Taking an inhaler hit with 19k to go
Last Post 06/12/2014 10:03 PM by Ride On. 44 Replies.
Author Messages
Keith Richards

Posts:739

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06/10/2014 03:19 PM
LE TEIL, France (VN) — Chris Froome (Sky) hit back Tuesday after Twitter erupted overnight with messages indicating that the Tour de France champion might be using an asthma inhaler without a therapeutic use exemption, or TUE.

“It’s completely allowed, you don’t need a TUE for it,” Froome said. “It’s a bit of a surprise everyone is talking about it now.”

Overnight on Twitter, users posted messages and images of Froome puffing on an inhaler during Monday’s second stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. TV cameras filmed him putting an inhaler in his mouth with 19 kilometers to race, shortly before the start of the Col du Béal climb. He dueled with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) on the climb, won the fight, and maintained his yellow jersey.

Froome’s girlfriend, Michelle Cound, responded to some messages on Twitter and explained that he has used it since he was a boy.

“No TUE required,” she wrote. “He has asthma, hence the coughing after exertion #duh #trolls.”

Sky confirmed that he has been using the inhaler since he was a teenager and that sometimes in races he administers Salbutamol.


Read more at http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/06/news/froome-says-uci-allows-him-to-use-inhaler-to-treat-his-asthma_331334#Rv8xdfV2mVdSmVHq.99

I have always had a problem with the "exercise induced asthma" thing. But taking a hit mid event before the last climb of the day? That is weak.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Orange Crush

Posts:1211

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06/10/2014 03:30 PM
https://i.imgflip.com/9g4mr.gif

Keith Richards

Posts:739

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06/10/2014 04:06 PM
I am sorry, that should not be allowed.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1136

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06/10/2014 04:11 PM
AS someone who suffers from EIA, I can tell you it is no joke. I had one attack that had me on the side fo the road, feeling like I was about to pass out. Even though it mainly affects me in the cold, I still take a hit on my "bong" before races or hard workouts all year.

That said, I don't understand taking a hit at the end of the ride. During such a long race, your body should have already triggered an attack (if it was going to have one). RIshi Grewal used to do pre-race rides specifically designed to trigger an attack. Then his body would react, recover and he would be good to go.

Now....with THAT said, if Froome doesn't have EIA, then an inhaler doesn't really help him. Lots of studies out there that say inhalers don't enlarge your breathing passages beyond normal....they just prevent them from getting inflamed (and thus limiting oxygen intake).
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Pin0Q0

Posts:229

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06/10/2014 04:50 PM
Unfortunately for Froome haters, WADA took that off the list back in 2012 because there was absolutely no evidance that the drug enhanced anything.
jmdirt

Posts:708

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06/10/2014 05:26 PM
Yep, what Cosmic and Pin said, it won't hep him unless he has an issue.

The arguments could go wild from there though. Sport is about the strongest person. If you have breathing issues, you aren't the strongest person (you were genetically screwed).
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1136

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06/10/2014 05:48 PM
jm raises an interesting point, and honestly one I don't have an answer to.

I get the "you race what God gave you" POV....and if someone does not have EIA, then they have a "natural" advantage.

Conversely, you aren't getting an advantage outside of what your body was capable of w/o EIA....which is a medical condition. We make plenty of exceptions for medical conditions re: drugs that can be taken in competition.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Keith Richards

Posts:739

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06/10/2014 05:50 PM
Posted By Justin jmdirt on 06/10/2014 05:26 PM
Yep, what Cosmic and Pin said, it won't hep him unless he has an issue.

The arguments could go wild from there though. Sport is about the strongest person. If you have breathing issues, you aren't the strongest person (you were genetically screwed).


This is how I have always felt. If genetically you cannot get it done because of your breathing...well sorry, elite level sports are just not for you.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
ChinookPass

Posts:465

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06/10/2014 06:56 PM
When is it EIA and when is it "racer cough"?
jmdirt

Posts:708

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06/10/2014 08:04 PM
Ok, I'll stretch it even more: My hematocrit is in the low 40s so I should be able to take something get it up to what I am capable of without low hematocrit syndrome. I have low T, can I use a patch to be at the same level as my competitors?

