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Tour winner disgraced?
July 27, 2006 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Landis tests positive for doping.
posted by beagle (141 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
More here.
posted by beagle at 7:37 AM on July 27, 2006


Is this bad?
posted by mischief at 7:37 AM on July 27, 2006


:(
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:39 AM on July 27, 2006


well, there is a second test still to come.
posted by mathowie at 7:43 AM on July 27, 2006


Nice
posted by dead_ at 7:45 AM on July 27, 2006


Couldn't he just have a lot of testosterone?
posted by drezdn at 7:46 AM on July 27, 2006


Is it really that hard to ride a bike?
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 7:47 AM on July 27, 2006


*raises arms*
Nooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!
*camera pulls back skyward*
posted by Dantien at 7:49 AM on July 27, 2006


Strasbourg,

I've posted this before but here is how hard it is to ride a bike in the Tour de France:
"The Tour de France’s status as the world’s most physiologically demanding event is largely unquestioned. The riders cover 2,272 miles (3656 km) at an average speed of 25 miles per hour (40 km/h), roughly the equivalent of running a marathon almost every day for almost three weeks. In the Pyrenees and the Alps, they climb a vertical distance equal to three Mount Everests. They take in up to 10,000 calories per day, the equivalent of 17 Big Macs, elevating their metabolic rates to a level that, according to a Dutch study, is exceeded by only four species on earth."
posted by Dantien at 7:50 AM on July 27, 2006 [12 favorites]


Well shit.
posted by Skorgu at 7:53 AM on July 27, 2006


This is very sad.

I hope it's not true.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:54 AM on July 27, 2006


This two-sentence news article doesn't really say that much. The following text, from the NY Times profile of Landis a couple weeks back, should be kept in mind:

On my second day with Landis, we traveled with Kay to Chao’s San Diego office for Landis’s pretour cortisone shot in his hip. (Cortisone, a non-performance-enhancing hormone with a variety of anti-inflammatory and other beneficial effects, is a banned substance. Landis’s condition, however, which his doctors have selectively described as “bursitis,” has allowed his team to obtain a therapeutic use exemption from the Union Cycliste Internationale, cycling’s governing body.)
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:55 AM on July 27, 2006


I say he just has MASSIVE BALLS.
posted by mrbill at 7:57 AM on July 27, 2006


Oh, for heaven's sake--who cares?????
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:59 AM on July 27, 2006


Canseco had a point.
posted by deadfather at 8:00 AM on July 27, 2006


Damn French officials, just can't let another American win huh?

Seriously, though, Skorgu said it best. Here's hoping for a negative B sample.
posted by karmaville at 8:00 AM on July 27, 2006


I care deeply, Bob.

We still have to wait for the B sample, but it doesn't look good. Miraculous recovery? Testosterone is known to aid in recovery. It seems inconceivable for him to think he wouldn't get tested/caught (stage winners always get tested). They might have just miscalculated the dose. Color me disappointed. Can you say 'shunning?'
posted by fixedgear at 8:00 AM on July 27, 2006


FUD. I remember the same rumors flying after Lance started winning tours. The UCI has waged a long (~10 yr) political campaign against winners of the tour.
posted by Jeff_Larson at 8:00 AM on July 27, 2006


This is terrible, I hope it is not true.
posted by Falconetti at 8:01 AM on July 27, 2006


"...tested positive for the male sex hormone testosterone." Imagine that, a male testing positive for testosterone.

Maybe the elevated levels were from that magic beer that he and his coach shared after stage 16?

On a less snarky level, this isn't good. He had an incredible comeback on stage 17 after being cracked on stage 16, rode with a rotting hip, and now this. The BBC article was interesting, as it started that Landis had withdrawn from two European races this week. My impression was that he was pretty much done riding for now, as he was getting hip replacement surgery in a few weeks.
posted by rand at 8:02 AM on July 27, 2006


I am appalled by these allegations. There is a long history of substance use by film directors. Why this sudden attention on the very talented Landis?
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:03 AM on July 27, 2006


They might have just miscalculated the dose.

Don't worry, they'll get it right next time. Remember when baseball mitts were barely bigger than your hand? Sport evolves!
posted by deadfather at 8:03 AM on July 27, 2006


I wonder if Reitman's next.
posted by grubi at 8:06 AM on July 27, 2006


NotMyselfRightNow,

Cortisone isn't going to account for the increased testosterone:epitestosterone ratio, which is what they test for. It's a corticosteroid, which is quite different from an anabolic steroid which would cause an increase in testosterone levels.

Anabolic steroids aren't the stuff of choice for endurance athletes. HGH (human growth hormone) and straight-up testosterone are the more likely choices, especially for a guy who needs to make up 9 minutes in one stage.

In any case, yeah, bad for cycling. I'm a competitive distance runner and over the years have come to the jaded conclusion that these tests are more political in nature...ie they don't positive-test their high-profile stars (Armstrong, for example) as long as they're playing the game the federations want them to play. It's no wonder that the shit hit the proverbial fan, doping-wise, the year after Armstrong retired. Armstrong was the best thing to happen to cycling, well, ever.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:10 AM on July 27, 2006


Jose Canseco was right!!!!!!!!
posted by xmutex at 8:16 AM on July 27, 2006


oh crap deadfather beat me to it
posted by xmutex at 8:17 AM on July 27, 2006


There were rumours about this when he failed to show for two scheduled events after the Tour. I hope it isn't true.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:17 AM on July 27, 2006


What I don't get is WHY?? I understand the desire/need to do well, make up for a bad stage. But -- assuming this is all true -- did he really think he'd get away with it? (I have the same question about people getting caught with steroids in other sports, such as baseball and track & field. Do they just get careless? What is it?)
posted by inigo2 at 8:21 AM on July 27, 2006


It's NOT DOPING! Nothing has been proven yet - the headline is wrong. One test says he had inceased levels, that does not equal definate doping.

-A
posted by mogabog at 8:23 AM on July 27, 2006


Has there been any tour rider, or athlete for that matter, that has ever tested positive for a performance enhancing drug or blood doping and said "my bad, you caught me"? Maybe if his "B" sample tests positive, Landis will be one of those people who'll do a mea culpa.
posted by jaimev at 8:24 AM on July 27, 2006


That's a rather strange turn of events. Riders who test positive usually do so for substances that increase the amount of oxygen in the blood (like EPO), not muscle-building hormones like testosterone.
posted by clevershark at 8:29 AM on July 27, 2006


Damn, his own team admitted it was him that tested positive? Wow, they really don't support him at all, not during the race and not after either.

