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Damsgaard not so independant?

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  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    The suspicion comes from watching cycling for many years, many riders and their entourage have corrupted things. That's why some of us are talking about ways to make it better. I would have enjoyed the Tour more if the riders had respected the rules, for example.

    But that's the whole point of anti-doping controls, you start with the premise of suspicion. As one Garmin rider put it, "it almost makes you feel guilty, you are tested so often". I am simply saying that the teams would do better to collaborate with the UCI and ensure an independent testing programme.
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    Kléber wrote:
    No it says the team sacks a rider for doping but is happy for him to go to other teams. Imagine if your local police force caught a copper breaking the law and said "we've sacked PC Plod but Mr Plod is free to join any other force" and meanwhile the Home Office sat back twiddling its thumbs.

    So basically what you are saying is you want cyclists done for doping even though the actual evidence is not there and you want bent coppers done for being a bent copper even though the actual evidence isnt there................I can only hope you never rise to the position of Lord Advocate or we are all in trouble !

    MG
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • stagehopperstagehopper Posts: 1,593
    Kléber wrote:
    I am simply saying that the teams would do better to collaborate with the UCI and ensure an independent testing programme.

    Isn't that exactly what the blood passport programme is?
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    Kléber wrote:
    The suspicion comes from watching cycling for many years, many riders and their entourage have corrupted things. That's why some of us are talking about ways to make it better. I would have enjoyed the Tour more if the riders had respected the rules, for example.

    But that's the whole point of anti-doping controls, you start with the premise of suspicion. As one Garmin rider put it, "it almost makes you feel guilty, you are tested so often". I am simply saying that the teams would do better to collaborate with the UCI and ensure an independent testing programme.

    There are ways to make it better without being suspicious of almost any move the teams make in this direction.........they cant win.

    MG
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • micronmicron Posts: 1,843
    Simply expressing an opinion, MG - have been deeply sceptical from the start - having in house 'anti-doping' programmes strikes me as not fundamentally different to the Festina programme to monitor EPO use and rider's health.

    Procycling is like a cheap sausage - it tastes great even though all kinds of censored goes into it, I can acknowledge the censored is there but it doesn't have to spoil my enjoyment.
  • It is the circumstances behind the teams that were the first who felt the need to adopt internal programmes, that encourage scepticism.
    Similarly, the incentive that continues to drive more teams to follow suit, seems to be the inevitable doping crisis; a failed test or the signing of a rider with a "history".
    At CSC, Riis was chasing a sponsorship deal, with the spectre of Basso's OP connection all over the news.
    Bruyneel had the appalling Astana record to sanitise, in order to secure race invites.
    Stapleton had to reinvent HighRoad/Columbia after the entire history of Telekom/T Mob was found to be riddled with systemmatic doping.

    With the exception of Slipstream/Garmin, the teams running internal programmes, did so retro-actively, not pro-actively.

    Throughout, these three squads suffered no drop in form and continue to dominate the sport, winning all 3 GTs and countless one day races.

    Meanwhile, throughout all this, French squads have mainly avoided doping controversy, avoided internally funded schemes and are still managing to avoid winning.

    So the status quo has been maintained. The concept is certainly a positive PR move for the sport's image.
    After that, it's just a question of belief.
    The evidence we crave, is considered unfit for public consumption, so remains locked away. A perfect climate for cultivating a debate, such as this.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    aurelio wrote:
    And I'd be more than happy to help! Just post the details of how exactly he runs his program, how he obtains his samples, the testing frequency, how arrangements are made for him to visit the team and so on. I feel it won't be too difficult a job to point out any shortcomings. :wink:

    If you are looking for more general details of how a rider can ensure that they don't test positive whilst doping, do a search on here. I am sure I have discussed this point several times before. Also, do a search to read about the work of Professor Jean-Pierre de Mondenard.

    I thought you knew what Damsgaard's procedures were already, which is why you're so sure they can be beaten.

    Amusing that the first English language hit Google turns up for Mondenard is him proclaiming, before the 2007 Tour, how the cheats will never be caught.
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • stagehopperstagehopper Posts: 1,593
    Meanwhile, throughout all this, French squads have mainly avoided doping controversy, avoided internally funded schemes and are still managing to avoid winning.

    But can't that be attributed to the French teams in general being rubbish? Smaller budgets, weaker squads, less star names.
  • Meanwhile, throughout all this, French squads have mainly avoided doping controversy, avoided internally funded schemes and are still managing to avoid winning.

