Permanently juiced up?

by bikeboy76   September 3, 2013  

So Chris Horner taking the lead of the Vuelta has brought out a lot of interesting comments. I have to admit I had not really noticed him before as just another name in the pack in the big tours. Some of you are more aware of his wins in the US and one week events. So I don't know his history, but a lot of people seem to know just who he used to ride with and who ran what teams. There are lots of hints and outright accusations. He is too old, from the wrong era and used to... and so forth. I really don't know if any of this is true or not, so I don't know what to believe.

However, all this got me thinking. I can't see how he can be a pro rider winning events right now and be juiced up to the eye balls. So the accusations are basically say he is turboing past other younger clean GC riders. But surely he must be being tested, even out of competition. Unless he is completely dumb and on the verge of getting busted then what is going on? Either this is his Indian summer or perhaps he has some lasting effects from taking drugs. Obviously drugs give you an enhanced ability to train through the season, but to what extent does this permanently effect your physiology? Blood doping seems like a temporary measure, but what about EPO and growth hormones; does the extra muscular and VOMax stay with you and for how long, years, forever?

So once a cheat always a cheat, literally; would that means life time bans are fair?

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I'm sorry, but I'm willing to put my neck out and many around here know full well what I think of dopers.

Horner is NOT a doper. If he'd been doping, even along the way in his career, he'd have been caught up in the same thing that got Levi, Hincapie and many others.

I am so fed up with this, oh look, he's winning, must be a doper mentality that comes from some sections of cycling "fans"....they've been like that for years and will continue like that for years to come.

It was the same when Wiggo won TDF last year and then was crap at the Giro, When Froome was good at the Vuelta and "no-where" and everyone said he was doping.

Horner has been a constant DS for some of the big "winners" in the grand tours, Evans, Armstrong, Contador and Schleck and I believe ALL of those four were dopers.

In my eye's, Horner should be up there with Jens Voigt, he's won many races, not on the scale of the grand tours. But he's been there in the winning teams aswell.

Look at what Jens is doing this year, break's galore, got a win in California aswell. Both having decent season's in the twilight of their career's.

If people want to spout about his doping, go do it somewhere else, he's never even been implicated.

So if you can stand and say Jens is clean, you have to say the same about Horner

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posted by Gkam84 [8681 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 0:41

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Rolling On The Floor

posted by daddyELVIS [378 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 1:25

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Mostly, I'm with the argument Gkam puts forward - extraordinary athletes can perform extraordinary feats. It's much, much more difficult when you get past your mid 30s though. Your body doesn't recover as well - christ, I'm almost 32 and fitter than I've ever been, and I can attest to that right now.
When you're 42? One day efforts are plausible, but you'll then spend a lot of the time on following days stuck in the pack.
When you're 42 and putting out 6.3W/kg for a sustained effort and having a VO2 max better than that of Greg Lemond? These are stronger figures than Froome was producing on his big efforts at the tour. He thrashed Nibali, one of the best GT climbers.
Has Horner doped in the past? He was an Armstrong domestique, and we all know what happened to people around Lance who didn't join his programme.
Is he doping now? We don't have evidence of it. But whereas the number crunchers during the tour were telling us that Froome was right on the edge of clean human physiology, Horner is something a little beyond even that. And he's 42. Forty two.

posted by bashthebox [603 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 8:41

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Jens, goes on big breakaways, buries himself, blows up, gets caught.

Horner danced away with a massive grin on his face, dropping younger, in form riders on a stage everyone was talking about how tough it was.

I like Horner, but his previous win raised and eyebrow, yesterday just took the the absolute back out. My doubts have been raised by many performances but yesterday seriously took the piss.

I'll be stunned if his win isn't over turned later on down the line.

posted by farrell [1283 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 9:07

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I have read interviews with Chris Horner. He is adamant that he has never doped and he he can be up there but has rarely had the opportunity to prove himself. I don't recall him being linked to any doping scandals.

Horner may feel that his chances lie in grabbing the jersey and hanging onto it while others e.g. Nibali do not want to have to defend it this early. He said said he followed the numbers on his SRM while the rest were watching each other (quotes here ) . I think Rodriguez is biding his time, which worked for him at the Tour - he still had good legs at Semnoz.

Perhaps enforced rest and this buildup works better for Horner than 'racing as training', just as Sky say it works for Wiggins (though whatever Henao and Uran did obviously hasn't worked as they lost more time yesterday).

That's not to say questions shouldn't be asked. On ITV last night Gary asked Roger Hammond whether he should be subject to the same scrutiny as Froomey & co in the Tour. Absolutely, he said. There are still plenty of days to go yet.

