Tour de France  2012 stage - 20
  • jules

    Froome comes out of that smelling like roses

    • Tom Wells

      To be honest, I’m more skeptical of Wiggins than Froome in this case. Compared to many other pro’s, two TUE’s since he turned professional isn’t really anything to write home about. It seems Wiggins was using TUE’s for extended periods of time which looks a lot more suspicious. At least it does to me anyway.

      Saying all that it’s a good thing these things are discussed more openly and frequently these days. And in some ways I actually think this hack of WADA could end up being a good thing for the sport.

      • jules

        OTOH, Froome could be injecting EPO up his butt with every meal. that won’t show up on TUEs.

        • Tom Wells

          This was a general hack, it wasn’t just for TUE’s. It’s just that most of the info is for TUE’s.

          I understand people are cynical of riders that win the TdF and stuff, but the sport is vastly different to 10 years ago. The average time up Alpe D’Huez etc is so much slower (for example). I honestly think people should just enjoy the sport now, it’s all getting a bit pathetic.

          • jules

            I doubt WADA has info of Froome’s EPO use. or if they do, that would be odd.

            anyway I just said accessing already disclosed info (Froome to WADA) isn’t going to reveal whether a rider is doping or not.

            • Tom Wells

              Why wouldn’t it show EPO use, if there was any. You’d think if there was a cover-up of some kind, there would at least be traces of evidence somewhere. WADA is the World Anti Doping Agency afterall, so you’d think they (should, at least) have access to pretty much anything on a rider.

              Anyway I suppose all of this is just speculation, but I still believe people should just enjoy the sport. And it’s good to see it’s going in the right direction.

              • Nomad

                I think if any evidence of rHuEPO use was detected it would be a postive test for EPO. There is no threshold for EPO, so any detectable amount of exogenous EPO is considered a positive.

                OTOH, any anomalies seen in the bio passport (specifically increased Hb & reticulocytes) might suggest EPO use and would warrant target testing.

                • Tom Wells

                  I don’t think I worded my response correctly, to be honest. I wasn’t intending to respond directly to the release of the TUE’s, but that we’d have a good reason to suspect foul play in general so far. As it stands, all the current GC riders have their off days whereas they didn’t before.

                  Sorry for the confusion, bit tired today :(

              • jules

                the hacked data seems to be just medical records, not doping control test results. as Nomad said, if WADA had evidence of EPO use by an athlete, they’d be announcing that. you’d hope.

                TUEs are not test results, they’re declarations by athletes (or their doctors) approved by WADA/affiliates. that’s why they’re on record.

                • Tom Wells

                  See my response to Nomad above, I don’t think I replied to you properly (or at least get my message across properly)!

              • ebbe

                Tom, for your logic to work, those Fancy Bears would have had to have hacked the whole of WADA, or at least all info regarding collected samples and test results, not just (a part of) ADAMS, which as very little to do with the doping tests itself. Then, and only then, could you possibly say “there should be traces of evidence somewhere” which should have been found.

                • Tom Wells

                  I read somewhere else that they’ve hacked more than just ADAMS but Fancy Bears haven’t released all info yet. That source could be incorrect though, granted.

                  • ebbe

                    Could be, but as I understand it they hacked an ADAMS-account set up for some lower level officials at the Rio Olympic Games. I doubt that would give access to all of WADA (including emails and phone-calls of high ranking officials, etc, which you’d probably need to prove corruption)… But let’s wait and see what else is published

                    Also, the whole cycling micro-cosmos seems to have gotten it in their heads that EPO is the only “super drug”. Any athlete not caught red-handed (or red-blooded?) with EPO in their blood is “not dirty” and therefore not cheating. But that’s certainly not how cheating works in reality. There are many other drugs (possibly even unknown to anti-doping), and additionally many other ways to play the game unfairly. Some of these (such as repeatedly asking for and getting a free pass from commissaires when you clearly break the rules) might not even be strictly illegal. But they’re still unfair, and therefore still count as cheating.

