Thursday, July 17, 2008

Say it ain't so, Ricco

Turns out the whole bad boy persona is not just for show. And the bizarre infatuation of Pantani just a bit too literal. He's busted. So sad. And so much for all the talk about the "next generation" of riders being different. Shit.

Sounds like the latest weapon of choice is CERA/Micera, a relatively new EPO drug. Doping expert Michal Audran explains it this way (courtesy of CN):
Wow. I'm stunned. I'm amazed they're saying it's Micera, simply because there's no validated test for that yet. The World Anti-Doping Agency is working on a test, but it certainly doesn't exist yet.

CERA is a delayed-action EPO, which has a different molecular mass from EPO. It's only been commercially available since the start of the year. We can tell when someone's used it but we can't declare them positive. In that respect it's like Dynepo, another EPO-like product. We know that Micera was being used on the Giro, so I'm not surprised that it's also turned up at the Tour. But I would be very surprised if they AFLD had declared Riccò positive for Micera, for the reasons I've just mentioned. Maybe they searched Riccò's room and found the product itself...

It's more convenient for clinical patients. They might only have to take Micera once a fortnight or once a month. EPO has to be administered much more often. The effect for an athlete is the same: raised haematocrit, raised haemoglobin, more oxygen to the muscles. It's funny, because Riccò has UCI certification for his high haematocrit already.
Saunier-Duval has withdrawn their whole team from the Tour.

Fortunately, I don't think there are any huge ramifications for the FGBC TdF Pool. Nobody had Ricco, and I don't think anybody had Cobo either. And the good news is that everybody below 7th on the GC now moves up two spots.

It sounds like they're targeting riders based on a blood profile taken at the start of the Tour. And they're getting them, or getting to them. Moreau's early departure is rumoured to be the result of an indication from the testers that they knew something was amiss. Kinda makes one wonder who's going to be next.


Anonymous said...

To quote the Tour day Schmalz, the Cobra is a snake.

- Kevin K

Anonymous said...

Shitty, like the chicken I rather appreciated his style. I guess hero worshiping Marco Pantanni wasn't a good idea.

Dallas " my wife called me at work with the news and I freaked out." Sigurdur

mhandsco said...

Tour updates from your wife? That's true love...