Parisotto on Horner's BP Numbers
Last Post 10/27/2013 03:20 PM by Joe Rockbottom. 47 Replies.
Author Messages
jmdirt

Posts:655

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10/19/2013 11:07 AM
“While it is not 100 percent clear that there is anything untoward happening, there’s certainly unusual patterns there,”

“Obviously the most suspicious thing about this profile is that during a long Grand Tour race like the Vuelta or the Tour or the Giro, it is quite normal and it is almost expected that your haemoglobin is going to decrease over the course of the race, and to generally stay decreased,” he explained. “Your reticulocytes may increase slightly, and then they should stabilise over the course of the Grand Tour.”

“You would expect that if the hemogloblin is going up, that the young red blood cells that are coming into the circulation would reflect that. In this case, the haemoglobin has gone up, albeit slightly, but those young red blood cells, the reticulocytes, don’t seem to match that response.”

Granted he is trying to be careful not to give away too much but that hardly sounds like a guy who is sure that CH took on some new blood.

Didn't a German hemo doc say that fluctuations (+/- 1) are NOT uncommon in endurance athletes due to many factors?

At least someone who has some understanding weighed in.
bobswire

Posts:290

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10/19/2013 11:45 AM
I've made my thoughts known in the comments section of that hit piece.
Entheo

Posts:316

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10/19/2013 02:18 PM
hit piece? isn't that what armstrong said about L.A. Confidentiel, and then sued ballester and walsh?

parisotto's an expert in doping, and he sees patterns he doesn't like. it's called investigative journalism... how else do crooks get caught?
pikeHillRoad

Posts:95

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10/19/2013 03:36 PM
The biggest indictment of Horner is that the Vuelta champ cannot find a ride for next year. Christ, Danilo Diluca could still get a ride if he wasn't banned for life. what gives?
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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10/19/2013 04:25 PM
Posted By pike HillRoad on 10/19/2013 03:36 PM
The biggest indictment of Horner is that the Vuelta champ cannot find a ride for next year. Christ, Danilo Diluca could still get a ride if he wasn't banned for life. what gives?


Ding, Ding, Ding!!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:1148

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10/19/2013 04:29 PM
Maybe Parisotto since he works with the Athlete Passport Management Unit [APMU] shouldn't be commenting to the media or if the media asks him for comment he should decline because of that role. Seems like a conflict of interest situation to me.

Other than that his concerns about Horner may well be right (he is an expert after all) and PHR makes a good point (those in the know know something).

Velonation is trying to do some good investigative journalism (cudos, often lacking these days) but neither Horner or Parisotto are looking good in this.
Ibex

Posts:22

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10/19/2013 06:04 PM
+1 PikeHill
steve

Posts:119

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10/19/2013 08:45 PM
@bobswire - what sort of piece would it have been should the expert's opinion not have brought up those questions? I ask because calling it "hit piece" would imply that there was some sort of malicious attempt to discredit someone and that, should the expert's opinion been one that showed no concerns about the data s/he was given to consider, the story would not have been published.

@OC - Parisotto commented in this instance because the rider made his own data public - he would never have commented on a rider's profile had that not been the case. It would certainly be counterproductive had he pointed out his findings in greater detail, since that would hurt the bio passport initiative by giving athlete's that choose to dope/cheat a better understanding of how to mask his/her results from being flagged as suspect.
jmdirt

Posts:655

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10/19/2013 08:47 PM
Bad comparison, DD was riding for nearly nothing while Horner wants big money. DD getting a ride shows that cycling teams don't care if riders dope. I'm glad that we got some info from someone who actually knows something.
Entheo

Posts:316

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10/20/2013 12:37 AM
+1 steve; thanks for the weighing in, and for continuing to fight the good fight.
pikeHillRoad

Posts:95

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10/20/2013 08:55 AM
@jmdirt - fine, then find a different example rider. Point is, no one wants to touch Horner. Why?
bobswire

Posts:290

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10/20/2013 09:18 AM
Posted By Steve Jones on 10/19/2013 08:45 PM
@bobswire - what sort of piece would it have been should the expert's opinion not have brought up those questions? I ask because calling it "hit piece" would imply that there was some sort of malicious attempt to discredit someone and that, should the expert's opinion been one that showed no concerns about the data s/he was given to consider, the story would not have been published.

@OC - Parisotto commented in this instance because the rider made his own data public - he would never have commented on a rider's profile had that not been the case. It would certainly be counterproductive had he pointed out his findings in greater detail, since that would hurt the bio passport initiative by giving athlete's that choose to dope/cheat a better understanding of how to mask his/her results from being flagged as suspect.

