Pro Cycling News – The Seguros Affair

Nov 8 2005

So, in case you missed it, the big news is Roberto Heras has tested positive for EPO. Coverage has been pretty wide-spread so far. While Heras has maintained his innocence and blamed a lab mix-up for the positive, the news couldn’t have come at a worse time for his team. The positive sample, from Stage 20 of this year’s Vuelta, if it holds up, would disqualify the diminuative Spaniard from the event, eliminating his 4th and record-setting Vuelta win, and instead conferring the ’05 title on Denis Menchov, whose directeur sportif has already taken the liberty of claiming the young Russian doesn’t want it (scroll down). A positive B sample would mean “disaster” for cycling, according to the Vuelta a España race director, but he’s probably just embarassed because this sort of thing has happened before (search “Arroyo”) at his race.

To me, it makes no sense to take EPO so late in a three-week event, especially one that marks the end of your season (see link in “EPO” above), but as I am understandably unfamiliar with the nuances of EPO microdosing, I can’t really weigh in on the topic. Interestingly, the only web pages that attempt to shed light on microdosing are cycling discussion forums, which makes me wonder if it isn’t an anti-doping boogeyman. If you can find a reliable news source with some information on the topic, please, let me know.

Other news is understandably scarce, though if you scroll down in the “big” link above, you’ll find a few tidbits. There is also, of course, some inoffensive tech news, in which three high-end products recieve sterling reviews (“sell your children”!?), and a fourth works through some eloquent circumlocutions to the effect that, yes, Zipp wheels do tend to break when used, but are sweet while they work. And if that’s not enough, Lennard Zinn clears up some technical issues involving products you can’t afford.

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2 Responses to “Pro Cycling News – The Seguros Affair”

  1. asssssssssss November 9, 2005 at 3:48 am #

    Well it seems pretty weird tat he would score epo so late…Even if the B sample will be negative UCI has to reconsider WADA involvement in cycling and maybe create it’s own anti-doping unit?

  2. Doper November 30, 2005 at 9:58 am #

    *IF* he actually does test positive on the B test, and was using EPO at the time he tested positive – he was most likely using it for the entire race. The current strategy (as opposed to in the 90s when there was no test) with EPO is to use it in small amounts. Since high hematocrits are now “illegal”, there is no gain from doing large amounts of the drug DURING the race, instead small amount are used that do not elevate Hct about 50% and are also undetectable to the test. Of course just how much the test can detect is not known, so its always a risk that you might get caught.

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