I hope this is just sour grapes from the French again and Landis can publicly tell them to suck his balls.

But its not looking good.
posted by fenriq at 8:29 AM on July 27, 2006


Maybe if his "B" sample tests positive, Landis will be one of those people who'll do a mea culpa.

If this guy has endorsement deals and the like, he won't be saying anything that hasn't cleared a brazilian lawyers first. "Yeah, I did it," is unlikely to make the cut.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:33 AM on July 27, 2006


That's a rather strange turn of events. Riders who test positive usually do so for substances that increase the amount of oxygen in the blood (like EPO), not muscle-building hormones like testosterone.

I was wondering the same thing. From what I can find on the web, there don't seem any short-term benefits from testosterone. Does anybody know otherwise ?
posted by anonetal at 8:33 AM on July 27, 2006


This is ridiculous. There's no B sample confirmation. There's been no opportunity to scrutinize the data, do counter analysis, or make any kind of appeal.

If you read the Statement from Phonak, it basically says that nobody seems to know what's happening and it would be unethical to race until this is sorted out. Basically explaining why Landis pulled out of some of the crits he was scheduled for.

Let's not make more of this than there is right now.
posted by dseaton at 8:35 AM on July 27, 2006


dseaton nearly answered what I was going to ask before I asked it, but what are the criteria that a governing body uses to separate normal human variances in hormone levels (esp in hugely demanding sports like the Tour) from definite doping?
posted by Skorgu at 8:39 AM on July 27, 2006


dseaton nearly answered what I was going to ask before I asked it, but what are the criteria that a governing body uses to separate normal human variances in hormone levels (esp in hugely demanding sports like the Tour) from definite doping?

First they determine your nationality. If you test positive for being an American, they increase the level of scrutiny.
posted by Falconetti at 8:48 AM on July 27, 2006


leftcoastbob - what is wrong with you? If you don't care, go away!
posted by ORthey at 8:55 AM on July 27, 2006


First they determine your nationality. If you test positive for being an American, they increase the level of scrutiny.

Right, like all those riders thrown off before the tour even started, were they all American? Get a grip, this has nothing to do with nationality-- that is reserved for the Press.
posted by cell divide at 8:55 AM on July 27, 2006


See you next Wednesday!
posted by muckster at 8:55 AM on July 27, 2006


I guess he forgot that week to use the same masking agents as everyone else.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:56 AM on July 27, 2006


So is MeFi in a competition with Fark for knee-jerk French bashing now?
posted by clevershark at 8:57 AM on July 27, 2006


With all the (so-far) baseless French accusations against Armstrong, can you blame people for blaming the French for this witchhunt? You cry wolf long enough and people will stop believing you.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:00 AM on July 27, 2006


I guess he forgot that week to use the same masking agents as everyone else.

Or maybe he was going to rely on his beer defense....

"In cases where doping with testosterone is suspected, the possibility should be considered that at least part of an observed increased testosterone/epitestosterone ratio in urine is ascribable to previous ingestion of ethanol."
:-)
posted by jaimev at 9:04 AM on July 27, 2006


Seriousely I am no US fan but this Landis was so good to watch it will be a great shame if the second test positive too :(
posted by zouhair at 9:05 AM on July 27, 2006


Did any of you actually fucking bother to check whether the team making the allegations (Phonak) is actually French or not?

Because it's not. It's Swiss. FYI that's a different country from France.

So you can keep whining about how the evil Frenchies are trying to victimize the poor defenceless American all you want. You're just making yourselves look just a bit dumber every time.
posted by clevershark at 9:08 AM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


inigo2 writes "did he really think he'd get away with it? (I have the same question about people getting caught with steroids in other sports, such as baseball and track & field. Do they just get careless? What is it?)"

Well all the guys you don't hear about (and some you do say the home run hitter guy) are getting away with it.
posted by Mitheral at 9:08 AM on July 27, 2006


Dick Pound is having an epynonymous wank at this very instant.
posted by furtive at 9:08 AM on July 27, 2006


According to the NYT article, Landis isn't allowed to race pending the results of the B test -- something about a "Pro Tour Ethical Code." So the no-shows aren't an admission of guilt, they're a strict adherence to the rules (a very Mennonite thing to do). Communication could be better, tho.

Also -- since most performance-enhancing steroids are synthetic, they actually decrease your natural testosterone production. The only one I know of that increases natural testosterone in the body is old-skool Androstenedione -- a.k.a. Mark McGwire's "andro."
posted by turducken at 9:10 AM on July 27, 2006


If this comes across as incredibly stupid, I apologize. I don't follow sports, so I don't know anything about the debate surrounding performance enhancing drugs. But, why is it against the rules for athletes to use them? It can't be that they would give an unfair advantage, because if they were legal, each athelete would presumably have access to the same drugs. I can understand if it has to do with health concerns, but it seems weak to me because professional atheletes seem to be at risk for health problems anyway because of the strain on their bodies. These guys/girls are freaks of nature anyway (see here), wouldn't it be more entertaining if they were even more so?
posted by greasy_skillet at 9:12 AM on July 27, 2006


clevershark writes "So you can keep whining about how the evil Frenchies are trying to victimize the poor defenceless American all you want. "

To paraphrase Jon Stewart: Because of the unfair additional scrutiny he experienced because of his nationality, my country's poster boy was accused with doing drugs ... that he tested positive for!
posted by Mitheral at 9:14 AM on July 27, 2006


Clevershark:

It wasn't Phonak that made the allegations, they just admitted it was Landis. It's the UCI that tested/told his team about the results. Now, the UCI's headquarters are in Switzerland and it's an international agency, so the french bashing still doesn't make a lot of since (especially since the president of the UCI is Irish). Just thought I'd clear that up.
posted by nadawi at 9:15 AM on July 27, 2006


Actually, testosterone has many uses, not just for mass buildup, but for increased production of adrenaline as well. Higher levels of testosterone have been shown to elevate the emotions which in turn contributes to stress driven levels of adrenaline. It doesn't take too much of an increase either. Higher levels of testosterone also aid in burning fat reserves, though I can't see how that would help in this case.

Either way, we wait for the B sample to be tested and go from there.

I neither care nor disprove of the potential result. It is what it is.

