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Well That’s Awkward – Lance Armstrong’s Favourite Doping Drug Doesn’t Even Work

Story from: 2oceansvibe.com

Hang on, are you saying he won of his own accord?

No, he is a cheater who has brought much shame to the prawn community, although a controversial new study says that his beloved EPO may not be as effective as first thought.

The results of that study were published in the journal Lancet Haematology, with researchers saying the findings might “convince some to pay more attention to the harms of supposed performance-enhancing drugs by punching holes in the myths surrounding them”.

More below from CBC:

Dutch scientists staged a bike race up a mountain to study whether erythropoietin (EPO) lives up to its reputation, transporting a large group of avid cyclists to southern France in a tour bus and putting on a grueling [sic] day of cycling for them.

“It was hectic and stressful, but also a lot of fun and exhilarating,” said Jules Heuberger of the Centre for Human Drug Research in Leiden, Netherlands, who led the effort and describes himself as “an active, fanatic cyclist.”

Previous studies of EPO in sports have been flawed, Heuberger said. Participants weren’t trained athletes, knew they were getting EPO, or testing was limited to short bursts of strength and endurance.

EPO is one of the 300 substances on the banned list, and one of the substances Armstrong admitted to using during his seven Tour de France wins.

The general understanding is that EPO enhances the ability to carry oxygen to the muscles, and is thought to increase endurance, but those are notions that the new study challenges:

Professional athletes were impossible to study because they’re barred from taking EPO. Instead, the scientists recruited 48 amateur, but well-trained male cyclists willing to take shots for eight weeks then race up a mountain in southern France.

None knew whether he was getting the real stuff or dummy injections. Researchers gave the EPO group enough to increase their levels of hemoglobin, the part of blood that carries oxygen.

To nobody’s surprise, the EPO group did better on a short, high-intensity test in the lab where they pedaled on an incline until they were exhausted. But the two groups performed equally on a 45-minute endurance test inside…

Those who’d had EPO injections were 17 seconds slower on average compared to cyclists who got dummy injections. Most of them guessed wrongly that they got the fake shots. “They couldn’t feel the effect and we couldn’t measure it either,” Heuberger said.

According to Robin Parisotto, an Australian sports scientist who helped develop a test to detect EPO, the study does raise some interesting points.

That being said, he added that EPO does “provide a very powerful benefit” in shorter events such as 400-metre or 800-metre races.

Perhaps it’s worth asking the guys who didn’t dope during Lance’s golden run whether or not they feel he cheated, and we should also remember that EPO was just one of the substances he used to aid his performance.

Hands up if you think this year’s Tour de France will be a clean race? No, me neither.


This post is from 2oceansvibe.com. Click here to read the full text

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