    But can't that be attributed to the French teams in general being rubbish? Smaller budgets, weaker squads, less star names.

    I was half joking when I made the comment about the French. :wink:

    However, as to the respective budgets, the answer, according to our host magazine, appears to be no.
    The two biggest budgets for 2008 were Rabo and Cofidis, each with €10 million.
    Ag2r are high on the list, too.

    If this be true, it again begs the question of why they have weaker squads and attract few "names".
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • DaveyL wrote:
    I thought you knew what Damsgaard's procedures were already, which is why you're so sure they can be beaten.

    Amusing that the first English language hit Google turns up for Mondenard is him proclaiming, before the 2007 Tour, how the cheats will never be caught.
    One reason I am sure that they can be beaten because Damsgaard's testing can only detect the same doping product as can be detected by everyone else and (as Mondenard has pointed out) there are many products that the savvy doper can use free of the fear of detection.

    Despite what you try to imply Mondenard has never said that riders can dope with what they like and expect to get away with it. Rather, he has said that all the doper needs to do in order to ensure that they don't get caught is to avoid those products that the testers have developed the necessary tests for. As he says : "It's the professionalisation of dopers. Every time the fight against doping moves ahead, the dopers move along, too." "All the doping controllers look for are the substances they are capable of finding."

    Also, given the number of sporting teams he is working with, including those from other sports such as skiing, it is clear that Damsgaard's resources must be stretched pretty thin. Given that drugs such as Epo only remain detectable for 3 days, or just 12-18 hours if 'micro dosing' is used, there must be plenty of 'windows' when a team can be pretty certain that they won't be tested. This problem is made all the more difficult because riders in teams often train alone in differing parts of the world, only coming together at training camps and at races. Naturally, if a rider is part of a team running an internal monitoring program they will be aware that it is at during events such as training camps that they are most likely to be tested.

    I also wonder if Damsgaard will be able to act in the sort of 'policeman' role that is necessary both in order to ensure that a test isn't cheated and to ensure that the required procedures are followed that would enable sanctions to be brought against a rider if their sample did come up positive. Just look at the way riders claim that a test isn't valid when it is run by an independent organisation, simply because someone made a minor error in putting some details on a form somewhere and had to correct their mistake. Given that attacks made on the labs, WADA and so on by riders determined to undermine accusations of doping made against them, just how difficult a job would someone like Damsgaard have making a case stick if he found something amiss and decided to go public.

    Beyond factors such as this there remains the fact that there are many, many ways to cheat a doping control that would be as effective with someone like Damsgaard as any other doping control doctor.

    By the way, I would not go so far as to claim that Damsgaard is knowingly helping teams to manage their doping. The team doctors are pretty good at that already. Rather I feel the limited amount of control he is able to exert on a team does not warrant the huge PR job teams like Astana have spun around his involvement. That said I feel that his new 'business model' which involves him being paid directly be the teams for his testing does further undermine the credibility of any 'internal' testing program he is involved in.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774

    If, and it's a huge if, the blood passport scheme gets underway and is demonstrably shown to work, and some form of credibility is restored to the UCI on doping issues, then the teams would see no need to spend the extra cash.

    The difference between the passport and the services offered by Damsgaard / Catlin / the guy who does Rock Racing, is that the passport can result in sanctions. And if the UCI hadn't thought it was a bright idea to sue censored Pound they would've had WADA behind them which would make it a lot easier.

    You've hit the nail on the head though - If they're shown to work. There's no evidence I've seen that these monitoring programs actually do work. They should like they should to a layman like me but wouldn't it be nice to see a scientifically valid study done which demonstrates it working and to what level of accuracy.

    The UCI saw something strange with Tyler Hamilton's blood and he had meetings with the UCI over it. Yet Ivan Basso's blood values were held up as an example of how perfectly normal things could be.

