Ullrich, the 1997 champion, usually comes into the Tour overweight and is at his best in the race's final week. Basso, who finished second to Armstrong this July, rode the three-week Giro d'Italia in May, which may have sapped his strength.


    "What I'm saying is that Armstrong's European competitors are beating themselves by entering the race tired and unprepared to climb," Coyle said.

    - Hearsay. Nothing to do with doping in 1999 Tour de France. Neither athlete was in the race.
     
  4. MJtje

    MJtje New Member

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    Well believers in LA say ''see how come he would dope if he pays for a blood machine'' and cynics like myself think it's a HUGE conflict of interest.......something that Verbruggen never should have excepted.....it's all about the public image of LA and the UCI........



     
  5. azdroptop

    azdroptop New Member

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    I guess we might be able to clear all of this up if they could test other LA
    B-samples from around the same time in 99 couldn't we? I don't know what other races LA competed in that year, but it's a thought...

    I'm a LA fan, as an American it's hard not to be. However, to see those on the sight that are frothing at the mouth to convict LA and those doing to same to pardon him is rather entertaining. Both sides seem to think they are being so fair and just looking at the evidence. LOL Good for a laugh all around. The evidence is fishy at the very least, but definately raises a serious eyebrow as to LA's drug free History. I will continue to believe in his innocense for now though epo or not he still dominated the TDF.
     
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