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Froome's achievement

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zico
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Re: Froome's achievement

#150481

Postby zico » July 6th, 2018, 1:36 pm

Seems pretty clear that Sky have released this latest data to deflect attention from the AAF decision, and change the conversation. (This new data isn't consistent with the facts either, as they are claiming he made up much more ground on the descents than he actually did, but that's another story).

For me, the decision on the AAF is far more interesting.

To simplify (slightly) a good analogy is of a motorist being found to have excess alcohol in a urine test, but the motorist says "I only had one pint, so your test must be faulty. I know I've done nothing wrong". After several months, the authorities say "OK then, we believe you". This hardly ever happens, so when it does, it's interesting to know how they got to this conclusion.

In Froome's case, he has always simply maintained he kept within the rules for his intake "I know I've done nothing wrong", so the tested results must be wrong. WADA (World Anti-Doping Authority) rules previously stated, in effect "if you say that, you must prove it". Froome/Sky have chipped away with a couple of "refinements" to adjust his tested results downwards from 100% higher than allowable, but they are still about 20% higher than the allowable figure. Sky have also said there's some variability between Froome's input and his tested output on previous days.

The defence which has been accepted by WADA is that on the day of the test there are enough factors special to Froome to mean that the test can't be applied to Froome (though apparently remains valid for all other riders, at least 2 of which have been banned). Froome/Sky haven't proved it isn't applicable, but appear to have said it isn't practicable to approve it (because you'd need to recreate the 3 weeks of the race, have Froome being ill for other reasons, and also have him increasing his dose.

I don't know whether (or how) he has proved he limited his intake to what was allowable - of course, that's the whole reason there is a test, where the bar is (or maybe "should be") set at a high enough level so that people exceeding the test allowance have exceeded the allowable inputs beyond a reasonable doubt.

In summary, Froome is not guilty because WADA told UCI to drop the case, saying that for this particular set of circumstances specific to Froome, their test wasn't robust enough. He hasn't proved his innocence, and hasn't proved he can replicate this exceeded test result whilst staying with the input guidelines. The troubling fact remains for pro cycling that the "abnormal" result happened on the very day when he'd been struggling with a chest infection, had previously had a bad day, but recovered to have a sensationally good day.

The timing of this decision being released is interesting. Why now? My take on it is that WADA/UCI would have preferred to release their findings towards the end of the 2018 tour, just as Froome was closing in on another victory, but with the Tour de France organisers provisionally banning Froome last week, they were bumped into bringing forward their findings. If you want to be really cynical about it, if this decision had been released 2-3 months earlier, than maybe other teams would have had time to look at which other banned drugs were susceptible to this kind of attack on the methodology, and got to work on devising a strategy and regime to be close enough to the limits to have a good chance of a successful appeal.

Seems pretty obvious to me now that Froome is a certainly to win the 2018 Tour, but I expect it to be another stage-managed performance with apparent signs of weakness before a sensational performance near the end puts him back at the top.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#150507

Postby Snorvey » July 6th, 2018, 2:07 pm

Seems pretty obvious to me now that Froome is a certainly to win the 2018 Tour, but I expect it to be another stage-managed performance with apparent signs of weakness before a sensational performance near the end puts him back at the top.

Let's see if he get's anywhere near the top. I have a feeling the abuse that's going to be aimed at Froome/Team Sky is not going to be pretty - particularly on the steepest of climbs where the authorities / organisers appear to have little control over the crowd.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#150544

Postby UncleIan » July 6th, 2018, 3:09 pm

Snorvey wrote:Let's see if he get's anywhere near the top. I have a feeling the abuse that's going to be aimed at Froome/Team Sky is not going to be pretty - particularly on the steepest of climbs where the authorities / organisers appear to have little control over the crowd.


Yes, could get very ugly indeed. Hinault in stirring things up won't have really helped either. Expect the tour to organise some motorcycle outriders to stick close to Froome where possible. Or let him suffer as they never wanted him in the first place.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#150574

Postby RececaDron » July 6th, 2018, 4:45 pm

It's clear that WADA's Salbutamol test doesn't stand up to legal scrutiny. Fortunately, Sky had sufficiently deep pockets to have challenged it, prevailed, exposing the faulty test.