Steve  the story did not bring clarity to Horners blood values but does in effect bring added suspicion when Horner is looking for a ride. I just felt that is unfair if in fact he was riding clean. In this day Teams are seeking to avoid anyone who casts a shadow of doubt whether fair or not.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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10/20/2013 10:56 AM
I'm not certain about your last statement, bob. As PHR noted, DiLuca managed to find ride after ride, despite his past. And let's not forget our old buddy, Ricardo Ricco. How many chances was that asshat given? Similar examples are boundless....

Now, it could well be that it is strictly an "asking price" issue for Horner. He has now won a GT and is (understandably) looking to be paid as such. And in the current climate, that is a tough ask this late in the season.

But I do believe that his performance in Spain is raising enough questions that teams are wary. That, combined with a high asking price, is preventing him from getting a ride.

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:1148

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10/20/2013 11:43 AM
Steve, I agree that Horner opened himself up to scrutiny by publishing his data. I just don't think someone in Parisotto's position should be providing that public commentary. Same commentary from an expert that is at arm's length - fine.

Aside from that, the fact that the software cannot pick out the ABP anomalies that Parisotto thinks he's seeing (and with LA we had same problem) is yet again a huge WADA failure. If your software is $4it, then what's the value of collecting all that blood at huge expense? An interesting background on the process: http://inrng.com/2013/10/uci-bio-passport-tiernan-locke/
Ride On

Posts:415

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10/20/2013 12:03 PM
Once the "experts" figure out how the human body actually works, I'll be interested.

Right now I treat most doctor advice about what they think makes me tick with a healthy amount of doubt.

Get any two of them in a room and you'll get at least 8 opinions, that they state as fact. Which it is anything but.
steve

Posts:119

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10/20/2013 12:05 PM
@bobswire:

It did bring clarity - his website states: "Chris feels that releasing this additional information will allow fans to feel confident in his victory at the Vuelta a España and the current state of the sport of cycling."

The clarity being with whether this "should allow fans to be confident" or not. It is our job as a news website to validate that statement, period. I can assure you that from the day this was released Shane was working on finding someone who was in a position to comment on this from a position of authority on the subject.

I'm not sure what you're point is - are you saying we should have waited for him to secure a contract to publish this expert's opinion - if so, then why? If that's the case, if it was a glowing report should we have waited as well?

The rider asked for this publicly and we sought to have an impartial analysis done for him. The expert didn't say he was doping, but he did bring up legitimate questions about the data. We can agree to disagree on this, but I just want to make sure you aware that this was not an "a hit" it is an expert opinion, if you don't value his opinion, then that should be reflected in your comment rather than attacking VeloNation stating we began this process with ill intent and it was an attack.

@Orange Crush: I understand your point, but have a differing opinion and didn't see a problem with it, that's all. And yes, the software is flawed and fixing it should be a priority. Not only that, but those that make it to the podium should probably be examined regardless of what the software says. I think that would be as helpful for the rider with respect to legitimizing his/her hard work as it would be for the anti-doping effort.
Orange Crush

Posts:1148

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10/20/2013 12:13 PM
Steve - no worries, I accept that opinions on Parisotto's role with vary.

I'll just point out one more thing though (as per the Inner Ring link above), it takes agreement from 3 experts that there is sufficient suspision to move the ABP process ahead. It apparently only takes one expert to raise to same suspicisions in public. Which begs the question, if we had 3 experts look at Horner's data, would they come to agreement on Parisotto's points? Due diligence...
79pmooney

Posts:1023

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10/20/2013 01:05 PM
I think we are all getting a little bent out of shape over this. Parisotto raised some valid concerns and Velonation published those concerns. Many, many important findings have happened over the years in many fields just this way. Now, I agree that say a panel of three experts (or carefully selected grand jury in different setting) should be requires to go further. But an expert expressing doubts based on facts that did not add up to him and a reporter writing about those concerns had been the start of finding disturbing truths many times. That these doubts may be groundless, to me, does not suggest they should not be published.

To me, CH not getting a ride is almost an entirely separate issue. Yes, this does not help. But look at the big picture, CH is a pure specialist with one significant victory, won on a rare course the couldn't have been tailored to him much better. He will never see that again in the rest of his (what, 2?) riding years. He is asking the salary of a Tour winner. But to a DS, he is a climber domestique, asking an awfully highly price to ferry waterbottles in high places or be the trusted engine to drive the peleton setting up his captain.

