Category: doping

TdF: Another one bites the dust

Maybe not too unbelievable, but disappointing none the less: Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco of Team Saunier Duval tested positive for synthetic EPO and CERA before the start of today’s 12th Stage of the Tour de France. Saunier Duval has pulled out of the Tour de France.

Before he was pulled from the race this morning, Ricco was in the top 10 of the GC and points and led in the mountains. His team, Saunier Duval – Scott, was in third place when Stage 11 concluded yesterday.

As I write this, Stage 12 is almost concluded in Narbonne. Watch Velo.kwc.org for complete updates.

EPO is a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Continuous erythropoiesis receptor activator (CERA) is a new drug still undergoing FDA review that’s used to enhance the effect of EPO on red blood cell production.

Trust But Verify plenty of commentary on how this story is breaking. The comments there at TBV are interesting, too. Among the tidbits there:

  • A comment from a drug expert who says there’s no test for CERA.
  • ASO isn’t testing French team riders: “Of the Crédit Agricole riders, only stage winner Thor Hushovd was tested since the start of the race.”
  • “L’Equipe…has become the ersatz source of doping announcements for the ASO.”

The comments about “il Cobra” coming out of Italian blogs are fascinating:

  • L’onestà è una speculazione (saying of l’ex maglia gialla Kim Kirchen’s skepticism of Ricco): “Che smacco.”
  • From a comment at the Italian Motor Sports blog: “As always when an Italian is likely to dominate in cycling come the doping allegations.”
  • Oops, it looks like Ricco was on the Italian Olympic squad. His positive test puts his participation in question.
  • Finally, Diego @ Sui Pedali expresses his extreme disappointment:

    The disappointment is indescribably immense because of this new betrayal. Here on Sui Pedali I always focus on the sport of cycling and don’t emphasize the problem of doping. We don’t do this because of disinterest or because I’m convinced the problem doesn’t exist, but because there are so many other beautiful stories to tell. Faced with this case, however, I cannot remain vague or leave this as a footnote of another article.

Manuel Beltran – EPO

Tour de France: Liquigas cyclist Manuel Beltran positive for EPO.

Update: Bobke on Beltran. Trust But Verify expresses some cynicism about L’Equipe breaking the story. Boulder Report says Beltran’s an idiot. Bicycle.Net reports the whole team might be expelled.

Boo!!!!

l’Espagnol Manuel Beltran (Liquigas), 37 ans, présente des traces d’EPO dans l’échantillon A de ses urines prélevé à l’issue de la première étape du Tour de France, samedi 5 juillet entre Brest et Plumelec.

Professionnel depuis 1995, Beltran a débuté sa carrière chez Mapei avant de passer par Banesto, Team Coast et de devenir l’un des principaux équipiers en montagne de Lance Armstrong à l’US Postal et chez Discovery Channel.

Beltran fait partie de ceux qui avaient été ciblés par l’Agence Française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD) lors des prélèvements sanguins effectués les 3 et 4 juillet derniers à Brest avant le départ.

That’s French for “37 year old Spaniard Manuel Beltran of Liquigas is SO busted! His A sample from Stage 1 tested positive for EPO.” Beltran has been pulled from competition.

Beltran started racing professionally in 1995 with Mapei. From 2003 to 2006, he raced on the USPS Team and Team Discovery, often assisting Lance Armstrong with his wins as his teammate.

For Tour de France Stage 7 news and commentary, don’t miss KWC’s link round up.

Floyd Landis loses CAS appeal

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by Floyd Landis. Landis has also been ordered to pay $100,000 to the US Anti Doping Agency for the costs incurred by his appeals.

The full details are posted everywhere; Trust But Verify is dedicated to tracking Floyd Landis and his doping appeals so it seems like as good a place as any to following the discussion.


Moving forward, the Tour de France starts this Saturday! Woo hoo!

Tuesday testimony: Tammy Thomas took tonic

Illinois chemist and former bodybuilder Patrick Arnold testified that he shipped steroids to former Olympic cyclist Tammy Thomas in testimony during Thomas’s perjury trial.

Tammy Thomas

Thomas was indicted in December 2006 for lying to the grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) in Burlingame, CA. Thomas was banned from competition for life in 2002 after she tested positive for the steroid norbolethone. Norbolethone, first developed in the 60s, was pulled from clinical trials in the 70s because of its toxicity.

More:

San Francisco Chronicle coverage of Tammy Thomas trial.

ESPN: BALCO chemist becomes witness.

Steroid Nation: The interesting case of Tammy Thomas:

In her current photo, I see a slender, attractive woman. Look at the close-up from 2002, at which time Ms. Thomas expressed an anabolic androgen in her urine. The photo looks like an androgenized female. Rugged looks. Male pattern baldness.

San Francisco Examiner Prosecutors outline case against BALCO figure Tammy Thomas:

Federal prosecutors said Thursday they have “overwhelming” proof that former Olympic cyclist Tammy Thomas lied when she told a grand jury that she never used steroids, including a high-end bicycle they allege she traded for performance-enhancing drugs when she was low on cash.

The prosecutors quote a doctor’s report in August 2000 suggesting that Thomas had to shave a full beard, a steroids side effect for women.

According to the government’s filing, Dr. Margaret Wierman wrote Thomas that she feared the cyclist was exposing herself to long-term health problems if she continued to ingest steroids.

Also testifying will be Kelcey Dalton, the chemist’s live-in girlfriend at the time who said she had several phone conversations with Thomas during a three-month period several years ago. Dalton and Thomas’ conversations “consisted of talk about weightlifting and steroids, in particular about steroids side-effects,” the government’s court filing stated.

According to the filing, Thomas offered Dalton a LeMond racing bicycle in exchange for some of Arnold’s designer steroids.

“The deal was made and Dalton still has the bicycle,” the filing stated.

Trust But Verify mentions the Thomas trial in the Saturday roundup and the Wednesday roundup.

Her side of the story in this New York Times article:

“Every day is the same day,” she said in her gravelly voice. “I used to be well respected. I made my parents proud. Now I’ve embarrassed my family. For the rest of my life, wherever I go and whatever I do, I’m going to be known as a cheater.”

Tammy Thomas photo by Casey Gibson.

Sock Guy socks du jour: Ride Clean

I wore these eye-popping yellow Sock Guy “RIDE CLEAN” socks this morning on my commute.

Socks du jour: Ride Clean

RIDE CLEAN is a campaign promote clean cycling.

The RIDE CLEAN blog makes notes of the news that track star Marion Jones admits to doping. This confession comes on the heels of the recent news that Canadian cyclist Genevieve Jeanson admitted to regular use of EPO since she was 15 years old. This summary of Genevieve Jeanson’s confession hints at the possibility of an abusive relationship with her coach.

Like the RIDE CLEAN people like to say, Ride Clean and the rest will follow. I really really like the positive example that Team Slipstream is setting in this regard and I hope that the rest will indeed follow.

The water bottle in this photo is from Bike N Hike in Longmont, Colorado. They carry Trek, Fisher, LeMond, Haro, Redline, Sun, and Diamonback.