I understand there's a stream of asthma sufferers - across all sports - regularly failing this test, some with numbers way above Froome's, very few of whom are being sanctioned. The vast majority's explanations are being accepted, but we publicly hear nothing of this because it remains confidential. Only the leaking of Froome's case means we've heard about this further example.

The fella who developed WADA's Salbutamol regs knows that the regulation is faulty:

Scientist behind Wada Salbutamol rules sided with Froome
http://road.cc/content/news/244597-scie ... ded-froome

Now it's out in the open that the regulation is faulty I'd expect a string of appeals from folks who've been wrongly busted by it.

And, within the next 12 months, WADA to withdraw the current reg while they attempt to reformulate it so that it achieves what it was supposed to achieve.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#150727

Postby zico » July 7th, 2018, 12:53 pm

According to an article in the Times Sports section today, a Glaxosmithkline scientist said there's a 10% chance of a "false positive" result if athletes take the maximum asthma medicine allowed. (Unfortunately, this is a bit meaningless without giving a time period - obviously it's not 10% chance for every sample taken, but is it a 10% chance of one "false positive" if an athlete takes the maximum dose every day over a 30 year career? The headline under the article is "10% of tests could be false positives" - but that can't be right, otherwise there would surely be lots of AAFs in cycling.
The article also rather misleadingly says Wada permits a level of up to 1,200 but that's actually the decision level - the limit is 1,000 and the decision limit has 20% added as a contingency factor (so anyone with a reading up to 1,199 is OK). Froome's reading was 2,000 but reduced to 1,430 after allowing for dehydration effects.

Wada have confirmed that from 2013 to 2017 there were 57 AAFs for salbutamol across all sports, leading to sanctions in 30 cases. This rather implies it's a bit of a dodgy test, as an athlete can exceed it with almost a 50% chance of no sanction. Would be interesting to see the relationship between sanctions and how high the samples were over the limit.

UCI, Brailsford and Froome have all now said they're happy for the full decision process to be made public, so unless this is all just spin for the media, we'll get to see more evidence.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#150761

Postby RececaDron » July 7th, 2018, 4:39 pm

zico wrote:Wada have confirmed that from 2013 to 2017 there were 57 AAFs for salbutamol across all sports, leading to sanctions in 30 cases. This rather implies it's a bit of a dodgy test, as an athlete can exceed it with almost a 50% chance of no sanction.


No, the situation re Salbutamol tests is worse than this; Froome's test did not constitute an AAF:

Per WADA:
"Based on careful consideration of the facts, the Agency accepts that the analytical result of Mr. Froome’s sample from 7 September 2017 during the Vuelta a España, which identified the prohibited substance Salbutamol at a concentration in excess of the decision limitof 1200 ng/mL(1), did not constitute an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF)."

The same situation applies to the very numerous other so-called failures of this test which are subsequently deemed not to be AAFs following the investigation process. These cases are never publicised - just as Froome's case would never have entered the public domain unless someone shady (and bitter!) had not leaked it - and there are reputedly stacks of such occurrences. Little wonder WADA hasn't released the data on these numbers (yet), because it won't look good for the efficacy of the test, the regulation relying upon it, and the reputation of the anti-doping system.

Good news for sport in general that Sky had the backbone and deep pockets to stand firm, and prevail, helping bring the flaws into the open, where hopefully they can be addressed. Busting innocent athletes is in no one's interest except irrational haters.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#150784

Postby zico » July 7th, 2018, 6:28 pm

According to Cycling News website

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/chris-f ... albutamol/

If a rider’s urine contains more than 1000ng/ml of salbutamol it is considered an Adverse Analytical Finding.
The threshold of 1000ng/ml was set by a scientific study, but metabolism of the drug varies greatly from person to person.
In cases of an AAF exceeding the threshold for inhaled salbutamol, athletes can submit to a pharmacological study of their metabolism of the drug to try to prove exceeding the dose was unintentional.
Because salbutamol is a specified substance under WADA rules, the UCI’s anti-doping rules do not require a provisional suspension while the case is further adjudicated.
UCI rules allow for at minimum a reprimand and maximum two years ineligibility if a rider can establish no significant fault for the AAF.


It doesn't make sense for WADA to say it wasn't an AAF. According to their own rules it's an AAF which has subsequently been explained to their satisfaction.