              • H.E. Pennypacker

                Why wouldn’t it show EPO use, if there was any? (1) I don’t think they hacked doping control results, but I could be wrong; and (2) even if they did, as I understand it, carefully microdosed EPO-beta injected at 11:00pm can be undetectable by 6am with sufficient water consumption. That’s not exactly a hard test to beat.

                • Dave

                  There have been Adverse Analytical Finding reports published on the site, including one Russian female boxer at Rio and also a number of AAF reports which have the linked TUEs included as well.

                  I think you should be more open-minded than to assume it’s a hack. It sounds to me like it’s more of a whistleblower’s leak, with the ‘Fancy Bear Hack Team’ name being more of a smokescreen than anything else.

          • Nomad

            I have heard that climbing speeds have gone up the last couple of years. For example, Froome, Quintana, Porte, Valverde & Rodriguez recently made the top 100 Alpe d’Huez all-time list based on their 2013/15 times. Interestingly, Valverde’s time is faster than his previous best time set during his Puerto heydays when he was 10 yrs younger.

            If you examine the list, and with the exception of the aforementioned riders, all are held by riders from the 90s & 2000s; during the era of widespread EPO & blood doping use:

            http://www.climbing-records.com/2013/07/five-fresh-names-in-all-time-top-100.html?m=1

            • Dave

              > I have heard that climbing speeds have gone up the last couple of years.

              I think that was bound to happen eventually once the downward correction from the bad old Armstrong days was complete, due to there being ongoing incremental improvements in technique, preparation, equipment and so on.

              Climb times don’t take into account all the external factors which make a big difference. The 2011 and 2015 climbs of Alpe d’Huez, for example, had very different race situations which all point towards expecting 2015 to have been faster even if everything else was equal, so they cannot be compared.

              In swimming, there was a big correction downwards when the ‘super suits’ were banned a few years ago, with some saying at the time that there would never be world records set again. Sure enough, we’re starting to see some of them again.

              That’s not to say that whatever we have now is clean, but at the least it is less effective than the supercharged EPO days.

              • Nomad

                What were some of the external factors that made such a difference? Did they shorten the course both years? Tailwinds perhaps? Lol. The five new riders on the list are from times of both the 2013 & 15 editions (Btw, Armstrong very meticulous on technique, preparation, nutrition, equipment, etc…so riders these days aren’t the first to employ such stradegies). Quintana is now 37th on the list ahead of a myriad of riders with a known history of oxygen-vector doping.

                In the 90s riders could use unlimited amounts of EPO with impunity. In 97, the 50% Hct limit was implemented, but it didn’t change things much as half of the top 10 Alpe d’Huez times noted on the list were accomplished in that time period (e.g., LA, Ullrich, Pantani). When your dealing with 02-vector doping, it’s more about the high responder concept and adaptation to higher Hct levels in training. And lesser amounts of EPO & blood doping can produce significant results with some athletes.

                Granted with the ABP (which does allow for a significant amount of variability), the current paradigm of O2-vector doping/PED use has shifted from an industrial-strength model to one of a microdosing strategy aimed at achieving performance benefits while avoiding detection. Dr. Joyner of the Mayo Clinic has done some interesting research in this area:

                https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/aug/20/doping-world-athletics-championships-cheats

    • RacingCondor

      I think on the whole cycling looks pretty good from this. If this is supposed to by some Russian group suggesting that everyone uses drugs to maximise performance and the best they’ve come up with for cycling is some anti-allergy medication that’s great news. I’d have been concerned if everyone had 6 TUE’s lined up at the same time for ‘various things that only affect me in July’ but this looks completely reasonable (which kind of surprises me).
      Sure the cynics will say ‘but what’s not on a TUE / not being reported’ but I like to enjoy things so I’m going to take it as further evidence that cycling is a leader in clean sport these days. I don’t doubt that some sports have stars constantly running multiple TUE’s for weird drugs (I haven’t looked at articles on Williams) but I’m happy cycling doesn’t appear to be where it’s happening.