I'm with Cosmic in that I don't claim to have the answer, but my gut feeling is what I stated above that if you need any medication you are not fit to compete (EDIT: at the top/pro level). Sorry ma nature screwed you.

With that said, I know that there are many athletes in all sports who take legally prescribed, legally accepted (by some governing body) medication. Froome using an inhaler is not outside the norm, but his timing seems odd.
Keith Richards

Posts:739

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06/10/2014 08:07 PM
Posted By Cosmic Kid on 06/10/2014 05:48 PM
jm raises an interesting point, and honestly one I don't have an answer to.

I get the "you race what God gave you" POV....and if someone does not have EIA, then they have a "natural" advantage.

Conversely, you aren't getting an advantage outside of what your body was capable of w/o EIA....which is a medical condition. We make plenty of exceptions for medical conditions re: drugs that can be taken in competition.


I disagree with this rationale. A person without EIA does not have a "natural" advantage, they have normal respiratory function. A person with EIA, unfortunately for them, does not. I don't like the argument of using the norm and turning into an advantage that needs to/can be "evened out" via drugs. That is weak. You have reached the limit of YOUR body. It is what it is, accept it.

EDITED to add...Word jm.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
stronz

Posts:310

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06/10/2014 09:49 PM
Berto should take an inhaler out of his jersey and take a hit off it at the base of the last climb at the dauphine this week right in front of Froome just to eff with his head
Ride On

Posts:441

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06/10/2014 10:15 PM
What is your definition of a drug?

Suppose I am born with low bone density and I take in extra calcium thru my choice of food intake. Is that in some way cheating the definition of you were born with weak bones so deal with it if you want to compete.

It is a very fine line what is and what isn't a drug.
Oldfart

Posts:484

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06/10/2014 10:16 PM
Yeah I'm 5'5" and it's not fare that I can't play basketball or hockey because I'm too small. That said, if all the inhaler does is make him "normal" then maybe that isn't such a big deal. My wife has asthma and has a puffer. She'll take a puff before exercise. Helped her bike race.
Master50

Posts:235

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06/10/2014 10:18 PM
I take an inhaler for allergies but i cannot take a dose just before a ride because it actually does not help and often makes breathing harder. Typical reaction is I am breathing like I am at my max but the Heart monitor clearly says I am not working hard enough. I really need to plan the drugs, but the best I get is how I feel uncongested. My allergies were the worst 20 years ago when I was racing. Only ever did well in the spring and later summer. May to July were shot. Symbicort was my saviour and this is the first year I am not taking it out of the last 10 or so. I am riding very well naturally right now. Just need to increase the distance for endurance.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1136

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06/10/2014 10:37 PM
Posted By Justin jmdirt on 06/10/2014 08:04 PM
Ok, I'll stretch it even more: My hematocrit is in the low 40s so I should be able to take something get it up to what I am capable of without low hematocrit syndrome. I have low T, can I use a patch to be at the same level as my competitors?



I see a difference here....a lower hemaocrit is not a medical issue. Low T can be a meidcal issue and there is a process in place to get a TUE.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
THE SKINNY

Posts:409

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06/10/2014 10:50 PM
i guess it's medicine if it keeps you from dying.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
jmdirt

Posts:708

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06/10/2014 10:58 PM
RideOn: "What is your definition of a drug? "

Good question. My reflex is to say natural vs. synthetic. But, for example, cannabis is natural, ibuprofen is not, which one is accepted in sports?

As to your analogy, nutrition is not the same as supplementation. Eating a pound of almonds each week is just food.

Yep, some fine lines and some gray areas too.

