Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘blood doping’

This Day in Doping: Test for Human Growth Hormone hGH

In This Day In Doping on February 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm

BikeRadar has an intriguing post on a positive test for human growth hormone. The test involved a rugby league player but obviously holds huge implications for professional cycling. Although the substance has been banned for two decades, there’s been no reliable test for it.

Now (presumably) all those back samples can be screened over again. But once again, it puts enforcement into a touchy political arena. If all the big stars test positive, will the UCI or applicable governing body really act? Since there’s no transparency in the lab screening process, we the public have to trust that all samples are being tested equally, and penalties meted out fairly. That’s a pretty big leap in this day and age where corporate sponsorships and Big Money ultimately call the shots.

This Sad Day in Doping: Joe Papp deserves medal, not prison

In This Day In Doping on February 17, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Reformed doper Joe Papp, familiar on this blog, Twitter and via his own writings for being one of the only pro cyclists to come clean and tell the truth about doping, has guilty to being a person he no longer is.

“Having escaped a corrupt system in which doping was a practice as accepted and normal as brushing one’s teeth, I strongly believe in clean sport and for several years have been fighting against doping both publicly and in ways that I simply can’t comment on…” Papp said.

What Joe did — both his own doping and acting as an international pimp of sorts for other pro cyclists — was wrong and should not be excused. But in the context of his extensive work to bring doping problems to light and his own campaign for cleaning up the sordid state of pro cycling, his past transgressions hold little relevance today.

We wish Joe well and hope this works out for the best — for him and for the sport. Although he faces possible prison time, it’s obvious his presence can do far more good outside of jail.

This Day in Doping: Floyd hit with warrant

In This Day In Doping on February 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Our dreams for Team Rehab at the Dopers Reunion Tour de France 2010 have taken another body blow with announcement that a France-based warrant for Floyd Landis’ arrest was issued in late January. The warrant concerns hacking of an lab computer, but since the hacking related to Landis’ being stripped of his Tour de France victory for cheating, it seems likely to take Floyd out of the picture for this year’s Tour.

Looks clean...

[Update: Floyd says warrant? What warrant? One suggestion: You might want to lose the shades, my man.]

The warrant stipulates that Landis can be arrested if he touches foot in France. It might well be possible for a rider of Landis’ abilities to stay on his bike the entire time, including track stands in staging areas, but for practical purposes Floyd will have to stay out of France if he wants to avoid a court appearance.

Twisted Spoke muses over a Landis-Polanski straight-up trade, the problem (for our purposes) being that Polanski, whatever his cinematic accomplishments, can’t climb Alpe d’Huez and the kind of rehab he needs has nothing to do with doping. Still, we’re not opposed to the idea…

And it looks like Michael Rasmussen won’t be able to make the Tour either. Drat. The cheats are dropping like flies. It’s hard to know who, when you put doping in the mix, you can really count on in professional cycling these days.

Meanwhile, Italian cyclist Eddy Ratti has joined the ranks of the fallen.

This Valentine’s Day in Doping

In This Day In Doping on February 14, 2010 at 2:52 am

A Story of True Love Gone Astray: Drug cheat Riccardo Ricco has decided to separate from drug cheat Vania Rossi. And just when Hallmark came out with a Valentine’s Day card aimed right at them…



This Day in Doping: Lance, Vaughters, Does doping matter? and football players

In This Day In Doping on February 8, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Jonathan Vaughters made a careless comment about Lance Armstrong, who tweeted revenge. We like to see Lance mad because it makes him a better cyclist. Perhaps he will stick Vaughters’ comment on his top tube. Every time his head starts to sag a bit from fatigue, he will read it there and all hell will break loose. If he does go to glory in the Tour de France 2010, Lance will have Jonathan in part to thank.

But some perspective is in order.

Lance and Vaughters are former teammates, so there’s that history. Then, a couple of years ago, a Vaughters IM about potential doping in the Tour wound up in a lawsuit involving Lance and got widely circulated.