      • ebbe

        Have you read what David Millar has written about his own cortisone (ab)use? Seems familiar?

        • RacingCondor

          I hadn’t and agree it’s valid. The problem is that it will always be a blurred line. I find it encouraging that Froome (for instance) doesn’t appear to have a TUE lined up every year for the early summer. That suggests that Sky and/or he aren’t exploiting drug based loopholes (as much as they could at least).

          The main thing I take away from this is that TUE abuse probably isn’t as bad in cycling as I’d expected. Perhaps I just set a low bar!

          • ebbe

            He did have one TUE for an entire year though… What’s that about?
            And one “express TUE” which very clearly bypassed the official rules for getting one… Again, what’s that about?

        • David9482

          Look at the quantities in question – Froome’s TUE gives him a 40mg shot for 7-days. How much cortico was Millar taking to feel this way? I suspect the strength and quantity are a lot higher. I’m not an expert, but I don’t think what Froome took was an amount that would lead to these effects.

          • ebbe

            If you start doing corticos a few days before your big races begin, you’re already way too late, obviously. The effects that Millar describes are clearly something you want in the build up to your season, or the build up to a big race.

            Now, “coincidence” will have it that you don’t need TUEs for cortico (ab)use Our of Competition. You’re completely free to (ab)use them as you want. The subsequent In Competition (ab)use can at most “prolongue” the effects a bit, but the real abuse has already happened while you were in your “season preparation” (If you’re smart, you’d do that preparation on some remote mountain).

            So, to build on your “Look at the quantities in question” we’d also have to know how much corticos are being used *before* the period the TUE was for. But we can’t know, since that’s not recorded, because there is no TUE required OoC. Therefore, a comparison on quantities is plainly not possible.

            You and I and anybody could take massive amounts of corticos in winter or training camp, and you don’t need to tell anybody about it. That would be completely legal. You merely show up to your (first) races all lean and all strong, just as Millar described. A different Tweet from Vaughters (not mentioned in this article) sums all this up quite nicely

            https://twitter.com/Vaughters/status/775720423308734464

            • J Evans

              Absolutely.
              The entire drug testing system in cycling is a farce if this is allowed.

              • ebbe

                Indeed! And not only a farce, but also dangerous to the health of the riders. Cortisones (in all variations and under all trade names) are powerful stuff, used to mask (not treat the root cause, but only alleviate the effects) injuries/infections/etc. This means that riders can “push through” injuries/infections/etc while their bodies are in fact screaming for rest and recovery. If that’s not a health risk, I don’t know what is.

                So, cortisones are
                a) Clearly performance enhancing (see Millar). And clearly a drug. Therefore, they are a PED.
                b) (Potentially) dangerous to the health of riders (ab)using them

                What are the two arguments against doping again? Something about a) fair play and b) health concerns… Right?

                • Dave

                  You summed up the first two reasonably well, but missed the third. The actual text from WADA outlining the criteria needed for banning a certain substance reads:

                  1. Potential to enhance, or enhances, sports performance
                  2. An actual or potential health risk to the athlete
                  3. Use violates the spirit of sport (outlined in the Code*)

                  Two out of three are needed to ban a certain substance.

                  Some substances are banned despite impeding performance (i.e. not 1) because they clearly tick the second and third boxes, such as the in-competition ban on alcohol in the sports of aerobatics, archery, motorsport and powerboating – four sports where it would be particularly dangerous for the health of the athlete (2) and to other athletes (3). I’m guessing that the only reason the UCI hasn’t asked WADA to place cycling on that short list is that the enjoyment would disappear from cyclocross racing and freestyle BMX.

                  Tramadol is currently a monitored substance (i.e. candidate for a ban in the future) because it has been suggested it violates at least 2 and 3, potentially 1 as well.