CH should accept what is, drop his asking price to the real benefit he can bring a team. accept that he will struggle to do more that one or two high mountain stage wins and he might well have to sacrifice those to his team leader. He'll some good publicity next year s reigning Vuelta winner but mostly, it will be a year of the same work as always, working for others for not a whole lot of glory. Sucks. He could just hold his head high, retire on a not few riders ever see, and go on with his life. His choice. I don't see this as being unfair to him. It just is.

Ben
bobswire

Posts:290

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10/20/2013 01:56 PM
"I'm not sure what you're point is - are you saying we should have waited for him to secure a contract to publish this expert's opinion - if so, then why? If that's the case, if it was a glowing report should we have waited as well? "

Forgive my ignorance, I had assumed WADA/Italian testing agencies had their own experts that looked at the same values prior to Parisotto and would have acted upon it if they had seen something suspicious.

if you don't value his opinion, then that should be reflected in your comment rather than attacking VeloNation stating we began this process with ill intent and it was an attack.

I thought VeloNation initiated the contact with Parisotto looking for something to keep the suspicions alive,not the other way around. If that is incorrect my apologies.

Either way I don't see any clarity in all of this other than another expert opining that Horner may or may not have cheated but it does generate debate in the comments section of the lead story.

longslowdistance

Posts:591

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10/20/2013 04:08 PM
I agree with OC that there is a bit of double secret probation here. A rider can be accused (let's not mince words here, that's what's happened), and the reasoning may be painted out in broad terms, but no damning details will be presented because presenting such evidence might help others to cheat.

ShaneS

Posts:5

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10/20/2013 04:29 PM
To clarify, folks: Chris Horner published his details, saying that he did so to reassure people that there was nothing to hide; we then asked Robin Parisotto for his opinion and would have, either way, reported what he said. If you don't agree with that, then you must have missed out on what happened re Armstrong, Contador and the USPS investigation. Some people seem to be honestly expecting journalists to happily take things at face value without verification, despite the decades of skulduggery in Grand Tours. Nothing would make me happier than for a Grand Tour to be won by a rider who then releases his data and is proclaimed to have a perfect biological passport afterwards.

However when a rider misses most of the year with injury, then comes back and has his best-ever career result at nearly 42 years of age, five years older than the previous age record holder, I think it is logical that released data is verified with an expert. It's called doing our homework, and I'm surprised that other media didn't do the same. That's not bias; that's acting responsibly, given the context. And, to reiterate, if Robin Parisotto said the passport looked perfect, we'd have written that too.
ShaneS

Posts:5

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10/20/2013 04:30 PM
For those asking for details re numbers, Veloclinic (a sports doctor) pointed out that 'Morkeberg et al (2009) reported an average Hgb gm/dL decrease of 11.5%, ranging from 7-21% for Tour de France riders' - that's what is expected to happen over the course of a three week race; a fall of 11.5% in the values for Chris Horner and others. That's a known physiologicial effect from three week races. It means that the value of 15.2 g/dl at the start of the Vuelta should have resulted in a value of approximately 13.45 g/dl by the end of the race. Instead, the value the day before the race ended was 14.6 g/dl. That, plus the fact that the test results had dropped to 13.5 g/dl twelve stages from the finish and then rose again are part of what has caused concerns. If you want to read more, @Veloclinic's piece is here http://veloclinic.tumblr.com/post/63542182838/analysis-horners-biopassport-data
stronz

Posts:297

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10/20/2013 06:55 PM
It is not just his Hg that behaves suspiciously, it is also his reticulocytes. The combination of a rising Hg and flat lining retics is the signature of a transfusion.
Ride On

Posts:415

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10/20/2013 07:08 PM
in this case one individual could have cost another one his job / lively hood just thru some words without even having to explain why.

I'm no lawyer but if Chris doesn't get a ride this year I think Parisotto might want to lawyer up. Isn't that what they call slander? Should be interesting.
Ride On

Posts:415

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10/20/2013 08:01 PM
I was thinking about this some more.

What if I claim to be an expert in finding irregularities in test taking. I assume Parisotto's board exams are public record. Someone asks me to take a look at them. I come back with "things don't look quite right to me but I can't tell you why because that would give away what I was looking for". Now suppose Parisotto's employer decides you know what I'd just as soon not deal with this. See ya.

What recourse does he have ?

Lance's lawyers won lots of these type of cases. Only after he admitted he cheated did he loose these type of cases. Before it was slander. No proof. The UCI says Chris is clean that will sway many a judge.
ShaneS

Posts:5

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10/20/2013 08:48 PM
Ride On, Chris Horner released his data publicly. Parisotto - and anyone else - is thus entitled to comment. End of. If he didn't want people commenting, then he shouldn't have released the data. He did so in a bid to convince people there was nothing to hide, but you can't have it both ways. Information put out there = people are entitled to give their thoughts.

