The start of something good?

“I walked her (him) home and she (he) held my hand…I knew it wouldn’t be just a one night stand…Something tells me I’m into something good…” Naked Gun Soundtrack 1988

T-Mobile led the way, now CSC may be the first in a series of dominoes that fall along the team responsibility track.

CSC unveiled their team drug testing policy. Cyclists will be subjected to surprise out-of-competition blood and urine tests for EPO, steroids and human growth hormone. The team plans more than 800 tests on their riders in 2007.

No word yet on weather the team will go as far as T-Mobile and ban personal physicians and keep extensive medical records on athlete physiology. I personally believe that a team has the responsibility to look for the effects of drugs, not just for the drugs themselves.

With the advent of electronic medical records, teams can mine rider data and compare it to performance. This can give both insights into performance from a coaching perspective as well as insights into possible cheating.

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5 Responses to The start of something good?

  1. Theresa says:

    I didn’t realize that a cyclist on a team could have a personal sports doctor. That’s what team doctors are for….I thought. Boy, I got an education! Besides, the $ benefit of not paying for something the team provides. Banning the personal coaches…hmmmm, usually the cyclist has a coach they’ve worked with outside the team, for the personal attention, I think…someone they have a personal relationship with. Maybe I’m naive, but that should be okay, coaches don’t give medical treatment as far as I know.
    And then you have the smaller teams, can they afford the expense of the extra medical tests? Is there a way to help them? Or, because they are small, is there not enough money for the cyclists to dope?? Please, share your wisdom, pj.

  2. Debby says:

    Can you tell us how this will work…do the cyclists expect a knock on their door at any time, or only while they are training? Also, who are the doctors working for…the team? Would this still raise eyebrows? Will the test results over time serve as evidence to protect a rider in case LNDD does something funky, or are the team records not considered valid? I want to hope this will help, but I’m not sure yet.

  3. pelotonjim says:

    To try to answer both questions. First, it has become “fashionable” to use a personal physician for top riders. Three of the top names are Luigi Cecchini, Michele Ferrari, and Francesco Conconi. All three to some degree have had whispers about them with Ferrari actually charged with sporting fraud (doping).

    T-Mobile has the most restrictive policy. Team doctors only, no “personal” physicians. AlsThe team keeps track of everything and every vital sign. The doctors chosen by T-Mobile for baseline measurements and ongoing monitoring are university based and have been approved. The ultimate goal is to divorce the team from the physician to remove any remaining perception of conflict of interest.

    It is rumored that this is the reason Kloden left T-Mobile.

  4. Theresa says:

    Okay, and the doctor CSC has chosen is separate from the team, too. He has his own whatever…not at the university, though. So the smaller teams are still at a disadvantage, because these extra tests cost big bucks. They will have to still ‘trust’ the WADA.

  5. pelotonjim says:

    Yes, My problem is who to trust to manage the doctors?

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