In cycling circles, the word is that so little love is lost between Lance and Vaughters you couldn’t find it with the Hubble Telescope.

Even so, Vaughters shows he has lost little of his cycling form, at least when it comes to backpedaling … a bit, anyway.

To be continued, to be sure. Does it really, in the overall scheme of things, when the universe is shrinking and expanding … does it really matter if cyclists cheat? Judging from hit counts, cycling is way more drug-drenched than, say, pro football. Which we all knew, right? I mean, why would football players, starting in middle school, ever take steroids or whatever? What would there be in it for them? Anyone up for gene doping?

This Day in Doping: Another Team Rehab candidate surfaces!

In This Day In Doping on February 4, 2010 at 2:43 am

How did we do it? In our campaign to bring together Team Rehab for the Dopers Reunion Tour de France 2010, how did we forget about Tom Boonen?

Admittedly, Boonen did not test positive for a performance enhancer. He was dinged for cocaine, which only makes you THINK your performance is enhanced. Still, drugs is drugs, and his second cocaine test in the plus column in two years is good enough to get Tom onto our Dream Team. As his team manager so persuasively put it: “He’s a very good guy, and a good rider, and I think he understands what he’s done in the past and won’t repeat it.” Yes, just like after the first time he tested positive.

This Day in Doping: Di Luca goes down with fighting words!

In This Day In Doping on February 2, 2010 at 2:26 am

Two-year suspension for Danilo Di Luca comes at a terrible time, as we continue to assemble our our dream Team Rehab in the Dopers Reunion Tour de France 2010. So far Michael Rasmussen and Alexander Vinokourov are on board, and we’re hoping for Floyd Landis. Only a miracle would get our favorite doper, Tyler Hamilton, into the Tour, but we can always hope.

As for Di Luca, all hope is not lost:

“This is not over. I can still try to fight this and I’m going to. We will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS),” Di Luca said, according to the ANSA news agency.

After all, he only tested positive twice. If it had been 5 or 10 times, well, we might concede the UCI was correct in banning him. But a couple of times, hey, the varsity squad of my hometown high school couldn’t meet that threshold.

This Day in Doping: All in the family?

In This Day In Doping on February 1, 2010 at 2:10 am

Ricco denies involvement with his girlfriend’s doping. Girlfriend denies doping. They might at least get on the same page on this…

Ricco compared to a cobra. So the question, as Ricco prepares to renew his racing career in May, is: What happens when you give a snake a second chance?

All in all we think Ricco would make a standout addition to Team Rehab, our dream alliance of Michael Rasmussen, Alexander Vinokourov, Floyd Landis and whoever else might be coming off a suspension around then, for what we are heralding as the Dopers Reunion Tour de France 2010.

This Day in Doping: BikePure teams with Tour de Langkawi

In This Day In Doping on January 22, 2010 at 1:10 am

This will be interesting: “Bike Pure feel this is a major step forward in highlighting the problems cyclesport faces as sponsors look for a positive return on their financial investment within the sport. “There is a momentum for major change within cycling, fans of the sport no longer want the dopers destroying its image. This feeling is illustrated clearly by the organisers of Le Tour de Langkawi (Malaysia), being the first professional event to fully partner Bike Pure and show its commitment to anti-doping on a world wide scale.”

This Day in Doping: Tour 2010 shaping up as Dopers Reunion!

In This Day In Doping on January 19, 2010 at 11:20 am

Alexander Vinokourov’s drug ban is over, so like Michael Rasmussen, he’s ready for another go on the Tour. Vino says he won’t be pursuing a title, but if something should happen to team leader Contador, we would assume all bets are off.

The Tour de France 2010 is shaping up as the biggest Dopers Reunion since the Lebowski Fest! Now if we can only get Floyd Landis back into the peloton, we’d be tempted to sponsor Team Rehab. And what’s Tyler Hamilton up to these days???