So there can be an AAF without it being a doping violation. But logically, the original AAF doesn't just disappear from reality.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#150883

Postby RececaDron » July 8th, 2018, 1:02 pm

Not an AAF if the levels are attributed to permitted intended therapeutic usage, as in Froome's example.

You should grudgingly be thanking the leaker - for unwittingly causing a light to be shone on the Salbutamol protocol - and Sky - for standing firm and helping highlight the flawed protocol. It's in every clean competitor's interest, and the viewing public's, that the anti-doping code is effective and not wrongly busting clean competitors.

But as we know with cycling, haters prefer to hate, because that's their sport, not the actual cycling itself.

Enjoy the TdF! :lol:

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Re: Froome's achievement

#151108

Postby RececaDron » July 9th, 2018, 11:56 am

Q&A piece from UCI:

http://www.uci.ch/pressreleases/respons ... ng-froome/

Amongst issues covered, the clear sub-text from the document is the dawning recognition by the authorities (WADA, followed by UCI) - backed by emerging scientific studies - that the present Salbutamol protocol is unfit for purpose.


Here's one of those studies referenced:

Futility of current urine salbutamol doping control.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29722428

"CONCLUSIONS:
The observed large variability in urine concentrations indicates that determining the administered dose from a single untimed urine sample is not feasible. The current threshold inadvertently leads to incorrect assumptions of violation, whereas many violations will go unnoticed, especially when samples are taken long after drug administration. These issues, combined with the dubious assertion of its anabolic effect, leads us to conclude that the large effort involved in testing should be reconsidered."


We'll have to see what WADA comes up with over the next year re Salbutamol, but it looks like the current unsound protocol will either have to be heavily revised or canned completely.

Excellent news for elite sport that these deep flaws have been highlighted.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#151744

Postby UncleEbenezer » July 11th, 2018, 1:33 pm

RececaDron wrote: that the present Salbutamol protocol is unfit for purpose.

Talk about missing the wood for the trees!

What's obviously totally unfit for purpose is the whole drugs regime in so-called professional sports. You simply can't possibly compete at the level that gets reported in the general media without being deep into a grey area. Who wins and who fails a test is all about politics, personalities, and what hold you have over others in terms of having information that'll take them down with you if you get caught (team Sky is clearly very strong there).

You can't honestly suppose Frome would've survived this episode if he were from a less-well-connected team? Let alone if he'd been Russian!
And the TDF is an interesting one, with so many winners on medications allowed only on account of some illness.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#151760

Postby UncleIan » July 11th, 2018, 3:30 pm

I think I'll just watch le tour and enjoy it.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#151780

Postby RececaDron » July 11th, 2018, 4:38 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
RececaDron wrote: that the present Salbutamol protocol is unfit for purpose.

Talk about missing the wood for the trees!


Oh dear!

Froome's the greatest GT rider of his generation, and one of the greatest of all time. A TdF win this year, should it occur, would give him an unprecedented 4 consecutive Grand Tour victories, marking this as the greatest ever GT achievement and Froome the greatest ever GT rider.

And this champion of champions was on the cusp of being wrongly sanctioned - his magnificent achievement unjustly erased from the record books - due to an unfit-for-purpose Salbutamol testing protocol that's based on bad science.

Denying clean riders their fair victories is as bad - or morally worse - than allowing dirty riders to unfairly win.

Froome prevailing in this Salbutamol incident is a great victory for the clean riders and clean teams that now dominate professional cycling. Him and Sky have done everyone a huge favour, using their resources and standing to help shine a light on this specific faulty aspect of the anti-doping regime.

And what a Tour we're in for this year, with numerous very strong GC contenders. A treat for us all to enjoy.

Chapeau! :D

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Re: Froome's achievement

#151787

Postby Meatyfool » July 11th, 2018, 4:54 pm

RececaDron wrote:Froome's the greatest GT rider of his generation, and one of the greatest of all time. A TdF win this year, should it occur, would give him an unprecedented 4 consecutive Grand Tour victories, marking this as the greatest ever GT achievement and Froome the greatest ever GT rider.



Yes, and therein is the rub. Someone who has managed similar outstanding achievements has gone before him. That didn't end up well, and now that the sh*t has been thrown at Froome, some people are going to start to wonder whether his accomplishment was achieved the same way.

He is a tarnished rider, and doesn't deserve to be*.

Meatyfool..