    If the passport nabbed a rider who was monitored that would be an interesting scenario.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    aurelio wrote:
    Amusing that the first English language hit Google turns up for Mondenard is him proclaiming, before the 2007 Tour, how the cheats will never be caught.
    One reason I am sure that they can be beaten because Damsgaard's testing can only detect the same doping product as can be detected by everyone else and (as Mondenard has pointed out) there are many products that the savvy doper can use free of the fear of detection.
    [/quote]

    Damsgaards thing is profiling for the effects of doping rather than straight tests. Effectlively what Pierre and the AFLD crew did last year. Look for signs of doping and then test accordingly.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    aurelio wrote:
    Amusing that the first English language hit Google turns up for Mondenard is him proclaiming, before the 2007 Tour, how the cheats will never be caught.
    One reason I am sure that they can be beaten because Damsgaard's testing can only detect the same doping product as can be detected by everyone else and (as Mondenard has pointed out) there are many products that the savvy doper can use free of the fear of detection.
    [/quote]

    Damsgaards thing is profiling for the effects of doping rather than straight tests. Effectlively what Pierre and the AFLD crew did last year. Look for signs of doping and then test accordingly.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • leguapeleguape Posts: 986
    Meanwhile, throughout all this, French squads have mainly avoided doping controversy, avoided internally funded schemes and are still managing to avoid winning.

    But can't that be attributed to the French teams in general being rubbish? Smaller budgets, weaker squads, less star names.

    I was half joking when I made the comment about the French. :wink:

    However, as to the respective budgets, the answer, according to our host magazine, appears to be no.
    The two biggest budgets for 2008 were Rabo and Cofidis, each with €10 million.
    Ag2r are high on the list, too.

    If this be true, it again begs the question of why they have weaker squads and attract few "names".

    Hushovd didn't do too badly at Credit Agricole. The problem for French teams has been sponsors pressure to have French riders when the talent hasn't been there or when it appears they don't want to stick a zero on the end to keep them.

    Fundamentally the multiplicity of agencies is why people get through the net. Look at the co-authored paper by Damsgaard in which he seems to argue that there should only be one body collating the testing data, which is then accesible to a wide range of agencies.

    "A prerequisite for an efficient unannounced out-of-competition testing programme is a well-designed database, where information on sample collection, test results and whereabouts of cyclists are shared between testing bodies. WADA has developed and implemented the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) which manages these issues. Since the riders are subject to doping control from up to four different parties: National Anti Doping Organisations (NADO), International Cycling Federation (UCI), WADA and (in some cases) Internal Team Testing Programmes, all parties should be allowed access to this database, so that sample collection can be coordinated between all testing bodies and the “surprise” effect and efficiency of testing remains optimal. This reduces duplicate testing and thus the costs of out-of-competition testing, which can be significant, when only one or a few samples are collected at distant places. Having a broad network of doping control officers (DCOs) scattered all over the world allows fast sample collection and reduction of travel costs. " - http://www.ismj.com/default.asp?pageID=112475648

    I'd argue that it's the UCI that's been left holding the wrong end of the flaming torch or truth - managing long-term, widespread testing - while AFLD has been scoring political points because it got lucky. That doesn't help anyone.

    We seem to be forgetting in this debate that it was the UCI team of Anne Gripper that nailed Vino, Kash and Sella. No big fanfare, just good, careful intelligence work that was the safe basis for applying a ban. Compare that to AFLD's Bordry and his big fanfare for a handful of positives which haven't really been scrutinised (cf Schumacher).

    Likewise on the internal testing front I've got a small degree of unease about Slipstream given Allen Lim's previous involvement with Landis and that of Paul Scott, formerly of ACE. Not to mention Vaughters' continued sliding on his own doping.
  • leguapeleguape Posts: 986
    Meanwhile, throughout all this, French squads have mainly avoided doping controversy, avoided internally funded schemes and are still managing to avoid winning.

    But can't that be attributed to the French teams in general being rubbish? Smaller budgets, weaker squads, less star names.

    I was half joking when I made the comment about the French. :wink:

    However, as to the respective budgets, the answer, according to our host magazine, appears to be no.
    The two biggest budgets for 2008 were Rabo and Cofidis, each with €10 million.
    Ag2r are high on the list, too.

    If this be true, it again begs the question of why they have weaker squads and attract few "names".

    Hushovd didn't do too badly at Credit Agricole. The problem for French teams has been sponsors pressure to have French riders when the talent hasn't been there or when it appears they don't want to stick a zero on the end to keep them.

    Fundamentally the multiplicity of agencies is why people get through the net. Look at the co-authored paper by Damsgaard in which he seems to argue that there should only be one body collating the testing data, which is then accesible to a wide range of agencies.