Note: be careful, that calcium that's helping your bones may be messing with your heart.
stronz

Posts:310

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06/11/2014 05:41 AM
A drug is any chemical we ingest (doesn't matter how) that alters the body's natural physiology. That extra Calcium you are taking is a drug. That salbuterol Froome takes is a drug. The definition is not gray. How we interpret it is...
Pin0Q0

Posts:229

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06/11/2014 06:34 AM
Bob Roll made an excellent point during his commentary. "You just wrote a book why wasn't ever mentioned and why wasn't UCI ever told." Apparently it's bring investigated and we have not heard the last of it.
jookey

Posts:141

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06/11/2014 07:25 AM
Posted By stronzo nonfumare on 06/10/2014 09:49 PM
Berto should take an inhaler out of his jersey and take a hit off it at the base of the last climb at the dauphine this week right in front of Froome just to eff with his head

How about pulling out a nice juicy steak?
Dale

Posts:495

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06/11/2014 09:41 AM
Posted By Jookey on 06/11/2014 07:25 AM

How about pulling out a nice juicy steak?


I think we can just stop now, nothing will top this
jmdirt

Posts:708

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06/11/2014 11:23 AM
stroz, you are correct at the purest level that the definition isn't gray, but what I meant by gray areas is, for example, is eating almonds to get 250 mg of calcium the same as taking a 250 mg supplement. I would say that they are not the same, but I can also see the gray area debate there. Is vaping a bowl of mj the same as puffing a bronchodilator inhaler for constricted airways?

We could also get into a discussion about homeostasis. Is calcium (potassium, sodium...) a drug if we are just maintaining the stability our our systems?
stronz

Posts:310

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06/11/2014 11:36 AM
you are right that there are gray areas. Is drinking water to stay hydrated consuming a drug? I think most would say no. However if you consume too much water and you become hyponatremic (too little sodium) you can cause all kinds of metabolic abnormalities including cardiac arrythmia resultin in death. In that case the water consumption fits the definition of ingesting a drug.

But getting back to Froome -- it isnt gray -- its very clear. The dude is taking a drug plain and simple. It doesnt affect performance? BS -- Then dont take it.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1136

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06/11/2014 11:40 AM
Posted By stronzo nonfumare on 06/11/2014 11:36 AM
> But getting back to Froome -- it isnt gray -- its very clear. The dude is taking a drug plain and simple. It doesnt affect performance? BS -- Then dont take it.


You're right....but from the wrong POV. It is very clear.....the inhaler is legal and therefore he did not do anything wrong. Whether it affects performance or not (it doesn't) is immaterial.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:1211

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06/11/2014 12:07 PM
It's legal and therefore should be allowed to be used; certainly if EIA can cause convlusions and things like that. But mid-race use seems to go against the science, which says EIA can pretty much be prevented by a targeted warmup. That is, EIA should not just pop up mid-race, correct?

And Froome of all people should know that images of a cyclist with a bong in his face mid-race sends all the wrong messages; after all he's the one complaining loudest about questions he got post-race in TdF. This won't silence those questions.

So why is he using it mid-race? Is it insecutity about his condition? Between this, the Wiggins saga and other things I am starting to sense the dude is suffering from mild paranoia caused by insecurity despite what he can physically do on a bike.

Funny atlhletes at the London Ole games "suffering" from EIA were twice as likely to medal as those without the condition. So the higher up on performance ladder you are the more likely you are to get EIA. Sounds like a self-regulating mechanism then, like a pain treshhold or the psycho-physical reaction of body to exhaustion.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/why-asthma-doesnt-stop-elite-athletes/article4445211/
jmdirt

Posts:708

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06/11/2014 12:15 PM
stroz, that's funny, I almost added a Q about drinking water. :0

Cosmic, I agree 100%, what Froome did is legal. The debate here is should it be legal.

OC, great point about image!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1136

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06/11/2014 12:38 PM
I know, but I was responding to stronz's post where it implies Froome was doing something wrong. While he is "taking a drug, pure and simple" the fact remains that what he did was legal. And unlike something like taking AICAR before it was banned, I don't feel that it even violates the spirit of the rule.