From the title of this thread I thought it may be about Valverde.... Thinking

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posted by Simon E [1902 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 10:23

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Whilst I find it very hard to believe that Horner has never doped, given the professional company he kept and the era in which he has ridden, he would be *really* stupid to be doping now.

Mind you, Di Luca and Santambrogio were still stupid enough earlier this year, so who knows?

And while the daily Froomqusition at the Tour was a bit much, we've a right to be sceptical about any rider. It may be 'sins of the father' (though there are plenty of 'father' era pros still racing) and I do believe we're entering a new era of at least reduced doping (nobody can argue that the culture of the peloton is changing) but for now my default position is one of assuming innocence but never discounting the possibility of guilt.

Incidentally, is there a feeling that in Spain it's easier to get away with doping than, say, France? *Coughs* 'famous football team' *coughs*

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posted by Ghedebrav [1018 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 11:30

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Why should riders from that era be trusted when they say they've never doped? (Jens included). They deny ever having witnessed or suspected anybody on their team using PEDS when we know that's BS.

Oh and Horner has somewhat been implicated as Rider 15.

posted by Swindaloo [15 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 12:11

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I think there is a gap here between what people think testing can show and what it does show (and the efficacy of those tests).

There are different types of test for starters - I'm assuming everyone here knows that urine tests are worth squat. But even the sorts of things that they look for in blood tests can vary massively.

The problem is, if they haven't tested Horner out of competition it is unlikely that they will have any trace of PEDs. The only thing to check on otherwise is blood doping (another sort of test is required for it).

WADA admits that it is very hard for them to test and find cheats, so unfortunately testing is pretty much lip-service to the fans, or (as Tyler Hamilton put it) an IQ test of sorts.

As we all know the absence of a positive test for PEDs is not the same as confirmation that the athlete is clean. In fact, evidence suggests that they are usually one step ahead of the testers and are better at cheating than they were.

The BBC had some good articles about it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23911979
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/athletics/23903667

People talk about incredible performances, but I think you do need to ask yourself are they credible. At 42 I think not.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1079 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 12:53

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I'm no expert on the Chris Horner back story but the comparison with Jens Voigt got me thinking - are we more likely to trust Jens because he's funny and quotable and looks pretty cool when hammering away out front, where Horner is a slightly odd looking American with no great style on the bike and no obviously magnetic personality. In other words, we trust Jens because we want to?

I know there's more to it than than, but just a thought.

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posted by ragtimecyclist [118 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 13:14

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GKam, To say he's never been implicacted is nonsense - as Allen Tullett posted on the discussion of yesterday' stage he's almost certainly rider 15 in Leipheimers USADA evidence:
'In 2008 Rider 15 told me that he was using EPO during his recovery from an injury in 2005 before the Tour of Switzerland.' from Levi Leipheimer's testimony.

From Chris Horner's wiki entry,'After being injured in the beginning of 2005, Horner showed strong performance in the USPRO Championships and won his first major European victory by taking the sixth stage of the 2005 Tour de Suisse.'

His response to the USADA prosecution of Armstrong as reported on cyclingnews is also textbook omerta:
"Did he test positive?" he replies when asked about Armstrong's case with USADA.

Nowadays such a response leaves most people cringing. Armstrong did test positive for a steroid in 1999 and was given a post-dated exemption form from the UCI. But Horner continues.

"Look, I'm certainly old enough and wise enough to understand the magnitude of the situation, but in the end he's still getting prosecuted with no positive test. A lot of guys say they saw him and a lot say he did this and he did that, but I look at it and say: 'USADA, WADA, UCI, they're saying that the tests are worthless.' So do you take all the tests, 500, 1000, I don't know the number I've done in my own career and you basically say, that you took them for no reason?"
But what if Armstrong announced tomorrow morning that he'd doped, that it was all true and he was banged to rights?

Horner sighs and looks into the distance.

"That's what it would take to change my mind," he says.

"Either that or a bunch of positive tests. That's what it would take, Lance saying I did it. Clearly Lance won seven Tours. I just want to keep it as simple as I can, otherwise you end up looking up at the stars and you question everything out there. The guy won the race, and I liked watching those wins, the dominance, the seriousness of Lance's training, and his better recovery."

posted by benezeir [52 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 13:36

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ragtimecyclist wrote:
In other words, we trust Jens because we want to?

For me personally, yes. I desperately want to believe that he is clean, but as ever, wouldn't be surprised if he had doped.

However, as I said before, Jens goes out and kills himself on long breakaways, suffers and gets pulled back in.

Horner virtually moonwalked up yesterday, slinging his bike up like he was competing in a rhythmic gymnastics competition.

posted by farrell [1283 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 13:40

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ragtimecyclist wrote:
I'm no expert on the Chris Horner back story but the comparison with Jens Voigt got me thinking - are we more likely to trust Jens because he's funny and quotable and looks pretty cool when hammering away out front, where Horner is a slightly odd looking American with no great style on the bike and no obviously magnetic personality. In other words, we trust Jens because we want to?