                  * The WADA Code’s relevant definition of ‘the spirit of sport’:
                  “The spirit of sport is the celebration of the human spirit, body and mind, and is reflected in values we find in and through sport, including:
                  • Ethics, fair play and honesty
                  • Health
                  • Excellence in performance
                  • Character and education
                  • Fun and joy
                  • Teamwork
                  • Dedication and commitment
                  • Respect for rules and laws
                  • Respect for self and other Participants
                  • Courage
                  • Community and solidarity
                  Doping is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport.”

      • Dave

        I agree, it could be far worse for cycling than what we’ve seen so far. “We’re not the worst” is hardly a rousing victory chant though.

        At the same time, there’s little good news so far for cycling. For a sport that has been trying to get the message across that they are improving, the complete lack of progress on transparency is bad news.

        If the whole leak (I’m not convinced it’s a hack) is released then it won’t look good for cycling, as the sheer volume of documents will be pretty large.

  • bigdo

    Hilarious if anyone thinks that the “top” athletes in any sport aren’t doping in some way… all those millions of dollars in prize and endorsement money that is literally life-changing, and people don’t think these folks are gonna risk it? LOL.. come on… I don’t need a hacker group to let me know what time it is.. In the case of Serena Williams I think it should be quite obvious what’s going on.. Wiggins as well… I wanted to believe that Froomey was clean for a long time because he’s such a nice bloke.. but deep down I always knew, there’s no way he wasn’t.

    So while this time out it seems as though there’s a lot of smoke and not much of a fire.. understand that this is just people getting closer and closer. For a long time Lance was able to maneuver things, make it look like it wasn’t when it was–it’s all BS man.. pro sport is littered with dopers..and for good reason.. just be an adult about your complicit role in all of it and your conscious will rest easier.

    • jules

      if Froome is doping the evidence ain’t found here

      • bigdo

        Evidence…lol…You’re either 12 yrs old, or in DEEP denial abt the way the world really works…

        I thought folks like you basically were extinct after Armstrong…but no, there’s always consumer’s for fairytales innit?

        • jules
          • bigdo

            alright, so you know the truth, then why are you caping for Froome?

            • jules

              all of my posts are caveated about what I know. I don’t know what you mean by “I know the truth” – about what?

        • David9482

          What Jules is saying is:
          1. A lot of people suspect that Froome and Wiggins and Team Sky may be cheating – Jules accepts this, but
          2. The “evidence” revealed by this Russian Fancy Bear isn’t evidence… this isn’t doping. The amounts in question wouldn’t give the athlete a noticeable advantage. If the riders are cheating, then get the fancy bear to do some real digging… because this isn’t indicative of anything….

          Correct me if I’m wrong, Jules

          • jules

            yeah thanks David. the only question I have there is whether the amounts via TUE give an advantage – I wouldn’t claim to know.

    • Pete

      I get exercise induced asthma all the time. All that huffing & puffing after pathetic efforts. Where do I get these TUE’s?

      • Robert Merkel

        You’re having a larf, but…

        If you’re an Australian cyclist, you compete at NRS level or its equivalent or higher, and your doctor prescribes a banned substance for legitimate medical reasons, you put in an application to ASADA.

        If you’re competing at lower levels, if you’re tested and you test positive to a banned substance that has been prescribed by your doc for legit medical reasons, you can get a retroactive TUE.

        The details of the application process will vary from country to country, but the basic rules and principles are the same.

      • Dave

        Just take the good stuff, Strava doesn’t have a testing program.

      • ebbe

        Why even bother with TUEs? I’ll give you a MUE (Mechanical Use Exemption) right here and now Pete!

        Starting right now, you’re free to use any mechanical advantage, including motors in your bike. That should help solve all your inconveniences. Have fun… Oh just one thing: Only Out of Competition of course, so don’t get caught using them in a sanctioned race ;-)

    • David9482

      BigDo – of course many people believe that all these athletes are doping… and that might be true, but Fancy Bear’s “evidence” isn’t evidence of doping, in any way. So if you’re using this to prove that Froome cheated, that’s completely incorrect.