PS... I must concur with clevershark about the French bashing. Is it really necessary?
posted by pezdacanuck at 9:18 AM on July 27, 2006


greasy_skillet writes "I can understand if it has to do with health concerns, but it seems weak to me because professional atheletes seem to be at risk for health problems anyway because of the strain on their bodies. These guys/girls are freaks of nature anyway (see here), wouldn't it be more entertaining if they were even more so?"

I think it's more about the health concerns of the guys who don't make even the semi pro leagues. They want to keep the stigma of drug use = cheating to discourage teenagers from using this stuff.

It's not just in human athletics where this is considered cheating either. Top caliber race horses for example are probably tested more often than humans.
posted by Mitheral at 9:19 AM on July 27, 2006


greasy_skillet: to answer your question, allowing elite athletes to chemically enhance themselves would probably lead to a lot of deaths, both during and after competition. Many of the substances athletes have used over the past thirty years or so have notoriously serious health consequences over the long term, but for those in pursuit of first-place glory, those consequences aren't necessarily a disincentive.

If performance enhancers were legal, not only would athletes themselves be choosing to sacrifice their health in order to gain an advantage, but they'd probably often be pressured by teams, coaches and trainers to do so, despite their own reservations about it.

Aside from the health issues, of course, taking drugs to gain an advantage in stamina or strength that isn't intrinsic seems to me, anyway, to be a gross contravention of a central tenet of sport in general: that those with the best genetic endowment who work the hardest tend to win out in the end.
posted by killdevil at 9:24 AM on July 27, 2006


Here's one small thing to keep in mind as this goes on : due to the loss of his testicle, Lance Armstrong was allowed to take testosterone supplements during his post-cancer racing career.

This has no bearing on Landis, of course, but it's interesting in light of the rest.
posted by suckerpunch at 9:25 AM on July 27, 2006


I follow pro cycling pretty closely but I have never understood why the results of the A test are released in the absence of the results of the B test. Why don't they do these tests simultaneously? Or why don't they wait to release any information given an A positive until they do the B test? I suspect the answer has to do with some technical aspects of these tests (anybody?) but there is a lot on the line here. Even if the B is negative, this race will forever be tainted by the frenzy generated by the positive A test.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:27 AM on July 27, 2006


jaimev: "Ingestion of 110-160 g of ethanol...increased the ratio between testosterone and epitestosterone in urine." At 28.35 g per ounce, and 0.5 ounces of ethanol per 12-ounce beer, we're talking 7.7 - 11.3 beers!

Maybe Phonak had a kegger after Stage 16?
posted by turducken at 9:31 AM on July 27, 2006


greasy_skillet: to answer your question, allowing elite athletes to chemically enhance themselves would probably lead to a lot of deaths

See Simpson, Tom
posted by dseaton at 9:37 AM on July 27, 2006


I follow pro cycling pretty closely but I have never understood why the results of the A test are released in the absence of the results of the B test. Why don't they do these tests simultaneously?

The accused athlete has to demand a second test, it is as simple as that. He or she is accused of having done wrong, and the second sample is there for the counter expertise.

And the main reason why the news broke today, was that after yesterday's rumours about a positive test in the Tour the media simply called all the national cycling unions to hear if it was one of their athletes.

Then Phonack stepped in.
posted by ijsbrand at 9:40 AM on July 27, 2006


bluesky43 writes "I follow pro cycling pretty closely but I have never understood why the results of the A test are released in the absence of the results of the B test."

Because the athlete is restricted from competition while waiting for the results of the second test. I imagine they don't do the tests simultaneously to:
a) reduce costs
b) cut down on the number of false positives (while letting some false negatives slip thru)
c) allow different labs or workers to do the second test to increase the robustness of the process.
posted by Mitheral at 9:41 AM on July 27, 2006


You never test both samples at the same time. If one is contaminated and gives a false positive, a second done at the same time will do so too. Someone else does the other sample. All samples are split for these reasons.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:47 AM on July 27, 2006


So you can keep whining about how the evil Frenchies are trying to victimize the poor defenceless American all you want. You're just making yourselves look just a bit dumber every time.

You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that Americans care whether they look dumb or not.
posted by blucevalo at 9:51 AM on July 27, 2006


turducken: jaimev: "Ingestion of 110-160 g of ethanol...increased the ratio between testosterone and epitestosterone in urine." At 28.35 g per ounce, and 0.5 ounces of ethanol per 12-ounce beer, we're talking 7.7 - 11.3 beers!

Not that the defense is terribly believable, but I just wanted to comment a bit on this math. First, the assumption of 0.5 oz/EtOH / 12 oz beer assumes fairly weak beer: (4.16% ABV). While this is typical in the US, it's not typical of the rest of the world, where it can be as much twice as high for some beers. Also, most of the world drinks half-Liters (or pints). Thus, if we assume pints of 8.32% ABV beer, we get 2.9 - 4.24 beers. It's possible (though IMHO rather unlikely) that after being counted out of the tour entirely by most people, Floyd might have tossed back a few pints.
posted by JMOZ at 9:54 AM on July 27, 2006


dose this mean landis is a dope pedaler
posted by baker dave at 9:56 AM on July 27, 2006 [5 favorites]


Actually I do remember hearing that he drank a beer the day of the 17th stage (I think). Anyway... the cycling-doping thing is just such a turnoff to that sport. Seriously, so lame.
posted by cell divide at 10:03 AM on July 27, 2006


It's possible (though IMHO rather unlikely) that after being counted out of the tour entirely by most people, Floyd might have tossed back a few pints.

I don't know if it is all that unlikely. His strategy in stage 17 was "Fuck them. I can do this. I'm still in this. I'm going to fucking sprint up three mountains." That sounds exactly like my thought process after a few pints.