* But in cycling, how do we really know? That is really the worst of it.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#152068

Postby RececaDron » July 12th, 2018, 10:12 pm

Meatyfool wrote:Yes, and therein is the rub. Someone who has managed similar outstanding achievements has gone before him. That didn't end up well, and now that the sh*t has been thrown at Froome, some people are going to start to wonder whether his accomplishment was achieved the same way.



1. I assume you're referring to Armstrong - Armstrong targeted only a single event (TdF) per year; the 3 back-to-back GT wins (TdF, Vuelta, Giro) of Froome are on another level. In the unlikely event Froome wins this year's TdF, the achievement will be monumental, besting any prior GT achievements by anyone. Tough year, this one, as the competition is phenomenal; should be a spectacle...

2. Almost everyone who rode with Armstrong's team and then switched teams was subsequently busted for doping at their next teams. Not a single rider from Team Sky has had that happen to them. It was fairly open knowledge that Armstrong had a medical program, but power, vested interests and the omerta prevented action, until the mood music changed. Many people hate Team Sky because of their domination; the same success and methods as deployed by British Cycling. Where are the legions of busted, dirty athletes who've been through British Cycling and Sky?

3. The argument that the best rider (runner, whatever) of their generation must, by definition, be on the sauce, else they wouldn't be the best, is a desperate last resort when evidence to support the argument for cheating is MIA.

That's where the French have got themselves to. Bitter at their prolonged TdF victory drought, and unable to face up to the simple fact they've not had a rider/team good enough, they prefer to imagine instead that a dominant winner like Froome, must be cheating, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

No doubt they'll be happy if/when some roadside nutter forces a tragic incident, tainting and changing the Tour forever.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#152279

Postby cartsman2 » July 14th, 2018, 6:26 am

RececaDron wrote:3. The argument that the best rider (runner, whatever) of their generation must, by definition, be on the sauce, else they wouldn't be the best, is a desperate last resort when evidence to support the argument for cheating is MIA.


I agree with a lot of what you say, and I believe Froome and Sky are clean, or at least following the letter of the law (I think the Wiggins TUEs went well beyond what the TUE process is intended for). However, when it comes to certain sports like cycling and track sprinting, the history of doping is so pervasive that I think it's understandable for people to take the view that they're all at it. What I don't understand is why they think that if Sky are doping that all the other teams aren't up to the same thing - there has been enough movement between teams that if Sky had a secret sauce then everybody would be on it by now.

I actually think we're looking at a pretty clean peloton right now. I'm sure some riders are still taking banned substances, but I think the substances and quantities they can get away with now offer much lower improvements than the good old days of doing EPO and blood transfusions with impunity. And so it is possible for clean riders to win. That said, given the history of the sport I wouldn't be that shocked if it turned out I'd been conned again and they were all on some new undetectable drug. Maybe gene doping...

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Re: Froome's achievement

#152384

Postby Meatyfool » July 15th, 2018, 1:09 am

RececaDron wrote:
1. I assume you're referring to Armstrong - Armstrong targeted only a single event (TdF) per year; the 3 back-to-back GT wins (TdF, Vuelta, Giro) of Froome are on another level. In the unlikely event Froome wins this year's TdF, the achievement will be monumental, besting any prior GT achievements by anyone. Tough year, this one, as the competition is phenomenal; should be a spectacle...

2. Almost everyone who rode with Armstrong's team and then switched teams was subsequently busted for doping at their next teams. Not a single rider from Team Sky has had that happen to them. It was fairly open knowledge that Armstrong had a medical program, but power, vested interests and the omerta prevented action, until the mood music changed. Many people hate Team Sky because of their domination; the same success and methods as deployed by British Cycling. Where are the legions of busted, dirty athletes who'ved been through British Cycling and Sky?

3. The argument that the best rider (runner, whatever) of their generation must, by definition, be on the sauce, else they wouldn't be the best, is a desperate last resort when evidence to support the argument for cheating is MIA.

That's where the French have got themselves to. Bitter at their prolonged TdF victory drought, and unable to face up to the simple fact they've not had a rider/team good enough, they prefer to imagine instead that a dominant winner like Froome, must be cheating, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

No doubt they'll be happy if/when some roadside nutter forces a tragic incident, tainting and changing the Tour forever.


Rant over? Do you feel better now?

[quote="Meatyfool"]
He is a tarnished rider, and doesn't deserve to be*.