      • bigdo

        It’s not proof no, but they’re starting to scratch the surface and sniff around…don’t be surprised when we do find out what’s going on…

  • ZigaK

    TUEs should be public knowledge in my opinion. Whole lot of innuendo cancelled that way.
    I know … privacy issues. But as a cycling pro – you’re already pissing in a cup in front of a strange man, you’re competing in front of crowds in a tight, revealing lycra, I don’t see a public TUE would be a huge issue. You could also take a break from racing and avoid a TUE if it’s such a privacy problem.

    • Dave

      Indeed.

      Getting it out there at the time will reassure people, and also provide a defensive move against skeletons coming out of the closet later on. By hiding it and hoping it wouldn’t get leaked, they are giving away any attempt to control the narrative.

    • velocite

      I agree with this. Making them public guarantees lots of free scrutiny. The same could be said about the abp. I suggest that the default position on this sort of thing should be publish – unless a strong case can be made for secrecy. A vague ‘privacy’ concern would not cut it.

      • Dave

        Publishing should actually reduce the chance of private data getting leaked. If all the significant information is out in plain sight, nobody will bother hacking.

    • P3N54

      Taking a break from racing, avoiding TUEs and (ab)using treatment with handy side effects (e.g. corticosteroids) and that don’t need a TUE out of competition is exactly the problem with the status quo.

      • Dave

        That’s mainly a problem with those substances being banned only in competition rather than at all times, not so much the TUE system.

        The main fix for that is to reclassify those substances as being banned at all times, so TUEs would be needed even for legitimate out-of-competition medical use.

        An upgrade to the system would be to allow TUEs only for out-of-competition use for all substances, with some substances having set delays between a course of treatment finishing and a return to competition. If you’re so sick you need PEDs, you should be in bed recovering and not trying to ride up Ventoux or beat Federer.

    • Rodrigo Diaz

      I thought so as well at the beginning, but then I thought about medical conditions that need a TUE drug.

      A case in this leak: did you know that Biles had ADHD? Should everyone know? (assuming that’s a legitimate condition, not a doping pass). I’d say no. But like everything, it’s a mess.

      • ZigaK

        You’re right in a perfect world. But, specifically for cycling, I think they don’t deserve that break. There’s just too much suspicion. I’m not saying TUEs should be public knowledge for all sports, as I’m not familiar with all of them. As you say, it’s a mess.
        As far as ADHD goes, there’s a quote from wikipedia: “As of 2009, 8% of all United States Major League Baseball players had been diagnosed with ADHD, making the disorder common among this population. The increase coincided with the League’s 2006 ban on stimulants, which has raised concern that some players are mimicking or falsifying the symptoms or history of ADHD to get around the ban on the use of stimulants in sport.”

      • ebbe

        Why would it be a problem for the public to know Biles has ADHD? (as you say: assuming it is real – If it’s not real, then I totally see why they’d want to hide it)

        There’s a Dutch world class judoka who has had ADHD all her life (again, I’m assuming that it’s real). Everybody knows. Everybody accepts that this massively influences her achievements (especially in tournaments): If she manages to get herself going she can beat anybody all the time. If not, she’s miserable. Everybody knows. Nobody cares.

        • Rodrigo Diaz

          Because health conditions can be considered to be a private matter in many jurisdictions – I can’t go to your doctor and request your medical history. And while many athletes are open about them, others are not – like many other people. Do you know what ailments your coworkers have? Your classmates? Some yes and some know, I guess, based on how open they are with those and how private they want those conditions to be.

          The issue is whether competing in WADA sports should automatically forfeit those privacy privileges. I’m conflicted on whether that should be the case.

          • ebbe

            No, you’re framing this wrongly Rodrigo. It’s not the “competing” that would (automatically?) forfeit those privacy privileges. Everybody is free to compete and still keep completely silent about any medical conditions. It’s using the PEDs which – we’ve learned though years and years of abuse, using medical conditions as excuses to abuse PEDs – would require transparency as to why these TUEs are granted and the PEDs are used. It’s not the competing that’s central, it’s the (ab)using of PEDs.