    "A prerequisite for an efficient unannounced out-of-competition testing programme is a well-designed database, where information on sample collection, test results and whereabouts of cyclists are shared between testing bodies. WADA has developed and implemented the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) which manages these issues. Since the riders are subject to doping control from up to four different parties: National Anti Doping Organisations (NADO), International Cycling Federation (UCI), WADA and (in some cases) Internal Team Testing Programmes, all parties should be allowed access to this database, so that sample collection can be coordinated between all testing bodies and the “surprise” effect and efficiency of testing remains optimal. This reduces duplicate testing and thus the costs of out-of-competition testing, which can be significant, when only one or a few samples are collected at distant places. Having a broad network of doping control officers (DCOs) scattered all over the world allows fast sample collection and reduction of travel costs. " - http://www.ismj.com/default.asp?pageID=112475648

    I'd argue that it's the UCI that's been left holding the wrong end of the flaming torch or truth - managing long-term, widespread testing - while AFLD has been scoring political points because it got lucky. That doesn't help anyone.

    We seem to be forgetting in this debate that it was the UCI team of Anne Gripper that nailed Vino, Kash and Sella. No big fanfare, just good, careful intelligence work that was the safe basis for applying a ban. Compare that to AFLD's Bordry and his big fanfare for a handful of positives which haven't really been scrutinised (cf Schumacher).

    Likewise on the internal testing front I've got a small degree of unease about Slipstream given Allen Lim's previous involvement with Landis and that of Paul Scott, formerly of ACE. Not to mention Vaughters' continued sliding on his own doping.
  • iainf72 wrote:
    aurelio wrote:
    One reason I am sure that they can be beaten because Damsgaard's testing can only detect the same doping product as can be detected by everyone else and (as Mondenard has pointed out) there are many products that the savvy doper can use free of the fear of detection.
    Damsgaards thing is profiling for the effects of doping rather than straight tests. Effectlively what Pierre and the AFLD crew did last year. Look for signs of doping and then test accordingly.
    Yes, but as you have said yourself: 'Ivan Basso's blood values were held up as an example of how perfectly normal things could be'. :wink:

    Also, I can see how looking for unusual changes in certain parameters, such as blood haemocrit levels, can prompt a tester to look further, but unless the doping method can be tested for and detected those unusual variations cannot be attributed to doping.

    Also, does all doping cause measurable changes in the sort of physiological parameters that are recorded?
  • leguapeleguape Posts: 986
    edited January 2009
  • micronmicron Posts: 1,843
    The CERA TdF positives could have been corroborated but McQuaid refused the retro testing for the Giro. Until the UCI has a credible leader then all the good work in the world by Anne Gripper and her team will be for nought
  • leguapeleguape Posts: 986
    edited January 2009
  • Judging from the multiple repeat postings, I'm not the only one regularly having trouble accessing this site and especially the forum. :(
    FLandis been hacking again?
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • micronmicron Posts: 1,843
    another pesky duplicate
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    Re: the Giro CERA tests

    Can anyone clarify if the CERA tests use the same sample sizes and storage conditions as the other tests? At the time of the Tour, it was widely rumoured that several riders (Ricco plus several CSC riders) were repeatedly tested to accumulate a large enough sample for the CERA test. If the CERA test has different sample requirements, could they have been met by Giro samples?
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • LangerDan wrote:
    Re: the Giro CERA tests

    Can anyone clarify if the CERA tests use the same sample sizes and storage conditions as the other tests? At the time of the Tour, it was widely rumoured that several riders (Ricco plus several CSC riders) were repeatedly tested to accumulate a large enough sample for the CERA test. If the CERA test has different sample requirements, could they have been met by Giro samples?

    And thats the problem with Schuey i think, His B sample hasnt been tested yet. Might be a case of Kohl Ricco and Co. regretting coming clean so quickly. Would be nice to know how they caught these guys.
    Take care of the luxuries and the necessites will take care of themselves.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    Judging from the multiple repeat postings, I'm not the only one regularly having trouble accessing this site and especially the forum. :(
    FLandis been hacking again?

    I'm not saying anything but the forum was fine until Procycling published those questions from the forum.

    My bad.

    :wink:
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • The latest on the Schumacher saga:-
    The agency informed Schumacher of the positive tests on October 7. Bordry confirmed that the B samples have not yet been opened, since Lehner said on October 21 that his client did not want them analysed. Bordry thereupon requested Schumacher to let the UCI send the AFLD the results from his biological passport. "He received my letter but never responded."

