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Is the passport flawed?

iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
edited November 2010 in Pro race
Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.

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  • CumulonimbusCumulonimbus Posts: 1,730
    You not going to give any opinions? Almost sounds like an exam question put like that..:wink:

    I'll sit the test though. That article goes over some issues but despite going on about data analysis does not actually provide any data with which to prove its point. It mentions the Pellizotti case but it does not go into any details of what the suspect readings were and how they were wrong statistically. I get the impression that he is complaining because we dont know what the exact range of Pellizotti's values would be without doping so how can we then know whether individual readings are a sign of doping or not?

    Who is Klaas Faber anyway? Its just says he works for forensics. A quick google reveals that he has been working with anti-doping experts although not much more.

    If you expect the passport to detect any kind of blood doping then your thinking is flawed because you cant know what the natural fluctuation of values is. Obviously if someone with a HCT of 38% during training suddenly has a HCT of 60% then it is obvious to all that something funny is going on. However, if it rises to 40% then that could easily be natural. Where do you draw the line in between?
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    The thing with the Pellizotti case is that the UCI have not picked a borderline case here, the whole point is to pick a case where it is very obvious what he has been doing.

    Nevertheless, it is hard to prove. A rising haematocrit during a grand tour is highly suspicious but does it prove EPO use? Discuss, as they say.
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Jesus, cyclingnews’s “journalism” is really going down to the toilet.

    First today, we get a “story” based on Sanchez claiming that everyone in Spain who is successful works hard for it and isn't doping, with no apparent irony whatsoever. I thought we were back in 1996.

    Now some Dutch “expert” claiming the passport is dead in the water.

    The guy claims the UCI will *probably* lose the Pellizotti case – we’ll see. Shall we go back to Klaas for a quote if they don't?

    He says “*if* you describe this procedure to someone that’s worked in statistics, the best in the world, *they would* call it second rate and back room science”

    Well, this is easy to prove. Let’s get hold of an expert in statistics and see what they say, rather than have Klaas guess what they might say. Is that too hard to do, Mr Benson? Or are you just going to take everything this guy says at face value? Where's the interview with a scientist invovled in the passport, responding to these claims?

    Gawd almighty. These guys are either morons or just trying to drum up some hits for their website. I'm not sure which is preferable.
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 7,107
    I still don't know what is suspicious or not...non the wiser on the passport

    falling values where suspicious according to some commentators

    haven't got the first idea on how to read the data... and this means legal action is just going to be the battle of the experts where margins of doubt for the ill informed can hold sway

    IE its easier to discredit than prove

    solution

    all pros to sign a disclaimer against taking legal action on these grounds or they dont ride

    the end


    so even if you get banned erroneously.......... tough
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    My understanding of the passport is it's not about hct values. Everyone is hung up on this from the 90's, but rather a number of different parameters and then some statistical rules are applied to the values.

    What puzzles me a bit is when they say "x or y test was suspicious" - I would've thought you'd look at the whole pattern and look for a trend?

    Also curious about the lab memo having which he claims expressed some concerns?
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Actually, reading it again, almost none of what he says makes any sense.

    Do Cyclingnews just publish anything anyone says, with no critical appraisal?
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    DaveyL wrote:

    Do Cyclingnews just publish anything anyone says, with no critical appraisal?

    Sure sure sure
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    :lol::lol::lol:
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • CumulonimbusCumulonimbus Posts: 1,730
    iainf72 wrote:
    My understanding of the passport is it's not about hct values. Everyone is hung up on this from the 90's, but rather a number of different parameters and then some statistical rules are applied to the values.

    What puzzles me a bit is when they say "x or y test was suspicious" - I would've thought you'd look at the whole pattern and look for a trend?

    Yeah there are quite a few things they look at but its just the easiest to use as an example.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,686 Lives Here
    It was the bit regarding 'encouraging people to dope from an earlier age' which I thought was most revealing - it suggests that, if you have been doping for a while and want to stop - you can't without revealing you were juicing up before hand - and that you can go undetected as long as you keep juicing it.
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    It was the bit regarding 'encouraging people to dope from an earlier age' which I thought was most revealing - it suggests that, if you have been doping for a while and want to stop - you can't without revealing you were juicing up before hand - and that you can go undetected as long as you keep juicing it.

    So what's the scenario he's envisioning here? You're a talented, clean amateur heading for the pro ranks. You say, "Well, I'm going to have to start doping at some point in the future, but it's likely the passport will then catch me. But if I start now, I'll get away with it." Is that it? Is that how he says it will go down?

    Instead, good old Klaas "suggests it could be used to provide health checks and a possible no-start rule, similar to the haematocrit tests the UCI used to carry out." Excellent, cos that worked really well, didn't it?

    Honestly, I'm really wondering if it's April 1st, having looked at what's on their website today. Where did they dig this guy up from?
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,686 Lives Here
    DaveyL wrote:
    It was the bit regarding 'encouraging people to dope from an earlier age' which I thought was most revealing - it suggests that, if you have been doping for a while and want to stop - you can't without revealing you were juicing up before hand - and that you can go undetected as long as you keep juicing it.

    So what's the scenario he's envisioning here? You're a talented, clean amateur heading for the pro ranks. You say, "Well, I'm going to have to start doping at some point in the future, but it's likely the passport will then catch me. But if I start now, I'll get away with it." Is that it? Is that how he says it will go down?

