Tour de France 2021 - Speculation and Gossip

Higuita to Bora and Chaves to EF :colombia::colombia::colombia:


Most power to weight sports are shifting backwards in time.

The eastern Europeans figured that out with female gymnasts 40 years ago qnd many sports have since followed.

Also Jai Hindley to Bora, so he can continue to upstage Kelderman :laughing:

1 Like

I write and inject and apply boat loads of steroids into my patients (I deal with inflammatory autoimmune conditions), especially lots of triamcinolone.

I hate steroids.

But never once has a patient said they have lost weight while on steroids. They are counter productive to muscle development, the gain weight, etc. I just don’t buy these claims and reviewing pubmed really fails to find supporting data for this increased power and decreased weight

I don’t have personal expertise in doping, I just know that there are a host of retired pros who’ve admitted to using corticosteroids as a core component of their doping regimen. While it’s possible their real-world experience is invalid, an alternative theory is that the effects on a sedentary patient differ from the effects on a WT pro riding 1000kms a week.

After all, there’s a lot on pubmed that would lead one to believe EPO has no performance benefit either. E pur si muove.

However, paradoxically, its effects are the opposite of those of endurance training, namely a change in red cell mass without an increase in the total blood volume. Thus, the use of recombinant human erythropoietin as a performance-enhancing agent is dangerous, particularly in the less fit athlete, and probably of little benefit in the highly conditioned one.
(Erythropoietin use and abuse: When physiology and pharmacology collide - PubMed)

(Here’s an overview of Joe Dombrowski’s training regimen leading up to the 2018 Giro.)


It’s just what has been reported on. I have no personal experiences with this stuff.

Athletes and doctors have described inappropriate methods whereby systemic GC use, restricted nutrition and low-intensity training might be combined OOC to lose weight and preserve muscle mass.26 However, given the widely understood protein-catabolic functions of GCs,27 28 this doping mechanism remains speculative and controversial. Furthermore, efficacy may be dependent on the use of GCs as part of a complex cocktail that includes other prohibited but poorly detected hormones such as insulin.29

Recent accounts of systemic GC’s supposed potency have come from athletes who have also confessed to concurrent use of other performance-enhancing methods and substances, including anabolic agents such as testosterone.14 30 31 Such GC regimens may only have relevance in a small subset of sporting disciplines, such as in the steep mountain stages of cycling’s Grand Tours, where athletes might be willing to accept compromise in their training regimens or absolute power output in the pursuit of a superior power to weight ratio. OOC use would still necessitate a prolonged continuation of GC use into the competition period to avoid adrenal insufficiency due to feedback mechanisms. Prolonged GC use carries well-known medical risks, some of which could permanently diminish athletic performance.32

1 Like

These guys taking what type of steroids and dosages?

What one might hypothetically take in an unrestricted world is probably quite different, in both nature and quantity, from what any actual dopers do take, for the simple reason of passing tests/abusing the TUE system.

Gotcha. Im trying to follow what everyone is talking about to understand more, just nothing to really search for to read about.

I recommend Tyler Hamilton’s book. He lays it out. Landis lays it out in his 7 hour interview linked in this topic I believe.

We don’t have a lot of published doping formulas for cycling for obvious reasons. Even after people are caught, they don’t seem to come forward and tell us exactly what they did.

I imagine that there is a lot of experimentation. Trying stuff on riders to see if it makes a difference. My understanding is that prior to EPO and blood infusions, riders often took a large cocktail of things. Some of the things were masking agents designed to foil any testing.

1 Like

Ill have to read Hamilton’s book after I finish my light read of sex with cannibals and then David Goggin’s.

I didnt know masking agents existed. I didnt see how it was feasible for guys to take the normal 10 week cycle your local gym rat would take and then a 10 week pct treatment. Somewhere in the course of those 20 weeks they would have a test I would assume.

My guess is that by the time a rider gets to the world tour, they don’t need gym style muscle building protocols.

In Hamilton’s book, he basically says that he took T for recovery and EPO/blood for race performance. He says that all the other junk people had been taking in prior generations were nothing compared to T and EPO/blood.


Anyone I know who has been prescribed steroids for cancer or other disease blow up like a balloon.

I know whenever I’ve been prescribed them for infection, my appetite is a mess and I can’t sleep.

Based on that experience, I am really curious how guys who abuse them really pull it off, because everything that I have seen them do, is the opposite of what you want for cycling / weight loss.

1 Like

There are lots of different kinds of ‘steroids’ they all have different effects and side effects

Muscle loss seems to be a side effect of some corticosteroids. It seems like the riders use it to shed total body weight (arms, everywhere). Since they are still cycling 20 hours a week, they may not lose muscle or power in the legs. And maybe they also use some kind of anabolic (T?) on top of it, lift some weights, etc. plus who knows what else.

It’s certainly an off-label use!

1 Like

In the Kimmage interview, Landis says for the 2006 Tour he was down to HGH and blood bags. Presumably that’s why he fought the T positive so hard.

Corticosteroids and anabolic steroids are totally different chemicals; it’s the name ‘steroid’ that confuses people.

Corticosteroids can cause weight gain via holding water and fat gain following metabolic changes. Anabolic steroids also can cause water retention, but mainly the increase weight is through building muscle and enhancing glycogen stores. It’s also worth noting many anabolic steroids also increase red blood cell levels.

With careful diet and training, it is (apparently) very possible to use low-moderate doses of anabolics and see no changes to weight, as they also create metabolic changes whereby it’s possible to gain small amounts of muscle in a calorie deficit whilst also losing body fat. Throw in the enhanced recovery capabilities and the beneficial side effect of higher red blood cell levels, and you can see why it’s useful for those looking to abuse it.

However, it is supposedly quite hard to get round the testing system for anabolics, not least as the tests for them are now pretty sophisticated and well-established. Hence riders looking for other substances that are harder to detect. When EPO and HGH first started being used, there were no tests for either (which is what first led to the blood passports, where baseline haemocrit was looked at, amongst other things).

But taking low doses of anabolics shut down natural production of T in the body, causing a 2nd set of drugs needed to start the body back to being normal, with a dip in T after they come off the cycle this would mean weeks of limited recovery. I wonder if they just run a small post race dose of T to aid recovery.

“Strange noises” : Tour de France Mechanical Doping Claims Cycling News | HYPEBEAST

genuinely curious to know if any of these past doping programs had any sort of experimental structure or validity to them. like, give me some p-values.