Of course, when I read this I felt kicked in the stomach. I really, really hope this is a false positive.
posted by jmgorman at 10:09 AM on July 27, 2006


I'd love to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, there's something fishy about his racing record:
2006 - Phonak Hearing Systems

* 1st overall – Tour de France
o Yellow jersey, General Classification leader during Stages 12, 13, 16 and 20.
o 1st, Stage 17 (Combativity award)
o 3rd, Stage 19 (ITT)
o 4th, Stage 15
o 3rd, Stage 11
o 2nd, Stage 7 (ITT)
o 9th, Prologue (ITT)
* 1st overall – Tour de Georgia
o 1st, Stage 3 (ITT) – Tour de Georgia
* 1st overall – Paris-Nice
* 1st overall – Tour of California
o 1st, Stage 3 (ITT) – Tour of California
* 1st, Profronde van Stiphout (post-Tour criterium)

2005 - Phonak Hearing Systems

* 3rd overall and Stage 3 win – Tour de Georgia
* 9th overall – Tour de France
* 11th overall – Dauphiné Libéré
o 4th, Prologue and Stage 3 – Dauphiné Libéré
o 5th, Stage 4 – Dauphiné Libéré

2004 - U.S. Postal Service

* Overall – Volta ao Algarve
o Stage 5 – Volta ao Algarve
o 2nd, Stage 4 – Volta ao Algarve
* Team time trial – Tour de France
* Team time trial – Vuelta a España
* 3rd, Stage 5 – Paris-Nice
* 3rd, Stage 4 – Ronde Van Nederland
* 4th, Stage 19 – Tour de France
* 5th, Stage 17 – Tour de France
o 8th, Stage 3 – Criterium International
o 8th, Stage 3 – Dauphiné Libéré
* 23rd overall – Tour de France

2003 - U.S. Postal Service

* 77th overall – Tour de France

2002 - U.S. Postal Service

* 2nd overall – Dauphiné Libéré
* 3rd stage, Tirreno-Adriatico
* 5th overall – Circuit de la Sarthe
* 61st overall – Tour de France

2001 - Mercury Pro Cycling Team

* Boulevard Road Race
* 13th overall – Criterium International
o 2nd, Stage 3 (ITT)

2000 - Mercury Pro Cycling Team

* Overall – Tour du Poitou-Charentes
* 4th overall – Tour de l'Avenir
* 5th overall and 1 stage win – Tour de Langkawi
* 6th – Prix des Bles d'Or (Mi-Août bretonne)
* 8th – Prix du Lèon (Mi-Août bretonne)
* 9th – Redlands Classic

1999 - Mercury Pro Cycling Team

* 2nd overall and 1 stage win – Cascade Classic
* 3rd overall – Tour de l'Avenir
* 4th – Red Zinger Classic
* 5th overall – GP Cycliste de Beauce
* 7th – Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic
How did he go from not placing first in any events in previous years to winning every single race (overall) this year?
posted by mullingitover at 10:19 AM on July 27, 2006


If this guy has endorsement deals and the like, he won't be saying anything that hasn't cleared a brazilian lawyers first. "Yeah, I did it," is unlikely to make the cut.

Why not American lawyers? French, even?

Sorry, that just stuck out.

As to the actual topic - I'll wait to see the second test and any possible explanations for testing positive before passing judgment, but I'll say now that it'd really be too bad.
posted by jennaratrix at 10:20 AM on July 27, 2006


Drugs don't go gently into that not-so-good Mennonite
posted by AJaffe at 10:22 AM on July 27, 2006 [2 favorites]


mullingitover: How did he go from not placing first in any events in previous years to winning every single race (overall) this year?

Well, before 2005, he wasn't generally racing for himself. (He was a domestique in previous editions of the TdF when he rode for US Postal. I'm not sure about other races).

2005 was his first year with a new team. That usually means readjustment, especially when Phonak didn't immediately embrace Landis as its leader.

Once you start getting your act together as a team, your chances for improved results increase. Landis' improvements this year aren't all that terribly far outside the norm for someone with his career path.
posted by JMOZ at 10:24 AM on July 27, 2006


Man, that's a blow. I hope the B test comes out clear.
posted by OmieWise at 10:24 AM on July 27, 2006


jmgorman: I don't know if it is all that unlikely. His strategy in stage 17 was "Fuck them. I can do this. I'm still in this. I'm going to fucking sprint up three mountains." That sounds exactly like my thought process after a few pints.

Well, yeah, I guess that's how I think I'd think, too. But, after 3-4 pints of strong beer after almost 3 weeks of racing, I'm pretty sure my performance the next day would not be the ride-of-my-life.

Hell, I feel like shit the next day after not-much-more than that now, and I'm still a bit younger than Landis.
posted by JMOZ at 10:28 AM on July 27, 2006


mullingitover writes "How did he go from not placing first in any events in previous years to winning every single race (overall) this year?"

The change is in the entire structure of the sport, who else is racing, which races are chosen, what other teams look like, and not just in Landis' record. Certainly any results from teams on which he was not the leader (anything before Phonak) need to be taken off your list. Last year was his first year with Phonak, the peloton looked a lot different, and he was a new team leader.

While I don't know if he's used drugs, I do know that his race results are not inconsistent with racing clean, if you understand how bike racing works.
posted by OmieWise at 10:29 AM on July 27, 2006


I'm lost on this testing thing - so if the B test comes back negative there must be a C test to break the tie? Or is there no tampering method that could lead to a false negative?

How did he go from not placing first in any events in previous years to winning every single race (overall) this year?


His TdF trajectory since '02: 66, 77, 23, 9, 1. I don't know this sport assuming the big event was his main goal, maybe this is a reasonable pattern? Normal enough?
posted by scheptech at 10:35 AM on July 27, 2006


Why not American lawyers? French, even?

It's a joke.
posted by booksandlibretti at 10:38 AM on July 27, 2006


scheptech: the big jump from 23 to 9 is when he started riding for himself. (Team Phonak vs. U.S. Postal). From 9 to 1 isn't really a surprise in a tour where the two top favorites were eliminated from day 1 and several other top contenders (Valverde, for example) were eliminated pretty early on in one way or another.

As for the C test, I'm not sure there is one, but my (inexpert) guess is that you're given the benefit of the doubt if your second test comes back negative. Generally, I would think the B test is probably done very carefully and with quite a bit of scrutiny to prevent tampering.
posted by JMOZ at 10:40 AM on July 27, 2006


booksandlibretti: Thanks, I missed that one.
posted by jennaratrix at 10:42 AM on July 27, 2006


from 02-04 he was a support rider - his main goal was not to win the Tour but to assist Armstrong. He was good enough at that that in 05 and 06 he was a team lead. Since at least 4-5 of the top 10 from 05 were not riding this year moving from 9 to 1 wouldn't be that suprising.
posted by true at 10:42 AM on July 27, 2006


This is terrible, but I bet Jay Leno is happy to have him scheduled to appear on the Tonight Show tomorrow night.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:46 AM on July 27, 2006


JMOZ, I would beg to differ on your assessment of common alcohol levels in beer. Most common US beers are 5.0% by volume (Budweiser, Coors, Michelob, etc), and specialty brews are often higher. Most common beers elsewhere are around 5.0% too (Stella 5.2%, Harp 5.0%, Hoegarden 5.0%, Boddingtons 4.8%, Castle Lager 5.0%, Heineken 5.2%, Newcastle Brown 4.5%, Guinness 4.1%, Fosters 4.6%, Asahi 5%). Mexican beers tend to be slightly weaker, but still in the 4.5%-5.0% range. This is a pretty common myth, probably because the mass-produced US beers have a dirty "watered-down" taste, but that's really not got much to do with alcohol content. "Lite" beers are generally weaker, and there's arguably more consumption of light beer in the US (yuk), but the weakest light beer I could find was Amstel, at 3.5%, and probably the most common light beer in Europe.
posted by dvdgee at 10:47 AM on July 27, 2006


Mullingitover, it's a quaint notion, but I think it's possible that Landis won because he simply wanted it more. He rode like his life depended on it this year because he knows he may never race competitively again. He rode this Tour knowing that no one has ever recovered from a hip replacement and continued to race at his level.