OC, I noted the same point earlier in the thread where I relayed how Rishi Grewal used to induce an attack as part of his pre-race warm-up. I don't understand the value of taking a hit that late in a race.....
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:1211

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06/11/2014 01:06 PM
CK - I think the article I linked kind of gives the answer. Proper warmup or pre-race use will help for a certain period; it may become less effective over prolonged periods:

"It turns out that asthma attacks produce a “refractory period,” during which the airways become temporarily immune from a further attack. As a result, a warm-up that is sufficiently long and intense to sensitize the airways may allow athletes to get through their competition or time trial without suffering an attack."

A 4 hour race is a different beast.

In my mind pre-race should be legal; in-race needs to be taken a very hard look at because as i said it sends all the wrong messages.

THE SKINNY

Posts:409

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06/11/2014 01:07 PM
could it have been something environmental that triggered it? smog or pollen?
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
79pmooney

Posts:1161

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06/11/2014 02:28 PM
skinny, I think you have a great point. A four or five hour race will be going in and out of orchards, wheat fields, cities etc. Big changes in pollen content, smog and industrial pollutants.

I see both sides of this. My life is far better using Nasonex, a corticosteroid, daily (though not on rides). Without, my sinuses close up, congestion builds and eventually I will get the sore throat and anti-Bs yet again. With, I get to have a life, both on the bike and off. This condition of mine was almost certainly set in place by willing actions of mine (working with fiberglass resins and solvents). Because of this (or if my condition was genetic) should I be banned from using the Nasonex if I were to race again?

I don't care for Froome at all. That use of the inhaler reflects poorly on Froome, on Sky and UCI as a whole. Probably such use should be banned for just that reason. Perhaps the rules should read: inhalers may be used before the start and out of sight of the public, but not during races. Those who need them during would then simply have the same sucky problem that many of have that shows in different ways. Bad genetics. Curse God, suck it up and limit your racing to what your body can do well.

I was given a body uniquely suited for Cat II 3 week stage races. They don't exist. As racing existed in my day, I could shine in (but probably not win) two or three races a year.

I think UCI needs to look at this as an issue of perception. This sport is about making money, garnering positive publicity and reaping benefits for the sponsors. To help achieve this, I would say that a policy of no drugs used before or during races while in the public eye. Cruel to some riders, yes. But that would be simple and uniform. The one exception I could see is drugs (anti-Bs, wound dressings etc.) for sicknesses and injuries incurred during stage races with strict TUEs required.

(I may wake up tomorrow with a very different idea on how this should play out!)

Ben
Yo Mike

Posts:269

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06/11/2014 03:14 PM
Hosabout the 'meds' are dispensed from an official medical / team support vehicle?
stronz

Posts:310

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06/11/2014 03:14 PM
I agree that the issue is SHOULD its use be legal. If inhaling slabuterol "does not affect performance" then why does Froome feel the need to use it before the start of the last climb? Because his breathing might be compromised if he doesnt use it -- preventing him from performing at his best. So, in fact, to Froome salbuterol does affect his performance -- it enhances his perfomance. How is this OK?

Cosmic Kid

Posts:1136

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06/11/2014 03:29 PM
His breathing may be compromised because of a medical condition , not because of a lack of talent or ability. I see a big difference between the two. I don't consider a medical condition (or the treatment of it) to be the same as someone topping off their hematocrit to "even the playing field."

As to how it is OK, it si very simple - the rules allow it.

There is no inherent morality in any drug. If EPO were allowed tomorrow, it would be legal and perfectly acceptable to use.

I do, however, agree with OC that its use in race is inappropriate, if for no other reason than the PR / visual aspect. But I would also argue that there is a difference between in race use and pre-race use. Just a gut feeling with no particular logic to back it up.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
jmdirt

Posts:708

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06/11/2014 04:16 PM
I know this poor horse has been thoroughly beaten but...

Cosmic, what makes something a medical condition? Low T is a medical condition, low hematocrit syndrome is a medical condition, E.D. is a medical condition. The definition of medical condition can often be defined as "money to be made". (I'm not discounting how sh*ty breathing problems are for many peoople). What is talent? I would argue that breathing trouble is a lack of talent, much like lack of speed is a lack of talent.