You say 'the UCI says Chris is clean that will sway many a judge' - UCI hasn't actually done that. It hasn't commented either way on this situation.

As for lawyering up - I think that would be a pretty daft move. A rider, who voluntarily released data, suing an anti-doping expert who accepted a request to comment on it? That would be real transparency.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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10/20/2013 09:16 PM
Posted By Ride On on 10/20/2013 07:08 PM
/> I'm no lawyer but if Chris doesn't get a ride this year I think Parisotto might want to lawyer up. Isn't that what they call slander? Should be interesting.


That's probably a good thing.....
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
CERV

Posts:145

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10/20/2013 09:51 PM
gotta say, even when people disagree, the level of civility on this forum is a refreshing break from most of the interwebs.

good discussion
Entheo

Posts:316

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10/21/2013 12:33 AM
perhaps rider 15 - i mean horner - would have expected that no one would actually delve into the numbers; just accept at face value that things looked okay. or maybe he got slipped a mickey. or maybe he was clean.

in any case, in statistics you look for the outliers, the anomalies, the deviations. and with horner you start with his previous results in grand tours, his age, and his lack of racing due to 'injuries'. then you see this huge outlier. and then you're given data to analyse. what scientist, or investigative journalist, wouldn't pursue it?

ps - just watched "the world according to lance armstrong" on CNN tonight. how quickly we forget what lies we were sold only a few short years ago.
Ride On

Posts:415

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10/21/2013 07:15 AM
I think we all can agree that the expert drug testers , at least until now, are not that expert when it comes to figuring out what cheaters are doing. Maybe Parisotto is an outliner and actually knows what he is doing, I have no idea. Nor do I have any idea if Chris is clean or not. I have zero facts on either of them. I simply have opinions.

It is odd to me when I see quotes about this is what happens to riders in a 3 week race. Come on doctors can't tell what a drug is going to do to me when they have studied it on thousands of people in double blind studies. May cause this or that we don't really know for sure some people react differently. I am supposed to believe that we know for sure what happens to everyone ?

If I put myself in Chris's shoes I think I would have done the same thing. You are getting nipped at by the press with nothing more than speculation and every bite is taking a good amount off cash out of your pocket. You are sitting on a mound of data that at least by your knowledge shows you if not clean at least not red flagged. Why not release it? Makes perfect sense to me.

I agree that the cyclists in the past have robbed, me at least, of the joy of seeing an outliner in sports. It is gone for me.

However what I don't want is a return to the Salem witch hunt days. she's a witch, why ? cause I said so, ok burn her.

If you are going to take away Chris's ability to earn a pay check and support his family you should sure. It is one thing to come on to a forum like this and chatter back and forth about what we think. That is kind of fun. It is another to publish an article about it.

I come away from this sounding like a Chris supporter. I am actually sort of neutral about him. What I am more negative towards is experts. I have a lot of doubt about all of them. It rubs me the wrong way when they speak without explaining themselves and saying we don't really know.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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10/21/2013 10:05 AM
Nobody has taken away Horner's ability to earn a living, certainly not this article. HE amde the choice to roll the dice and see what happened in the Vuelta before agreeing to any new contract.

he was in contract limbo LONG before this article came out. The situation is of his own making.

Further, Parisotto is NOT saying Horner doped. He said there were some values which were odd / questionable and merited further investigation. Again, Horner put the info out there and as Shane noted, it is only responsible journalism to ask experts to weigh in on it.

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
huckleberry

Posts:215

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10/21/2013 10:09 AM
Damn you all!

You hate America and Jesus...

And lycra.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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10/24/2013 10:45 AM
Another "hit" piece on Horner, this time by Outside magazine. Seems the expert they talked to had pretty much the same concerns as Parisotto.

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/biking/road-biking/Chris-Horner-Bio-Passport-Raises-Doubts.html?page=1
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
zootracer

Posts:263

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10/24/2013 11:46 AM
I guess the bottom line is, no one can excel in cycling anymore without being suspected of doping..which is sad, but that's what the sport has become.
stronz

Posts:297

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10/24/2013 11:46 AM
OK well that Outside mag piece definitely comes closer to a "hit" piece. Very incomplete and superficial. Really verges on irresponsible.
79pmooney

Posts:1023

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10/24/2013 12:09 PM
zoot, the flip side of that is new unwillingness to let the unbelievable go for fact, something many of us did for years. I'm not so sure that is bad.