That said, he rode with a necrotic right hip. He can barely walk up stairs. I don't care if he injected radioactive spider venom in order to win, it was still an amazing accomplishment, and it was great to watch.

Personally, I don't really care about doping. I don't buy the argument that it is unfair. When they test for blood doping, some atheletes test positive because they have naturally high levels of hemoglobin. They have to establish consistent levels over an extended period of time to be exonerated. So basically, you can't take a drug, or inject your own RBCs to raise your hemoglobin concentration to what your opponent has naturally because that would be unfair. What the fuck is that? I thought sports was about who wanted it more, not what asshole won the genetic lottery. Juice up, as far as I'm concerned. The atheletes should be tested still, and if someone is putting their health in serious risk as a result of doping, then suspend them for health reasons, sure. Publish the results of drug tests, so everyone can see who does what. With the slew of new therapies in the development pipeline, I don't think it will even matter in a few years anyways. When someone can just inject themselves with a virus that will alter their genes enough to give them an edge, we'll consider all this hysteria over doping cute.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:53 AM on July 27, 2006


Interesting article:

German doctor Kurt Moosburger, who has looked after Jörg Jaksche (among others) for the past two years, has told dpa that he believes that performance enhancing drugs are "indispensable" for high level cycling.

In a frank interview, Moosburger pointed to the average speeds of modern professional races, especially hard tours. "The average in last year's Tour was 41 kilometres per hour - that is incredible. You can do a hard Alpine stage without doping. But after that, the muscles are exhausted. You need - depending on your training conditions - up to three days in order to regenerate."

To help recover, testosterone and human growth hormone can be used. "Both are made by the body and are therefore natural substances," he said. "They help to build muscle as well as in muscle recovery."

Dr Moosburger explained how it was done. "You put a standard testosterone patch that is used for male hormone replacement therapy on your scrotum and leave it there for about six hours. The small dose is not sufficient to produce a positive urine result in the doping test, but the body actually recovers faster."

Dr Moosburger went onto explain that, "The supply of oxygen to the blood decides what the body is capable of in terms of fat- and carbohydrate metabolism. This capacity is mostly genetically determined.The muscles of athletes who are able to reach the top level of sport can carry about 60 millilitres per kilo per minute in an untrained condition. That of an average person is only about 40 millilitres per kilo. In order to be able to keep up with the world's best, it must be 85 to 90 millilitres.

EPO helps oxygen carrying capacity, and has long been the performance enhancing drug of choice in endurance sports. "It enables you to hold the haematocrit of the blood in the upper level of what's allowed for the whole season. Before the EPO test, for example, athletes injected 4000 units three times per week. Now they inject a small dose almost daily."

Finally, in the opinion of Dr Moosburger, blood doping via transfusion would give an athlete a five percent boost for two to three weeks. "And therefore can last for a grand tour."


Source: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2006/jul06/jul07news3
posted by birdsong at 11:05 AM on July 27, 2006 [2 favorites]


Mullingitover: Just to clarify this point more, riders who aren't team leaders -- domestiques (or helpers) -- sacrifice themselves by putting in hard efforts so the team leader can take it easier and save his energy. Landis used to blow himself out leading Armstrong through the mountains.

Landis would put in a hard effort while Armstrong drafted him, eventually Landis would crack and lose tons of time, while Armstrong would push hard up the final climb and win.

Last year he became leader of Phonak, so other people started working for him. Hence the upturn in results. That said, Phonak's record with doping isn't exactly stellar, so who knows what else was going on.
posted by dseaton at 11:06 AM on July 27, 2006


[expletive deleted] writes "With the slew of new therapies in the development pipeline, I don't think it will even matter in a few years anyways. When someone can just inject themselves with a virus that will alter their genes enough to give them an edge, we'll consider all this hysteria over doping cute."

This is probably true. Meanwhile, I'm a cynic who believes that there are two types of pro cyclists: those who get caught doping, and those who don't get caught. So I'm not trying to vilify Landis if he was indeed doing it, I'm just pointing out the glaring difference between previous years results and this year.
posted by mullingitover at 11:12 AM on July 27, 2006


Yes, I know all about domestiques.

Meanwhile I'm waiting to hear what my favorite cycling blogger, The Fat Cyclist, will have to say about this fiasco.
posted by mullingitover at 11:17 AM on July 27, 2006


I, for one, believe that Mr. Landis is totally innocent.

Yours truly,

Ben Johnson.
posted by Shfishp at 11:23 AM on July 27, 2006


This is the response I posted on my blog when I heard the news earlier today.

---

it’s gonna piss me off if floyd landis is found guilty of doping.

i’ve watched the tour for year (not in recent years, but i’ve followed it) and it’s THE sport in my mind. it’s long, it’s grueling, it requires years of training, and it’s more than carring a ball back and forth, or kicking it back and forth. people who compete and finish the race amaze me. so what if you’re last, you still did it.

and to win the race is fucking amazing.

i was all a-twitter when lance won it for the sixth and seventh time. and he did it without doping. so did lemond and indurain and merckx. so i just hope the landis did it clean too, because otherwise he’s sullied the tour. yes, he’ll get stripped of the title, but the guy who really won then won’t get all the fanfare that he rightly deserves.

and, you know how america and the government got all riled up over that baseball player who was doing steroids? do you think they’ll care about this? no, because it’s a foreign race and it’s “just” biking.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:27 AM on July 27, 2006


Reminds me of (since it happened where I live) the case of Mary Slaney who had a urine test which showed a disproportionate testosterone to epitestosterone ratio. She retired, (loudly and at length) maintaining her innocence, the US track body seemed to agree with her, but the international track body stayed by its original finding.