            True, I don’t know exactly what ailments all my co-workers have. But if my employer would grant my coworkers special privileges which would interfere with my ability to carry out my own job, or cost me money, but keep the reasons for these privileges secret, I’d certainly ask questions. And I’d have every right to do so.

            • Dave

              For anyone concerned about privacy aspects, it should be pointed out that the TUE certificates that have been leaked do not contain actual medical records, only the confirmation of the pharmaceutical exemption for anti-doping purposes.

              There is no obstacle to the standard action with regards to TUEs being ‘publish’ rather than ‘hide.’ Only the format and method needs to be a topic of discussion – should full TUE certificates like those that have leaked be published, or just a table with columns for name/date/substance?

              Full transparency is not needed, even just *some* transparency would help increase confidence in the system so it’s getting out there before being leaked. If it’s kept secret until athletes volunteer details* or documents get leaked, the battle is already lost even if the documents show nothing is wrong.

              You only have to look at the slow motion train wreck which is the Clinton presidential campaign to see the problems that secrecy causes.

              * Jack Bobridge’s long struggle with rheumatoid arthritis was already well known and it’s no surprise to see his TUEs in the latest package of leaked documents

  • Dave

    Time for the UCI to take the lead in adopting a policy of no TUEs in competition. Use them out of competition when recovering from illness/injury, but if you’re too sick to race clean you should stay in bed.

    I’m aware some of the conditions described can be genetic conditions. I also can’t see why that deserves a free pass when genetics always has been a big factor in determining who wins and loses.

    Time for Brian Cookson to step up to the plate.

    • jules

      how far do you go? when a GC rider falls over, do you keep riding? how about banning drafting follow cars? riders should have to chase back on using their own steam.

      my assessment after thinking about this (as I do) is that the idea of cycling as a pure sport like boxing just doesn’t work. the sport just doesn’t lend itself to such simple and pure rules. you could adopt those rules, but the costs would be high in terms of the spectacle and contest.

      as others have pointed out, most riders would just ride through allergies and other conditions that they currently use TUEs to treat. if you’ve prepared for the Tour for 12 months, you aren’t going to just withdraw. do we want to see that, as fans? I’m unsure. I think TUEs are here to stay. better oversight of how they are granted is welcome though.

    • David9482

      Why no TUE’s? For example with Froome, the amounts taken from these TUEs would not noticeably change the sporting outcome of the race in question so why is there an issue? What it does is ensure that the top riders can compete in a race which is good.

      Of course fancy bear has published these TUEs of the most popular riders, but which other riders have used TUEs to get to the start line?

  • Jason Towers

    Russia is just salty they weren’t allowed to come out of their room and play for recess in Rio

  • Robert Merkel

    Not really CT territory, but hopefully one result of this will hopefully be a thorough security audit of WADA’s IT systems.

    As well as details of the medical history of thousands of high-profile athletes, ADAMS stores their whereabouts 365 days a year. How many pro athletes have stalkers?

    • jules

      I read that they got in by hacking the athlete’s email accounts, who of course had recorded their passwords.

      • Dave

        I read speculation that it was downloaded using an account allocated to an IOC official in relation to the Rio games, which would make more sense with respect to the type of data released so far.

        I’m keeping an open mind on whether or not there was any hacking, or if it came from Russia. Given that a lack of transparency is what led to this, I’m not expecting a definitive answer on how it happened.

  • Michael Sproul

    So, Tue >=< big fuck off holes in the anti doping office walls…discuss…

  • David9482

    biggest non-news of the season… i thought this fancy bear had actual news to reveal…

  • J Evans

    If a rider has some sort of infection that requires a PED to ride then they are too sick to ride.

    And whether or not they take that PED for its performance-enhancing or its therapeutic effects, they still get the performance-enhancing effects.

    Froome won both the 2013 Dauphine and 2014 Tour de Romandie. He won them whilst taking a PED.

    As for longer term TUEs and ignoring the sheer welter of asthmatic cyclists out there… if Wiggins needs that PED for his grass pollen allergy, perhaps that’s fair enough. But he should be forced to take it at the start of the grass pollen season.

