Friday, 14 November 2008

Brain Damage - the unspoken by-product of EPO use

Warning, EPO can send you crazy.

There's a saying in Yorkshire, 'There's nowt as queer as folk'.
Perhaps it should be re-written for the modern age to: 'There's nowt as deranged as a failed doper', It would seem to me that one of the by products of excessive doping is that it can seriously damage your mind.
Looking at the utterances of certain banned riders I can only draw the conclusion that exposure to the kidney drug erythropoietin, or EPO as we all love to call it, is more likely to bugger up your brain than turn your blood to tomato soup.

In the last couple of days we've had both Alien number 1 (Stefan Schumacher) and Alexander Vinokourov announcing come backs.
Now there is an argument that one of the side affects from doping is that it adversely affects your mental health. The argument goes that you know it's wrong and with all the stress of deception and lies you mental health is likely to be adversely affected. Personally I think it's much more simple, I think EPO just sends you nuts, crazy, loopy, barking, mad. Perhaps it's users should read the label more carefully, perhaps it should be like cigarettes and carry a health warning.

There can be no other explanation can there? How could anyone in their right mind believe that they will be welcomed back in to the sport after not just failing dope tests, God knows we've had plenty of ex-dopers welcomed back, but after failing tests in the way they did and in the circumstances they did.

Schumacher's case is truly bizare, not only did he fail a dope test, but did so on the biggest stage the sport has, under massive scrutiny and after having issued a world record number of denials about doping and made the point on camera several times that he was clean. This was bad enough, but it proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the Stutgart 6 day and the tour of Germany.
You imagine the joy in the houses of riders who have lost their sponsors, and fans who have lost much loved races on this announcement.

Schumacher contends that he has a right to race, indeed he does, it's a basic human right. In a similar way I have a right to stand at the side of the road with a baseball bat and attempt to batter the living crap out of the fool as he rides past.

And then there's Alexander Vinokourov. What can you say that doesn't involve the word tosser?
Brad Wiggins spoke after Vinokourov's TT stage win / failed test at the 07 tour about how angry he was, Brad kew his power output and new the power output it would have taken to beat him by the margin Vinokourov did. Just after his return home Brad had a press conference which included:
I grew up as a kid idolising those hero's in the Tour de France, Indurain and everyone like that. It was almost a childhood dream to ride the Tour de France. The last 2 years my childhood dream which became a reality has been pissed all over by certain members of the peloton.

Lock em all up.

But my favorite moment of the last few days is, with out doubt, Schumacher insisting that his contract with Quick Step is valid.
Now this is something I would pay good money to witness, Jan 1st - Quick Step training camp, all the riders in their new kit, new bikes polished and shinny. Imagine them all happily riding along chatting about the up coming season, meanwhile 5 meters behind in a kit brought at the local bike shop is Schumacher. Every now and then someone turns round and shouts 'piss off, you're not in the team', 'No I am, I am, I have a contract'. You see, barking mad.
Does section 26 of the mental health act apply in Belgium?

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