I imagine that you would still find passionate arguments on both sides.
posted by Danf at 11:28 AM on July 27, 2006


Couldn't he just have a lot of testosterone?

then he has a future in porn

to our OMFG NO! friends: just wait until they get Armstrong, then the proverbial shit will hit the proverbial fan

as I said in the past here, they might as well stop testing, create a huge lab for pro sports, cycling as zona franca. then see what happens.

legalize it. this is worse than legal doping, and more pathetic. legalize it
posted by matteo at 11:45 AM on July 27, 2006


My brother claims that "everyone does it"; that it's impossible to compete on that level without *some* kind of chemical assistance. And while he's no stranger to talking out of his ass, he did race semipro for a few years and one of his good friends has been in the Tour several times.
posted by Slothrup at 11:48 AM on July 27, 2006


So you can keep whining about how the evil Frenchies are trying to victimize the poor defenceless American all you want. You're just making yourselves look just a bit dumber every time.

Calm down, it was a throwaway joke based on the accusations that the French were targeting Armstrong unfairly the last couple Tour de France's. And if you are responding to me specifically, please point to one other time I ever made a French joke. You must be one of those hot-blooded Italians.
posted by Falconetti at 11:53 AM on July 27, 2006


i was all a-twitter when lance won it for the sixth and seventh time. and he did it without doping. so did lemond and indurain and merckx.

This is a joke, right? Merckx tested positive at the 1969 Giro, Armstrong almost certainly was taking EPO in 1999, and Lemond and Indurain both raced at a time when doping controls were, at best, minimal.

If Landis doped, then it sucks. But it's not like all the great riders of the past were perfect and clean and now everybody has shat upon the holy Tour de France. It's a bike race. There are lots of bike races. And many people win said races with the help of banned substances. It's been going on forever, and, I promise, it's going to continue forever.
posted by dseaton at 12:06 PM on July 27, 2006


I say we just let 'em use motorcycles.
posted by mullacc at 12:11 PM on July 27, 2006 [3 favorites]


... due to the loss of his testicle, Lance Armstrong was allowed to take testosterone supplements during his post-cancer racing career.

False. From Lance himself.
posted by JackFlash at 12:17 PM on July 27, 2006


JMOZ writes "From 9 to 1 isn't really a surprise in a tour where the two top favorites were eliminated from day 1 and several other top contenders (Valverde, for example) were eliminated pretty early on in one way or another."

If nothing else he gains one spot from Lance being out this year.
posted by Mitheral at 12:17 PM on July 27, 2006


jimmythefish wrote: Armstrong was the best thing to happen to cycling, well, ever.

Meh. Personally, I can think of a lot of things that were better for cycling. Index shifting. Elastomeric gel seats. Self-sealing tubes. Ultrastiff custom frames. I could go on.

greasy_skillet wrote: If this comes across as incredibly stupid, I apologize. I don't follow sports, so I don't know anything about the debate surrounding performance enhancing drugs. But, why is it against the rules for athletes to use them? It can't be that they would give an unfair advantage, because if they were legal, each athelete would presumably have access to the same drugs.

Besides the health issue listed above, it all turns the sport (any sport) into even more of a money or arms race.

But it looks like it is becoming more and more common in all kinds of sports, and we should probably get used to it and begin outlining safe ways to implement it. Just as there are safety guidelines for equipment, perhaps we need the same for chemical/hormone performance enhancement.

But it's just such a weirdly nebulous grey area. What's a "performance enhancing" drug? Would hits of pure oxygen count? What about electrolyte drinks? High-glucose energy gels?
posted by loquacious at 12:25 PM on July 27, 2006


loquacious,

Well, um...obviously, I'm talking about the marketing of the sport of cycling and exposing the Tour to Americans rather than, well, just any aspect of cycling.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:53 PM on July 27, 2006


jimmythefish wrote: Armstrong was the best thing to happen to cycling, well, ever.

Maybe the best thing for getting "bandwagon" Americans interested in cycling, but for the sport itself, not so much. By the way Armstrong was doping, he just never got caught; how anybody can doubt this is always shocking to me. Try doing just one stage of the Tour de France, not even a mountain stage, see how you feel the next day. Try doing that almost every day for a month. These guys are all doping.

Believe it.
posted by sic at 1:09 PM on July 27, 2006


Former pro Marcel Wüst, himself a stage winner in the Tour de France, told Cyclingnews: "Shit happens..."
posted by fixedgear at 1:19 PM on July 27, 2006


sic writes "Try doing just one stage of the Tour de France, not even a mountain stage, see how you feel the next day. Try doing that almost every day for a month. These guys are all doping. "

Not to disagree but I wonder if Terry Fox was using any performance enhancers.
posted by Mitheral at 1:19 PM on July 27, 2006


Landis talks to mother, tells her "no way" he failed test.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:20 PM on July 27, 2006


All of these guys are doping, it's just a question of which teams have the money, doctors, and political clout to not get caught.

So what matteo said. This whole thing is a farce.

(And I don't give a fuck about baseball any longer either, because the kabuki dance of on dope/not on dope is so hypocritical and annoying. These guys are paid athletes, and if they want to die at 40 with breasts and shrivelled testacles, fine. Because many of them are going to anyways. And they're adults with the right to make this choice to be a godlike physical specimen until their metabolism catches up with them.)
posted by bardic at 1:24 PM on July 27, 2006


"Try doing just one stage of the Tour de France, not even a mountain stage, see how you feel the next day. Try doing that almost every day for a month. These guys are all doping. "

Well, sic, I KNOW that I cannot do this, nor can anyone else reading these comments I'll wager, but you're not talking about regular folks here. These are ridiculously conditioned, highly trained, elite athletes...not 9-5ers who go for a nightly bike ride around the block. To say that they are all doping is a pretty unfair statement I think. I'm not saying that doping isn't part of the sport, but I do think there are a lot of men and women who accel at their sports cleanly. Just because YOU can't do something, doesn't mean that everyone else MUST be cheating.
posted by Shfishp at 1:29 PM on July 27, 2006


Shfishp, I know this is true the same way I know a hitter can't crank out over 70 homeruns in a season unless they are doping. It's the ridiculous level they are doing these stages at, day after day. The average of last years Tour was over 40 km/hr ---- the average!

