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Parisotto on Horner's BP Numbers
Last Post 10/27/2013 03:20 PM by Joe Rockbottom. 47 Replies.
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10/20/2013 12:05 PM

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


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...


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.



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.



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.



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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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!!!!


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


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


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.
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