    Instead, good old Klaas "suggests it could be used to provide health checks and a possible no-start rule, similar to the haematocrit tests the UCI used to carry out." Excellent, cos that worked really well, didn't it?

    Honestly, I'm really wondering if it's April 1st, having looked at what's on their website today. Where did they dig this guy up from?

    Ooor "I'm doping now and getting away with it, but I want to stop. But if I stop, I get caught, so I'll keep doping".
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    That's not his argument though, is it? He is saying it is an invitation to start doping at a young age, not a dis-incentive to stop doping.

    However, for the latter case, I would suggest that (1) there will not be many riders who made the choice to dope, who are now doping, and want to stop. And (2) those that do, if the passport is so easily manipulable, can simply go for a "soft landing" back to baseline levels.

    It could also be argued that the introduction of the passport was the watershed - the moment where the UCI said "OK, if you're doping from now on, you stand a much greater chance of getting caught". For anyone who chose not to stop then - "tough".
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    iainf72 wrote:
    Discuss.

    Never understood why people do this. I mean isn't the idea of starting a post for it to be discussed. Not sure why people then write it.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • stagehopperstagehopper Posts: 1,593
    Bets analogy I can some up with is the blood passport when fully operational for all parameters is the equivalent of a series of observatories around the world pooling data to map the sky in 3D. The haemocrit level test is trying to do the same with a camera in your back garden.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Looks like Ashenden is pretty clear on Klaas Faber getting things wrong.

    Clearly Ashenden has a lot invested in the passport scheme so he's going to be a strong defender. But a lot of what he says makes sense.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    So, not to put too fine a point on it, it looks like CN went to a moron for an opinion on the passport?
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Sure, sure, sure :wink:

    But it could be that the "moron" approached them or at least made himself available, complete with his axe ready for grinding.

    That's the trouble on a subject like this, the folk over at CN might know their Geraarsbergen from their Galibier but Bayesian statistics and reticulocytes?
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    Kléber wrote:

    That's the trouble on a subject like this, the folk over at CN might know their Geraarsbergen from their Galibier but Bayesian statistics and reticulocytes?

    Isn't that called "research"?
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • DaveyL wrote:
    So what's the scenario he's envisioning here? You're a talented, clean amateur heading for the pro ranks. You say, "Well, I'm going to have to start doping at some point in the future, but it's likely the passport will then catch me. But if I start now, I'll get away with it." Is that it? Is that how he says it will go down?

    That allegedly didnt work for Riccardo Ricco...
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Kléber wrote:
    Sure, sure, sure :wink:

    But it could be that the "moron" approached them or at least made himself available, complete with his axe ready for grinding.

    That's the trouble on a subject like this, the folk over at CN might know their Geraarsbergen from their Galibier but Bayesian statistics and reticulocytes?

    Yes, but they don't need to know about it themselves. They only need to know how to do journalism. They could speak to a man or woman who does know about Bayesian statistics and reticulocytes.

    NY Velocity did...
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    But if you read both again Ashenden and Faber pretty much agree on the main points, and that is the passport is only of use to act a flag of doping practises and/or as a 'health check'.


    The main diagreement comes over the use of experts and statistical techniques, but if you have enough money you'll be able to ensure these are bothh on your side of the argument. This is why the passport will struggle on its own to pin dopers, as it is easily open to challenge.

    I tend to agree with Faber's point about inteh passport encouraging younger doping.
  • kfaberkfaber Posts: 1
    It’s not necessary to use Bayesian statistics. Any statistical framework that's fair to both parties in an adversary process would do, see:

    W.A. Wagenaar, The proper seat. A Bayesian discussion of the position of expert witnesses, Law and Human Behavior, 12 (1988) 499-510.

    However, the choice for Bayesian statistics has been made about 20 years ago in forensics, and the field of anti-doping appears to follow that choice.

    Much of the scientific literature on the biological passport suggests that the ABP software uses Bayesian statistics. However, that's misleading. It performs a classical test of the wrong hypothesis. The technical term is prosecutor’s fallacy.

    If you want to learn more about this, just ask for copies of:

    K. Faber and M. Sjerps, Anti-doping researchers should conform to certain statistical standards from forensic science, Science and Justice, 49 (2009) 214-215.

    N.M. Faber and B.G.M. Vandeginste, Flawed science ‘legalized’ in the fight against doping: the example of the biological passport, Accreditation and Quality Assurance, 15 (2010) 373-374.

    More than excellent reading is Chapter 6 of a report of a team of researchers of Deakin University:

    http://www.newcyclingpathway.com/

    In particular, pay attention to the final sections 'conclusion’ and ‘recommendations’. As it is organized now, the passport does not meet logic-based requirements that are well known in the criminal context. N.B. The accidentally chosen standard of proof in doping cases ( ‘comfortable satisfaction’) does not change anything. The data are grossly incomplete.

    Finally, from the interview published on Cycling News one can infer that I'm not involved in the Pellizotti case as an expert for the defense. If I were, the UCI would most certainly loose that case. There's, for example, specific European law protecting citizens against this so-called proof of doping.
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    credit to JV at garmin if true..jv says/tweets that they've been under threat of during the night controls for 2 years at his request ..so 24hr watch..quite revolutionary as micro dosing and self transfusions, from what i read, can't happen without real danger of being caught if during the night controls
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    The Myth has another pop at the passport

    http://www.53x12.com/do/show?page=article&id=79
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
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