I don't care if you have one testicle or no testicles or three testicles, you need drugs to keep that pace up!
posted by sic at 1:37 PM on July 27, 2006


Landis tells an SI reporter he denies cheating. His mother and sister believe him. He's going to have an HC climb convincing many others.
posted by jaimev at 1:48 PM on July 27, 2006


Just so you all know, my mother and sister think I'm an exceptionally cool dude. I hope you'll treat me as such from now on.
posted by bardic at 1:54 PM on July 27, 2006


ESPN.com's measured take on this news, from the front page:

"If Floyd Landis, the winner of the Tour de France, is confirmed to have cheated, can we ever trust anyone again?"
posted by brain_drain at 1:59 PM on July 27, 2006


If I had three testicles, you can be damn sure I wouldn't be hopping up on one of those little bike seats...owwwch!

sic, like I said, I agree that there are drugs in the sport, probably in all sports, except bowling and curling. I just feel bad for the few honest ones who do it cleanly and get painted with that broad "cheater" brush you're using.

To use your 70 home run example, yeah, I agree, the big bruisers who are hitting that many are completely (in my opinion) guilty of doping, but guys like Ichiro Suzuki, an amazing player, is probably playing clean, just like the riders at the back of the Tour de France pack.
posted by Shfishp at 1:59 PM on July 27, 2006


If true, then there just may be no more sports superheros left. { : ^ (

His ride was amazing. I can only hope he passes the second test.
posted by Rashomon at 2:01 PM on July 27, 2006


"The last time a final yellow jersey was disqualified from the race was in 1904 when defending champion Maurice Garin was stripped of his title when it was judged he had taken a train during the race, rather than completing the full route."

Also from cyclingnews today.
posted by peptide at 2:06 PM on July 27, 2006 [3 favorites]


peptide writes "The last time a final yellow jersey was disqualified from the race was in 1904 when defending champion Maurice Garin was stripped of his title when it was judged he had taken a train during the race, rather than completing the full route."

Now there's a guy with three balls.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:11 PM on July 27, 2006


Peptide - that is the only thing in this set of comments that made me laugh.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:27 PM on July 27, 2006


From ESPN interview where Landis denies cheating:

He raised the possibility that the cortisone shots he's been taking for his ravaged right hip -- the hip he'll soon have replaced -- may have had some effect on the test. Then he revealed this: "I've had a thyroid condition for the last year or so and have been taking small amounts of thyroid hormone. It's an oral dose, once a day."

Hmmph, pretty soon all Tour de France winners will have to have some medical condition (one testicle, bad hip) to justify using "good" drugs that can be mistaken for "bad" drugs. Plausibly deniability and all that.

By the way, that guy who took the train is THE MOST AWESOMEST CHEATER EVER!
posted by sic at 2:39 PM on July 27, 2006


Sorry I wanted to link to that "Sports Illustrated" interview.
posted by sic at 2:44 PM on July 27, 2006


Arlene Landis, the rider's mother, said in a phone interview from her home in Farmersville, Pennsylvania, on Thursday that she wouldn't blame her son if he was taking medication to treat the pain in his injured hip, but "if it's something worse than that, then he doesn't deserve to win. I didn't talk to him since that hit the fan, but I'm keeping things even keel until I know what the facts are. I know that this is a temptation to every rider but I'm not going to jump to conclusions ... It disappoints me."

That's gotta hurt.
posted by jokeefe at 3:20 PM on July 27, 2006


sic, you may have missed the previous comment. My intent was to correct someone's previous erroneous statement. Armstrong was not taking testosterone supplements. It is not permitted by the rules.
posted by JackFlash at 3:27 PM on July 27, 2006


Ah, Lance denies taking drugs? Well both Landis and his MOM said he didn't cheat and I'm still skeptical.
posted by sic at 3:51 PM on July 27, 2006


Shfishp writes "If I had three testicles, you can be damn sure I wouldn't be hopping up on one of those little bike seats...owwwch!"

You'd just need this saddle.

Shfishp writes "I agree that there are drugs in the sport, probably in all sports, except bowling and curling."

Unless of course beer is a performance enhancer in these sports.
posted by Mitheral at 4:36 PM on July 27, 2006


"I'm shocked. SHOCKED to find doping in athletics!"
.
.
.
.
.
"Your steroids, sire."
"Thank you."
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:37 PM on July 27, 2006


This is a joke, right? Merckx tested positive at the 1969 Giro, Armstrong almost certainly was taking EPO in 1999, and Lemond and Indurain both raced at a time when doping controls were, at best, minimal.

Precisely - anyone who follows the sport knows that doping is a huge and essential part of it. It used to be strychnine, coke, smack and red wine in the water bottle, now its hormones and arcane compounds. There's only one Tour winner I can think of who is generally supposed to have done it clean, but his name has been tarnished rather by suggesting that the holy Armstrong was up to no good.

"You have no idea what the Tour de France is. But do you want to see how we keep going? Cocaine for the eyes. Chloroform for the gums. You want to see the pills too? Under the mud our flesh is white as a sheet. Our eyes are swimming and every night we dance like St. Vitus instead of sleeping." - Henri Pelissier, 1924
posted by jack_mo at 4:50 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


I agree with Bardic.

I used to be a big sports fan. Watching the NBA now I just sit there and think what a bunch of over-paid, coddled, cry babies these guys are... and then I remember how much an over-paid, coddled, cry baby I am. And I feel even worse.

So rather than self loath, I project my steady laser beam of hatred with even more intensity on the TV until it over heats and explodes.
posted by tkchrist at 4:57 PM on July 27, 2006


Oh, for heaven's sake--who cares?????

Err... people who think that cheaters are scum?
posted by Decani at 6:29 PM on July 27, 2006


Hinault: Tour can be won with 'mineral water'
posted by fixedgear at 6:39 PM on July 27, 2006


"like I said, I agree that there are drugs in the sport, probably in all sports, except bowling and curling."


Um, you have seen The Big Lebowski, right?
posted by stenseng at 7:40 PM on July 27, 2006


The idea that doping is simply 'cheating' in the Tour isn't quite right, in that, basically, everyone on a pro team at that level is doping. I've heard first hand that pro team contracts stipulate that the rider is to do whatever the team asks of him, and thus, essentially, you're entering into a contract which will require you to dope.

So, what it amounts to is an even playing field again - albeit a playing field with serious health and safety consequences (which is why doping isn't openly legal in the first place). It's not cheating if everyone is doing it, but it is still very sad that it's the way it must be.

Personally, given this scenario, I admire the hell out of a guy like Armstrong even if he was (I think he was) doping. He was still the best.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:18 PM on July 27, 2006


What the fuck is that? I thought sports was about who wanted it more, not what asshole won the genetic lottery.