    The AFLD issued a complaint against Schumacher on November 14, which he received on November 20. Lehner came to Paris on November 21, Bordry continued, and looked at the files.

    The next step was the hearing, which was held last week. Schumacher was informed of the date and had Lehner appear in his place. "We held the hearing on January 22 and have, as the Code requires us, informed the UCI, the WADA and the [German] NADA [anti-doping agency] of it on that same day by fax."

    "Now we are discussing the matter and will make our decision," Bordry said.


    More on this Damsgaard situation, too
    Questions still remains as to whether Armstrong is on the Astana programme.
    They say he is, While Dr Bo Belhage says he's not. This appears to be the reason for the split with the hospital.
    The hospital had been receiving the monies, then paying Damsgaard. now, it goes straight into his pocket.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • DaveyL wrote:
    My other (implied) question still stands. Which organisation could run an independent anti-doping programme and not stand to benefit by riders not testing positive?

    I was talking with a friend of mine who works in a police Forensics lab and he had some rather interesting things to say on the whole doping issue.

    He reckons that because forensic labs have to operate under such tight scrutiny (in some cases peoples lives and futures are at risk here) that a forensics lab would be an ideal choice for these tests.

    His other points were a bit more controversial and involved making doping a criminal offense and there for punishable under the Law, but this brings with it a whole new ethical debate.

    Just some observations from a different perspective......
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Interesting points. But I think the labs themselves are - in general - OK. I mean, the ones which carry out the testing are WADA-accredited and are (in theory) capable of carrying out their work to the letter of the WADA code (though in the Landis case we saw that this didn't always happen). It's more a case of the liason between the lab and the UCI/natioanl feds/teams.

    As Ashenden once said, the criteria for a doping positive are often more stringent than that which would be required to send a person to jail for life - though that is maybe a provocative statement.

    Doping is a criminal offence in some other countries though.
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • Were will Damsgaard doing his testing from now on? Surely the hospital lab he's been using won't want him there?


    If he sets up his own lab will he first need to get WADA accreditation or will he be to start trading from the off?

    One last question how much would it cost for a lab to get WADA accreditation?
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Don't know if it costs anything per se, they would just need to demonstrate they are able to work to certain protocols. I could be wrong though - no idea if you have to pay for a licence.
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • This all seems to me to be a storm in a teacup.

    Firstly, statements from Damsgaards previous employers need to be taken with a grain of salt. You can bet that if he was testing in their labs then they were getting a cut plus some kudos too given his profile. Sounds like some sour grapes going on now the boy wonder is leaving. Suggesting that because the hospital was paid and then passed it on it is practically different to direct payment is a very tenuous argument. Probably sooking by some inflated ego head of department who was riding on Damsgaards back and lording it over him. Damsgaard got sick of it and told him where to stick it. Now the puffed up blowfish is foaming at the mouth with false indignation and trying to shaft the former protege. Yes, I know that last bit is a flight of fancy but I am somewhat familiar with the way of the world.

    Secondly, despite the cynicism Damsgaard is contracted by his clients to protect their investments not by WADA, UCI or any other independent organisation. It may be a commercial arrangement but that doesn't mean there aren't ethical, moral and legal constraints. If I employ a professional contractor in any capacity I expect them to perform competently. Presumably Damsgaard is a professional, "conflict of interest" just doesn't come into it, there is no conflict. If recent events have shown anything it is that a couple of positive tests can be the death knell for a team. The logic is inexorable. If internal testing merely suggests or indicates something is amiss then the team can dismiss the rider (it's in the contract). This reflects positively on the team and sponsors are happy. In contrast if AFLD, UCI, etc prove doping (takes a lot longer, higher standard of evidence required etc). This reflects very badly on the team and consequences are that sponsors invariably bail and the whole lot crumbles away.

    Thirdly, there is a historical perspective to this. The teams implemented their own programs well in advance of the bio passport program. It is possible that in due course if the bio passport proves effective then teams may wind back their internal programs. However, there is an argument as outlined above that from the teams perspective they may be complimentery. The UCI is going to have to establish a much higher level of proof prior to charging with doping than an internal program. It is in the teams best interests to anticipate any trouble proactively.

    Fourthly, I don't really see how it could possibly be in damsgaards interests to assist in doping. Potentially, he could be duped through misuse of his data but even that seems unlikely.
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