Maybe you missed that line in your haste to reply.

And as for the PS at the end of my post, not a shot at Froomie, just an indication of just how much the p*ss takers have done to tarnish the sport as a whole.

Meatyfool..

PS Similar is not the same as exactly the same!

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Re: Froome's achievement

#152399

Postby RececaDron » July 15th, 2018, 9:20 am

Meatyfool wrote:Rant over? Do you feel better now?


Oh dear!
Substantive points not rebutted, I note. Quelle surprise.

Enjoy today's pavé :lol:

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Re: Froome's achievement

#153468

Postby zico » July 19th, 2018, 5:50 pm

Hi RececaDron

Thanks for the link to the study. I had a look at it, and have a few comments, though I don't profess to fully understand it.
First of all, they seem to have used data from dogs to develop some kind of simulation model. I know Froome's nickname is "Dawg" but even so, using dogs to predict human behaviour???
Their figure on false positives is based on 1,000 limit whereas Froome's result was nearer 2,000 (later revised down to about 1,400) so their model and the graphs doesn't seem to show there would be false positives at this level.

In their summary, they have the following extremely odd paragraph.

In the current situation, WADA does seem to acknowledge the problem of variability to some extent as an athlete that produced a urine sample with an unacceptably high salbutamol concentration, is given the possibility to prove this was a result of a dosing scheme within WADA limits by means of a controlled pharmacokinetic study. Hereby WADA transfers the responsibility of resolving the flaws in the rules designed by WADA itself to the athlete. Setting up such a study and getting the desired result will take months at least. And even if an athlete does prove their innocence, this could already do major damage to their reputation (see the Froome case); that is, if showing innocence is successful at all, as this might not prove simple.


It's odd because they seem to be saying that if Froome had taken a controlled pharmacokinetic study (PMKS) - which WADA had expected him to take, but he didn't - then even if he'd proved his innocence with this (which would have satisfied me, by the way) his reputation would still suffer major damage. I don't get this logic at all. They are saying in effect that it's better for Froome's reputation to rubbish the test than it is for him to take a PMKS to prove his innocence!

Finally, more generally, there's an obvious whopping great loophole in what WADA have done with Froome. They have a lot of output results for Froome, but they've simply taken Froome's word for how much salbutamol he inhaled on these various occasions, and are saying that on the basis of a combination of what they know and what Froome has told them, there's clear evidence of variability.

Given that they are trying to detect people cheating, it's a bit barmy to trust someone under suspicion to provide honest answers, particularly when they'll know what to say if they were cheating. If WADA have a set of results saying for example, readings of 300,700,200,900 - wouldn't a drug cheat simply say - on the day of that 1st reading I took 16 puffs, 2nd reading 1 puff, 3rd reading 15 puffs, 4th reading 1 puff - hey presto, variability proven!

If a rider wanted to prove to the world that they were innocent, why wouldn't they at least take the PMKS test? Even if it didn't show what they wanted, they could still fall back on the argument that their metabolism is different after 2 weeks of competitive racing, and so they PMKS test should be ignored. Still too many unanwered questions here for my liking.

Of course I don't expect we (or anyone) are actually going to agree on this anytime soon, especially given the lack of facts and clarity - I'm just interested as an analyst and statistician.

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Re: Froome's achievement

#153529

Postby RececaDron » July 19th, 2018, 9:33 pm

zico wrote:I'm just interested as an analyst and statistician.


:lol:

It's crystal clear that you formed a view before the evidence was laid out, and now that WADA (whom no one credible believes to be in any way corrupted or non-independent) have come out and stated - with detailed explanations - why there's no case to answer by Froome, you won't give it up.

Why let the facts get in the way of your beliefs, hey? :roll:

Your posts illustrate that you're not interested in the reality of the situation, but only in finding ways to justify your earlier erroneous assumptions and conclusions.

I'm not interested in wasting any further time correcting you.

Take your "arguments" to WADA if you think you have something that they - as the World Anti Doping Agency - have somehow overlooked, or if you've found some procedural irregularity in their handling of the investigation.

I'm sure they'll give you the time that you deserve!


Chapeau :D

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Re: Froome's achievement

#153549

Postby zico » July 19th, 2018, 11:17 pm

Oh dear!
Substantive points not rebutted, I note. Quelle surprise.


A wise man once said these words above!


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