    He did not do that.

    The grass pollen seasons in Italy and France are at roughly the same times.

    So, why were there two months between when he took the injections?

    Anyone who isn’t blinded by fandom will accept that Wiggins was timing those injections to get the greatest benefit during the grand tours. That benefit he wanted may well have been the therapeutic benefit of allergy relief. But again, whether he wanted it or not, he still also got the performance-enhancing effect.

    And the grass pollen season in Italy does not start in April.

    I don’t believe that these two are doing anything different from other cyclists. There is a huge legal drug problem in cycling and the TUE
    system is clearly being used by athletes to their advantage.

    As it’s legal, how many riders do you think are taking corticosteroids out of competition?

    • Rodrigo Diaz

      I agree somewhat, but the specific issue with Wiggins is that as raised by Tucker he could have been taking it the whole season AND only needed the TUE when engaging in active racing. So in other words (assuming no malfeasance): you only need the TUE in competition, so you only apply for it in competition while you’re still taking the drugs the whole time.

      And as raised by Vaughters, Tucker, etc. there’s definitely lots of athletes that take OOC substances that are banned in competition. Ephedrine, for example, to reduce vasomotor rhinitis.

      • J Evans

        During those seasons, Wiggins competed in a variety of races. He only got the TUEs before the grand tours. Ergo, he only took these drugs before the grand tours (the races, coincidentally or otherwise, that he really wanted to win). He managed the other races without the drugs.

        Also, if this drug was only taken for his pollen allergy, is it a little odd that his pollen allergy seems to move around by up to two months and – coincidentally or otherwise – happens to match up to whichever grand tour he’s trying to win that year? Even if he’d only ever had it in late June, it would have looked like wonderfully serendipidous timing, but then he gets it in late April in 2013.

        • jules

          I don’t know, but is it possible that his pollen allergy is more likely to flare during the Tour in July than in a freezing cold Paris-Roubaix in April? You’ve got to consider these things.

          • Dave

            Late April = just before the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

          • ebbe

            And to add to Dave’s comment: The “Timothy grass” that’s mentioned as the type of grass that triggers his allergies… it does not even grow in Mediterranean Europe!

  • david__g

    Relieved beyond words that my TUE for pizza and beer didn’t show up.

    • Dave

      Only an excuse is needed for that, not an exemption.

  • Bob Cullinan

    I have asthma. I was on a “puffer” for years. To read that 40% of the pro peloton suffers from asthma (I’ve heard it is as high as 60%) is really offensive. A physican told me that if someone is truly asthmatic, there is no way they could compete at the highest level of cycling, puffer or no puffer.

    They’re using the TUE as just another way to get around the rules. Ugh.

  • Il_falcone

    Neal,
    I think your article should have consisted of the paragraph where you quote Travis Tygart. And another paragraph where you explain why he’s obviously right. Instead you nurrish the wild speculations that arise from this (illegal) hack. Do you consider this to be serious journalism?
    The discussions about TUE should and will go on but this certainly does NOT contribute to a reasonable discussion. And the process it takes to come up with a solution for this problem – if it is a problem – certainly does not need any input of any armchair experts.

    • Neal Rogers

      Yes, I absolutely consider this to be serious journalism. These aren’t wild speculations; Froome acknowledged that the documents that were hacked were legitimate. This article is not about speculation, it’s about facts that surround a gray area in the sport.

      • ebbe

        I agree Neal. Showcasing the viewpoints of various people (all of these people certainly know what they’re talking about, and have spoken about the topic of cortico abuse before) is a good thing! Even better when they don’t all agree.

        Regarding Tygart: Its the lack of transparency and action from his organisation (and many others like his of course) that leads to these kinds of scandals. Tygart (intentionally) fails to realise this is not about the “athletes’ medical information” or even their TUEs. It’s about the continued and approved abuse of corticos as a PED, in many sports. He can’t bury this by shooting wildly at the people who uncovered this, even if they happened to do so via a hack or leak.

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