CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Sport

Froome fails drugs test

(24 posts)

  1. Min
    Member

    To no-ones surprise I am sure but here it is! He says it is above board.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/42335916

    Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome failed a drug test during his Vuelta a Espana win in September.

    The Team Sky rider had double the allowed level of legal asthma drug Salbutomol in his system.

    Cycling's world governing body the UCI has requested more details from Froome and Team Sky.

    The Briton, 32, says he increased his dosage but it was within the legal limits and the UCI is "absolutely right" to ask questions.

    Froome said he took his team doctor's advice to up his inhaler use after his asthma symptoms got worse during the Vuelta.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  2. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    For about fifteen years now I've considered that the best analytical test for doping cyclists is the podium. If they're on the podium then they'll turn out to have been doping in due course.

    Needless to say, all of France has been waiting for this news for three years. Perhaps Mr Froome will now turn out to have been Kenyan all along?

    Posted 10 months ago #
  3. Min
    Member

    For about fifteen years now I've considered that the best analytical test for doping cyclists is the podium.

    I suspect it is more that they are at the start line in the Vuelta/Giro/TdF at all!

    Not sure why the French are so pleased, I can't imagine any of their riders aren't stretching their medical interventions a little either.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  4. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    The French are pleased because they haven't had many folk on podiums of late and see cycling as their sport. That has to be adequately explained and simple lack of talent really isn't an acceptable narrative. See England, football, 1966.

    They regard the Texan, Wiggo and Froome as culturally Anglo-Saxon and, as seen in other news, Anglo-Saxons aren't really regarded as trustworthy.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  5. crowriver
    Member

    I use Salbutamol. It's a standard inhaler for folk with asthma. Technically I suppose that means I'm doping on steroids. Feel free to call me out on it if we ever ride an audax together.

    Really though, if that's a controlled substance for cycling then either they just ban any cyclist with asthma or they allow legitimate medication (within limits).

    Posted 10 months ago #
  6. Min
    Member

    Crow - I think it is the quantity that is the problem.

    IWRATS The French are pleased because they haven't had many folk on podiums of late and see cycling as their sport.

    Oh sure, I get that. Just that if they are pretending their riders aren't taking a wee extra puff on their inhaler now and again, they are kidding themselves! I suppose the main thing is they haven't been caught and he has..

    Posted 10 months ago #
  7. crowriver
    Member

    It's hardly Pot Belge, but don't doubt that wily cyclists will use anything they can to gain an edge. Just read that salbutamol's effects are disputed, but *might* increase performance in endurance sports, and apparently helps build muscle in rats...

    I suppose, as with Wiggo's flu medicine thing, it's all about "plausible deniability" with team Sky.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  8. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    if they are pretending their riders aren't taking a wee extra puff on their inhaler now and again, they are kidding themselves

    Indeed. But their lack of success is seen by some as proof of cleanliness. Rather then the more obvious explanation that it's a lack of competence.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  9. Min
    Member

    Indeed. But their lack of success is seen by some as proof of cleanliness.

    I genuinely did not consider that as a possibility. :-/ Not even as a pretence!

    Posted 10 months ago #
  10. amir
    Member

    I am not sure that Salbutomol is a steroid. Those needing to use salbutomol too often generally get put on cortisteroids on a regular basis. salbutoloml is used as a reliever, the cortisteroids as a preventer.

    Not trying to defend Froome, but more generally, asthma does seem to be associated with high levels of exercise and they have been efforts of late to test sportsman.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  11. crowriver
    Member

    @amir, aye I was mixing up my blue and brown inhalers! The latter *is* a steroid.....the blue Ventolin (salbutamol) is not.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  12. stiltskin
    Member

    I know tgat pro cycling probably does not deserve a lot of leeway, but if you look at the details of this case: He has asthma, his doctor prescribed a higher dose which was recorded & there are physiological reasons why this might lead to him exceeding the urine test (in which case he has done nothing wrong) From what I understand of this drug, a quick puff doesn’t give you a performance enhancement, it needs prolonged use. I think I will avoid jumping to an easy conclusion.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  13. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    The recent lack of French pro cycling success is maybe to do with doping being illegal there, punishable by up to 1 year in prison, and a track record of actually jailing those who facilitate doping.

    https://www.thelocal.fr/20170906/french

    Punishments for similar offences to Froome's apparent one:

    http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/petacchi-banned-for-salbutamol-positive-96336
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/ulissi-given-nine-month-ban-for-salbutamol-positive/

    Posted 10 months ago #
  14. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    "there are physiological reasons why this might lead to him exceeding the urine test"

    Are there? It remains to be seen, I think. The onus (legally) is on him and Sky to prove this scientifically otherwise a ban and Vuelta DQ beckons.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  15. stiltskin
    Member

    Yes. It is apparently entirely possible to take a legal dose and still go over the urine limit. This is why he easn’t immediately banned. How you prove it, I have no idea.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  16. Nelly
    Member

    "If they're on the podium then they'll turn out to have been doping in due course"

    When Armstrong was binned, it transpired that there was no point in promoting the 2nd,3rd,4th places after the fact because all of them (except one, IIRC) had subsequently been done for doping.

