I know enough about pharmacodynamics to know I know nothing about pharmacodynamics. For those playing at home that means I know a little more than when I thought I knew everything.
What little I know has been nagging me since I first heard Floyd Landis tested positive for testosterone. It sat there in the back of my mind nagging me. Telling me something is wrong about when Floyd was supposed to have taken testosterone, why he would have taken it, etc. I’ve never crystallized it until I read a sidebar by Jonathan Vaughters in the latest VeloNews. It is worth the price just for this commentary. First Jonathan says Floyd is one of the sharpest people he has ever met. He goes on to say in part:
“Twenty years ago guys took testosterone. They took epitestosterone to fool with the test and cover up the ratio. But that stopped with the inception of the carbon isotope. Nobody was stupid enough to risk getting nailed for a drug that didn’t do much anyhow. With much more effective and totally undetectable options such as blood doping and human growth hormone, testosterone isn’t even on the ‘go fast’ map anymore.
Sure, maybe oldschoolers take testosterone between races, but during a stage race? No way. And why would you take it for just one day? Two days before and two days after, Floyd tested negative, so apparently he wanted that sweaty summer teenager feeling back for one day of the Tour, right?…”
For testosterone to have any effect on recovery, albeit minor, Floyd would need to take it everyday during the Tour. But, as Jonathan points out, “you’d get nailed more than a French hooker.”
I don’t know Floyd. Therefore, I don’t know what he is capable of when confronted with having, potentially, his one and only shot at the pinnacle of his life’s work slip away. What I do know is there is enough evidence that those who are tasked with policing the sport should be looked at under the same glaring light that they direct at the riders. That goes from the lab all the way to Dick Pound and Pat McQuaid.
Then there is that nagging voice.