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Bikes are Dope

Ben Fields
September 02, 2018

Bikes are Dope

A brief history of doping in cycling as given at #emfcamp 2018 lightning talks

Ben Fields

September 02, 2018


  1. Bicycles are Dope: From Strychnine to Hidden Motors Ben Fields

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashesse/32271738103/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashesse/32271738103/
  2. and more amphetamines and oxygen enhancers/blood doping and more amphetamines

    and oxygen enhancers/blood doping (side note here on the macabre nature of blood doping, but more later) so let's take a brief look at the history of doping in cycling
  3. • strychnine toxicity (TD50 ) effectiveness (ED50 ) We're going

    to put the performances on this handy informal chart, to help us think about them. The dimensions are: - **Toxicity TD50** the dose where the median person dies - **Effectiveness()@ED50)** how good is it when it hits? so ideally we'll be in the lower right, were things are useful and not so likely to result undesirable side effects like death in the upper left we have performance enhancers that might be very useful but have a very small window to help you before you're toast, like Strychnine, the oldest of performance enhancers
  4. This is what strychnine does 'in small doses tightened tired

    muscles' in small doses plus one it results in death not banned but encouraged!
  5. Mercx was suspended a few times in his career: e.g.

    “Merckx was leading the 1969 Giro d'Italia upon the conclusion of the sixteenth stage in Savona. After the stage, Merckx traveled to the mobile lab that traveled with the race and conducted the drug tests.” **now** they aren't allowed results in death sometimes
  6. toxicity (TD50 ) effectiveness (ED50 ) • strychnine • amphetamines

    • blood doping blood doping (transfusions across people/time) need for red blood cells
  7. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/Francesco_Moser_-_1979.jpg Francesco Moser of Italy broke the hour record of

    Eddy Merckx in 1984. In 1999, he admitted blood doping to prepare for the attempt, helped by sports doctor Francesco Conconi. Such doping had not been declared illegal at the time.
  8. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e7/Basso_Armstrong_Tourmalet_2004.jpg Erythropoietin: making Armstrong and Basso go faster well reported

    so not much to say here, but it's effectively an improvement on the point of blood doping, by ingesting a drug that your body makes normally that cause more red blood cells to be made death via thick blood but less often
  9. toxicity (TD50 ) effectiveness (ED50 ) • strychnine • amphetamines

    • blood doping • EPO What does ‘better’ doping mean?
  10. toxicity (TD50 ) effectiveness (ED50 ) • strychnine • amphetamines

    • blood doping • EPO roughly: enhance performance as much as possible, while lowering toxicity/risk to the rider (and in modern sport avoiding detection)
  11. toxicity (TD50 ) effectiveness (ED50 ) • strychnine • amphetamines

    • blood doping • EPO • hidden motors? What does ‘better’ doping mean? so are hidden motors the best dope then?
  12. By Dimitri Maladry - wikiportret.nl, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46825387 Almost

    six years since the first allegations of "mechanical doping" in cycling the UCI, during the Women's under-23 race, for the first time in cycling history found evidence of technological fraud when they checked the bicycle of Femke Van den Driessche. The UCI had been testing a new detection system. (small aside about a sacrificial lamb being a poorly funded young women who's career is now basically over as a result)