The point I've tried to make is that pro sports should be a test of the best human specimen. If you have to use anything other than eating and drinking (balanced nutrition), you aren't in that category. I realize that's not realistic in our modern pharma world, but in a primal, man vs. man, who is the best battle, if you have breathing problems you die. Yah, I know, the gladiators were loaded on herbs and fermented drinks...
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1136

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06/11/2014 04:32 PM
Yup....Low T and low hematocrit are medical conditions.....and there is an approval process in place for those athletes that truly have the conditions. NOt "Oh, my doc said I should slap a patch on my 'nads" but true, verified condition.

I see a massive difference between asthma and one's VO2 max, or their ability to ride at / above lactate threshold, etc. IN the case of EIA, youa re not boosting your performance above your natural capabilities (i.e. your breathing passages are not getting enlarged), you are keeping them operating as they should (i.e. preventing inflamation). That is clearly nowhere near the same thing as someone with a 42 HCT saying "well, I'll just top off my tanks to get to 49." THAT is boosting your natural capabilities above their genetic thresholds.

Maybe a better way of putting it is that one is designed to boost your capabilities above normal while the other is designed to prevent a negative from occurring and keep you at a status quo.

And asthma (even EIA) is not just sh*tty breathing problems....it is potentially life threatening. As noted earlier, I had one attack back in 95 or so that had me on the side of the road, gasping for air, certain that I was going to pass out. Scary schitt.....
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
jmdirt

Posts:708

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06/11/2014 05:24 PM
The natural capabilities of a person with breathing issues are open sometimes and constricted others. So when they take something to reduce constriction they ARE improving on their natural capabilities.

Ride On

Posts:441

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06/12/2014 05:48 AM
I think I'll go get a cup of coffee and read through all these posts. Got to get my performance enhancing drug on or I can't function at my job very well.
Jimmy

Posts:27

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06/12/2014 12:54 PM
The argument on both sides is valid. Drugs are a gray area, maybe not in terms of a drug by definition, but what constitutes moral or ethical use of a drug. It's a debate that cannot really be won, so we really have no choice but to rely on governing bodies to determine what is acceptable and what is not. Asthma med's were taken off the list of banned substances, I suspect because so many athletes (not just Pro's) were impacted. If every licensed athlete under a USADA sport were to submit a TUE for an inhaler it would overload the manpower available to process the TUE's. Is that the the right reason to allow for their use? I don't think so, but I certainly understand the rationale behind it.

Personally, I think any medication that requires a prescription should require a TUE. But that's just my thought.

As it relates to EIA, there are varying degrees of inflammatory responses that mimic true EIA. I have what I thought was EIA, but in fact was diagnosed at "Vocal Cord Disorder". Same response, just to my vocal cords primarily. They swell up and get "gooey" as an allergic response, and in addition to being absurdly painful, it constricts the airway so I cannot breathe. The first time it happened, I thought I was going to die. For obvious reasons, you can't talk and you can't breathe. When I was finally diagnosed with this (often misdiagnosed as EIA) I was told that the good news is that if I were to lose consciousness, the vocal cords automatically relax and allow air in. The bad news is that nobody would know that, if I am laying there unconscious. A lot of unnecessary tracheotomies have happened for this very reason!

longslowdistance

Posts:696

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06/12/2014 09:12 PM
pic post attempt
longslowdistance

Posts:696

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06/12/2014 09:15 PM
Inhalers from the past
 
longslowdistance

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06/12/2014 09:15 PM
group fun
longslowdistance

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06/12/2014 09:16 PM
more overt
 
longslowdistance

Posts:696

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06/12/2014 09:17 PM
Tour of Colorado has some great inhaler potential (Ask Bill Clinton if you don't get this).
Ride On

Posts:441

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06/12/2014 10:03 PM
Oh my my, What was in that gel?

15:19:01 CEST
Froome takes on a gel as Contador sips on a his bottle. Their battle at the Tour de France will be fascinating.



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