I know there's more to it than than, but just a thought.

I don't trust Jens. I don't trust any of them. Saint David could also be the Devil in a Chamois, dripping poison lies in your ear.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1079 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 14:40

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In a Velonation interview earlier this year (bit.ly/18TeOnF), Methuselah Horner discussed his knee operation and the steps he would be taking to aid rehabilitation these included blood spinning.

Blood spinning to say the least is controversial. WADA banned the practice in 2010 only to back track in 2011 after pressure from 'medical experts' as it can significantly speed up recuperation.

The question is when does taking blood out, centrifuging it so the white blood cells and plasma separate and then re-injecting into the injury area become blood manipulation (and what volumes are we talking about here...)

To quote Dick Pound, the former president of WADA,"it sounds like blood manipulation of some sort to me"

Seems like it is sailing pretty close to the wind, in a sport with a no-needles policy and recent issues with industrial blood doping etc;

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posted by TeamPurito [2 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 14:42

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It's also the case, from what we know about doping that fashion is to do a 'little but often'. That may equate to a smaller global change (no sprinting up the Hautacam like Armstrong) - it certainly makes it harder to spot with the blood passport.....they'll notice a spike, but if you can make it look like a training progression it passes muster every time.

I wish people understood the process, because then you would set your skepticism over the lack of a positive aside, and realise that the testing process is broken, rather than having faith in process that you know little about.

It's a bit like the case of the man wearing uniform. People will instinctively follow his instructions because they see the uniform. So Tour 'officials', UCI 'officials' and Olympic 'officials' all say they have a comprehensive testing operation. But if you know what that means, you know if means very little.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1079 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 14:54

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TeamPurito wrote:
In a Velonation interview earlier this year (bit.ly/18TeOnF), Methuselah Horner discussed his knee operation and the steps he would be taking to aid rehabilitation these included blood spinning.

Blood spinning to say the least is controversial. WADA banned the practice in 2010 only to back track in 2011 after pressure from 'medical experts' as it can significantly speed up recuperation.

The question is when does taking blood out, centrifuging it so the white blood cells and plasma separate and then re-injecting into the injury area become blood manipulation (and what volumes are we talking about here...)

To quote Dick Pound, the former president of WADA,"it sounds like blood manipulation of some sort to me"

Seems like it is sailing pretty close to the wind, in a sport with a no-needles policy and recent issues with industrial blood doping etc;

This the blood spinning that Tottenham have frequently used on Gareth Bale too....

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1079 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 16:24

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
TeamPurito wrote:
In a Velonation interview earlier this year (bit.ly/18TeOnF), Methuselah Horner discussed his knee operation and the steps he would be taking to aid rehabilitation these included blood spinning.

Blood spinning to say the least is controversial. WADA banned the practice in 2010 only to back track in 2011 after pressure from 'medical experts' as it can significantly speed up recuperation.

The question is when does taking blood out, centrifuging it so the white blood cells and plasma separate and then re-injecting into the injury area become blood manipulation (and what volumes are we talking about here...)

To quote Dick Pound, the former president of WADA,"it sounds like blood manipulation of some sort to me"

Seems like it is sailing pretty close to the wind, in a sport with a no-needles policy and recent issues with industrial blood doping etc;

This the blood spinning that Tottenham have frequently used on Gareth Bale too....

Yes, blood-spinning is big in football, but football clubs with millions of £'s at stake would never take it a (logical) step further would they (the Spanish Gov says they wouldn't).

Anyone who believes that at the top of pro sport, where the stakes get ever higher and the records keep tumbling, that the majority a clean, are delusional!

And Horner.....

posted by daddyELVIS [378 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 18:20

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Gkam, sorry to tread on your toes, this wasn't supposed to be a Horner thread, but it has turned into that. Like I said I don't really know, though it seems there are enough people who doubt.

I was wondering about the long term effects of drug use and if Horner's longevity and *alleged* previous use. Connection? Well LA was still in great shape on 09 in his late thirties regardless of how clean he claimed to be on his comeback.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1182 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 18:59

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bikeboy76 wrote:
Gkam, sorry to tread on your toes, this wasn't supposed to be a Horner thread, but it has turned into that. Like I said I don't really know, though it seems there are enough people who doubt.

I was wondering about the long term effects of drug use and if Horner's longevity and *alleged* previous use. Connection? Well LA was still in great shape on 09 in his late thirties regardless of how clean he claimed to be on his comeback.

Are you assuming the younger current riders are training and racing clean? I think that would be a naïve assumption.

posted by daddyELVIS [378 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 19:27

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