You did?

Really?
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:20 PM on July 27, 2006


I don't know if it is all that unlikely. His strategy in stage 17 was "Fuck them. I can do this. I'm still in this. I'm going to fucking sprint up three mountains." That sounds exactly like my thought process after a few pints.

First of all, I don't see why ethanol should be allowed if caffeine isn't. Certainly it would help you mentally push yourself. Anyway.

The whole anti-dope thing is ridiculous. A lot of the 'banned' substances these guys take are things that make normal people healthier. I mean Testosterone? Increasing Hemocrit levels? Why should someone with naturally low levels be at a disadvantage to someone with naturally high levels, since it's just genetic?

Well, sic, I KNOW that I cannot do this, nor can anyone else reading these comments I'll wager, but you're not talking about regular folks here. These are ridiculously conditioned, highly trained, elite athletes...not 9-5ers who go for a nightly bike ride around the block.

I could bike the tour de France rout, it would just take me a lot longer. And that's the thing these guys are all within a few % of each other's capability. Drugs can improve performance by a few % and so it makes a lot of sense to take them, if you think you can avoid getting caught.
posted by delmoi at 10:38 PM on July 27, 2006


What I find completely amazing in this thread is that nobody has yet bothered to point out that, if Landis' "amazing" 17th stage recovery was due to (or helped by) doping, Oscar Pereiro has been robbed of the top moment in his career. Even if Landis is stripped of his yellow jersey and Pereiro recognised as TdF winner, he will have missed the whole Champs Elysees celebrations.

That's reason enough to be really angry with Landis (if the positive is confirmed).
posted by Skeptic at 12:11 AM on July 28, 2006


Skeptic, I have thought about that.

So, what it amounts to is an even playing field again - albeit a playing field with serious health and safety consequences (which is why doping isn't openly legal in the first place). It's not cheating if everyone is doing it, but it is still very sad that it's the way it must be.

Personally, given this scenario, I admire the hell out of a guy like Armstrong even if he was (I think he was) doping. He was still the best.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:18 PM PST on July 27 [+fave] [!]


I disagree, Armstrong was never on a level playing field. Apart from being a .5 stud, he had much much more money backing him during his incredible run. What does this mean? Better doctors to give him better drugs in such a way as to better mask them from the weak-ass testing administered.

Moving on, more money also means that you can buy a team that includes animals like Landis and Roberto Heras, just to name two. At the time he was sacrificing himself for Armstrong, some thought Heras was the best climber in the world (he was later stripped of his victory in the Vuelta de España for, guess what?).

Level playing field? Not by a long shot.
posted by sic at 1:00 AM on July 28, 2006


If the reports that have been coming out are correct, Landis' A test did not show a high testosterone leve; it showed a low epitestosterone.

While I tend to believe that everyone on the tour is taking something, I believe that some of these tests do not prove what these organizations claim they prove.
posted by spira at 1:31 AM on July 28, 2006


Did Armstrong take part in other large races during 1999-2005 ? the Giro or the Vuelta ?

No.

That could explain his supremacy in the Tour for seven years.
posted by Pendragon at 3:48 AM on July 28, 2006


That should be six years...His first win was in 1995...
posted by Pendragon at 3:49 AM on July 28, 2006


First of all, I don't see why ethanol should be allowed if caffeine isn't. Certainly it would help you mentally push yourself. Anyway.

I have no idea what this means, but I'll point out that caffeine is allowed. That's why everybody's always drinking those little cans of coke during the race.

And, in fact, ethanol is legal too, but it happens not to be performance enhancing. But that's why you can drink a glass of champagne on the last stage into Paris and not get kicked out of the race.
posted by dseaton at 4:39 AM on July 28, 2006


basically, everyone on a pro team at that level is doping. I've heard first hand that pro team contracts stipulate that the rider is to do whatever the team asks of him, and thus, essentially, you're entering into a contract which will require you to dope.

I really have no idea what the truth is, but at the moment I'm leaning towards the idea that it's those who do dope up that spread this kind of information. They may well believe that since the only way they can get by is with illegal pharmaceutical assitance, that therefore everyone must be doing it. Not really logical, but you can see how it would be an appealing notion. I've no idea about Landis, but I've seen other top riders discuss this issue and if they aren't clean, then as well as being remarkable atheletes, they're also world-class talented liars. Very possible, but I see no less reason to trust those who say they don't cheat than those who say everyone does it.
posted by sfenders at 5:19 AM on July 28, 2006


jimmythefish writes "I've heard first hand that pro team contracts stipulate that the rider is to do whatever the team asks of him, and thus, essentially, you're entering into a contract which will require you to dope."

Contracts in Canada can't require you to do anything illegal, is it different in France?
posted by Mitheral at 7:06 AM on July 28, 2006


Contracts in Canada can't require you to do anything illegal, is it different in France?

Well, no - but the guys who end up on the pro teams are willing to do, well, pretty much anything to make a living out of riding their bikes, and/or to win bike races. You can say no, but there's no alternative. Dope and ride, or don't ride for that team.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:47 AM on July 28, 2006


I've heard first hand that pro team contracts stipulate that the rider is to do whatever the team asks of him, and thus, essentially, you're entering into a contract which will require you to dope.

I do hope you're not implying that signing a contract to do immoral things somehow makes those things okay, are you? I'm sure you're not, but that is what it sounds like. Support our Troops!
posted by Decani at 4:36 PM on July 28, 2006


The idea that doping is simply 'cheating' in the Tour isn't quite right

Uh, if doping is against the rules then I'm afraid it damned well is, by definition, and you can't spin your way out of it. Sorry.
posted by Decani at 4:38 PM on July 28, 2006


Dr Moosburger explained how it was done. "You put a standard testosterone patch that is used for male hormone replacement therapy on your scrotum and leave it there for about six hours. The small dose is not sufficient to produce a positive urine result in the doping test, but the body actually recovers faster."

So has anyone checked if he shaves his scrotum?

And, in fact, ethanol is legal too, but it happens not to be performance enhancing. But that's why you can drink a glass of champagne on the last stage into Paris and not get kicked out of the race.

Your point is slightly overshadowed by a certain french cultural phenomenon. Is it not?
posted by furtive at 7:57 AM on July 30, 2006


Landis' B second sample confirms original finding.

And a link to the AskMe question: Is Landis a dope?
posted by Chuckles at 4:54 AM on August 5, 2006


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