    Hilarious, but not unexpected.

    Pro cycling (and team Sky in particular) have little credibility left.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  17. Min
    Member

    Stiltskin I know tgat pro cycling probably does not deserve a lot of leeway, but if you look at the details of this case: He has asthma, his doctor prescribed a higher dose which was recorded & there are physiological reasons why this might lead to him exceeding the urine test (in which case he has done nothing wrong)

    I hear what you are saying but having read a lot about cycle doping in the last few years, unfortunately a cycling team doctor is about the last person you would trust and the first you would finger in a doping allegation. Doesn't mean it is what happened here but that "doctors orders" really doesn't carry weight in the pro cycling world the way it should.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  18. amir
    Member

    I don't even know if it's possible to control for cheating on asthma tests. When I've had my tests, it's all based on my honesty in putting maximum effort into breathing out (2 types of breathing test - often done before and after treatment possibly with an asthma stimulating drug).

    Posted 10 months ago #
  19. ih
    Member

    Why do so many top rank athletes have asthma? Logic would suggest that conditions like that would tend to reduce the number of sufferers from reaching the higher levels of sport. And yet it doesn't. Why is that?

    Posted 10 months ago #
  20. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    it transpired that there was no point in promoting the 2nd,3rd,4th places after the fact because all of them (except one, IIRC) had subsequently been done for doping.

    Very good. I like to watch le Tour. Seen it twice and loved the speed, drama and sense of tradition. Never for an instant did I think any of the riders were fueled by pasta alone.

    I'd make road cycling a free-for-all. The sponsors would flee which would remove the money that pays for the team witch doctors which would in turn maybe leave most riders using old fall-backs like speed, caffeine and asthma medicine. Hopefully not strychnine in cognac.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  21. ARobComp
    Member

    I suspect that what is claimed to be "asthma" is infact "exercised induced asthma" which can be particularly exacerbated by hot, dusty conditions, and very cold conditions where the lungs react badly to the higher breathing rate and different conditions we find ourselves in during sport. I had this throughout university (although it's likely that my shortness of breath was more likely to do with excess beer poundage) and had to carry an inhaler during all sport up until a few years ago when it solved itself - as auto-immune things have a tendency to do. Also I stopped being as fat.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  22. gembo
    Member

    I have a pink puffer which is apparently a mix of the blue and the brown. Combined with beconase nasal spray it has had some success with my ailments, though latterly the bugs going round have not helped. It has not improved my cycling particularly.

    Froome has always said he has used asthma meds. I think the blue puffer lasts about four hours so I reckon he would need a puffer in his musette TO get him up to those Vuelta hilltop finishes. Team sky marginal gains mean that they legal dope to the maximum allowed. Nothing new there. They are just more organised than the other teams in everything they do.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

    This may/not be relevant -

    https://twitter.com/cyclingsurgeon/status/940658268581629954

    Posted 10 months ago #
  24. amir
    Member

    Inhaler use is wrong, says cyclist who pulled out of Tour with breathing issues

    "A Belgian road cyclist has revealed he refused to use the same asthma medication for which Chris Froome failed a drugs test because he feels uneasy about dependency on such medication, which he believes is widespread in the sport.

    Tim Wellens was praised in some quarters for his decision to withdraw from last year’s Tour De France, won by Froome, rather than apply for a therapeutic use exemption – effectively a doctor’s note – to allow him to take a corticosteroid for the treatment of a breathing problem.

    Now Wellens, who rides for the professional team Lotto Soudal, has revealed he has steadfastly refused to use a salbutamol inhaler, routinely used by Froome and other cyclists, despite being told it could improve his breathing capacity by 7-8%."

    This is a whole can of worms. The problem is that asthma is both common and potentially dangerous. What message are we sending to our children if they cannot do competitive sport if they have asthma?

    I don't think the last statement is true anyway. Salbutomol doesn't improve breathing capacity in an absolute sense - if you have asthma, that may reduce capacity sometimes and salbutomal can correct it. (stay on the US site).

    In the end, I would have thought the side effects of overdosing to be worse than any potential benefits. Even if I have a standard dose x2 it can make me giddy.

    Posted 9 months ago #

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