Ben
Cosmic Kid

Posts:987

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10/24/2013 12:37 PM
stonz, Curious as to why you think the Outside article is more of a "hit" piece than the velonation one? Seem fairly similar to me.....find expert, have them analyze the data that Horner put out there, report back on what they said.

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
ShaneS

Posts:5

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10/24/2013 01:07 PM
I think one aspect of the Outside piece that perhaps some need to consider is this quote, as given to Velonews. Horner called on the cycling media to "[pay] the money to have a professional look at my blood results and then post to everybody on the web page about how clean my results are? Because I know my results are clean."

Everyone who claimed that the VeloNation article was a hit job need to consider that quote. We did precisely what Chris Horner said the media should do.
stronz

Posts:297

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10/24/2013 05:02 PM
CK -- the "analysis" of Hg alone is completely insufficient to support any sort of conclusion. No "expert" ever uses just one parameter to support a conclusion. The key findings at the bare minimum have to include an assessment of reticulocytes concurrently. i was hoping there would be a graph of the retics below the Hg. As it is there is a graph with four points on it. insufficient to draw any meaningful conclusion. Irresponsible reporting and highly irresponsible discussion by the expert. Parisotto's discussion was far more appropriate. All imo of course
steve

Posts:119

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10/24/2013 07:01 PM
"hit" piece...you guys are killin' me!
SideBySide

Posts:144

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10/24/2013 07:18 PM
Don't think that it is all of us.
I look at the data and it is suspicious to me, and I am not a doctor or expert. It is certainly not definitive, but suspicious. I'd love to think he was clean, and until real evidence comes up he should be treated as a legitimate winner.
Orange Crush

Posts:1148

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10/24/2013 08:55 PM
You won't hear the words hit piece from me (the questioning is certainly valid) but the analysis as presented in outside mag is lacking IMO.

The Hg analysis is fine and the rising levels towards end of Vuelta would tend to support their contention of blood manipulation. But if that is the case, then Reticulocytes should have trended down in last 2 Vuelta samples when Hg went up due to the supposed manipulation. So why don't they show us a blow up chart of the Reticulocytes results for the 4 Vuelta samples same way as they did for Hg? Why instead do they compare all 4 Vuelta samples to the remaining BP samples? At a minimum this is an inconsistent approach with the Hg analysis. At a maximum one might wonder whether they are hiding something cause the Vuelta Reticulocytes sample results do not match the expected trends? They are lower overall than the rest of the passport as the statistical analysis indicates but looking at the BP graph to me it seems the last 3 sample results are higher than the first sample (hard to make out). This would run counter to the hypothesis of blood manipulation sometime in the Vuelta.

Those are some specific questions I would like to see answered by the experts. As it stands I am left with feeling of a bit of statistical hocus pocus.
SideBySide

Posts:144

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10/25/2013 05:39 PM
BTW, from Chris' web site, the reticulocytes trended up, not down.
8/29 .0167, .39%
9/3 .0218 .54%
9/7 .0238 .55%
9/14 .0243 .56%

As an amateur analyst , it looks like his body was producing more Hg.
longslowdistance

Posts:591

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10/25/2013 06:06 PM
Which fits EPO type stimulation.
stronz

Posts:297

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10/25/2013 08:03 PM
normal reticulocyte percentage is in the 1-2% of blodd volume. ALL of CH's numbers are low. Why? do you think
bobswire

Posts:290

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10/26/2013 09:07 AM
These figures within themselves offer little clarity without comparing them to the other top placed racers. Even Parisotto stated they looked suspicious but without follow up they are not conclusive. It seems to me the latest craze in the comments section of cycling forums is playing hangman before filling in all the spaces regarding PEDs.


stronz

Posts:297

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10/26/2013 11:32 AM
Bob you are right as usual. But to me it seems CH took a page out of lance's playbook by publishing his blood values. A little to overconfident and a little too unwise to know when just to hang back and not go on the attack. Just bask in your win and ride off into retirement. Lance should have done it in 2005 and horner should have done it the day he won the vuelta. Without making his blood values public knowledge. The moment he did that the shiiiit storm started
C2K_Rider

Posts:168

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10/27/2013 03:20 PM
These tests aren't much use, really. In a hospital they take patient blood samples several times a day to figure out trends, and even then are often speculating. Taking samples once every few weeks or months is so fraught with variables that it is nearly impossible to figure out what is really going on. And applying generalities to a specific person with very few samples is very, very speculative. Probably the only useful measure is the incident hematocrit. And that is not any better than the 50% rule they had previously. The BP is a marketing tool, not a scientific study.


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