Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Thinking Strategically & UCI

I hope that Thomas Dekker's positive test for EPO was the result of indications that he is doping now and retesting the old samples was just a back door way of nailing him.

That's how I originally read the article but upon rereading I am not so sure:

"The UCI's request is based on two elements of evidence collected within the biological passport programme: Mr Dekker's haematological profile and a laboratory report indicating the detection of recombinant EPO in a urine sample.

"According to a panel of scientific experts, the haematological profile established from blood samples collected from Mr Dekker in 2008 and 2009 demonstrates convincing evidence of the use of the prohibited method of enhancement of oxygen transfer."

It was that suspicion of blood doping that prompted the UCI to have new tests on Dekker's 2007 urine sample.

The 24-year-old Dekker, who was slated to arrive in Monaco on Wednesday for Saturday's opening stage of the Tour, will be replaced on the Silence-Lotto roster by British rider Charley Wigelius.

Team manager Marc Sergeant was quick to point out that the alleged violation did not occur while Dekker was a member of the Silence-Lotto team.

"I am sorry this happened, of course," said Sergeant, "It's important to remember that this occurred when he was a member of Rabobank, but it still doesn't make the news any less disappointing."

Now Sergeant has every reason to try to deflect any responsibility onto Rabobank by trying to parse words. But if the samples examined by the UCI indicated blood doping in 2008 & 2009 then, in fact, the violation was on Lotto's watch.

On the otherhand, the UCI's statement could also mean that suspision was raised because 2007 tests showed significantly different results from 2008 & 2009. IOW, it's unclear whether the UCI is saying the current results indicated blood doping now or current results indicated he was clean now but had doped in the past.

If it is the later, then they have just created a perverse insentive to stay juiced.


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