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Lets get the facts straight!

I’m a night-owl and like to sleep in late. This past Thursday, 7:00 a.m., I was awakened by a phone call from my publisher. As a rule I don’t answer my publisher’s calls and let them go to voice mail. “Neil, wake up! They found Floyd positive. Find out what’s going on and call me back!” After several days of researching, this is what I’ve found out.

First off, let’s all take a collective breath and settle down. First, he is not positive for anything. At this point all that has been identified is an abnormality. An abnormality in his ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone. As I write this we are still waiting for the “B” sample to confirm whether that finding is accurate. As Floyd has said, more than likely the “B” sample will come back affirming that his ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone in his body is greater than the 4:1 ratio that the UCI has set as a threshold. But let’s look at the facts: if he was taking testosterone he would have need to have been on a course of this drug for weeks, not the day after his disastrous stage 16 [Dr. G. Forbes, Journal of American Medical Assoc. 1992 page 397-399]. A person can’t take testosterone exogenously one day and the next have a miraculous turn. What the media has been stating is that Floyd has elevated testosterone, and that is simply not true. His ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone is greater than 4:1, which does not mean his testosterone is high. Also, testosterone is not a drug that a cyclist would take. Testosterone builds muscle mass, the last thing a Tour de France winner wants. Floyd’s doctor, Brent Kay, explained it on Larry King Live.

KING: How do you explain the high level of testosterone?

KAY: Well, I think that’s been one of the problems is that he does not have a high level of testosterone. That’s not been documented …

KAY: He has a high ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone in his urine.

KING: Meaning?

KAY: Which could be due to an elevated testosterone level. It could be due to a lower epitestosterone level. And it could be due to a variety of other factors with handling and specimen contamination and various other things.

People have asked me, “But look at his comeback from his bad day to winning by eight-minutes the next.” If you know anything about the sport of cycling and the tactics employed this is easily explained. Stage 16 was a course full of undulations. With the pressure of the Yellow Jersey, he did what athletes sometimes do, forget to eat and drink enough, and he ran out of energy. The next day in Stage 17, with nothing to lose, he attacked on the first climb of the day. While a strong attack, it was nothing that his opponents couldn’t go with. Floyd gambled; he had nothing to lose and realized that the only way to make up the eight minutes loss from the previous day was to go early. The chase behind was unorganized. CSC and T-Mobile looked at the Yellow Jersey holder to chase. Oscar Pereiro didn’t want to put his men on the front and burn them out, so the peloton let Floyd go. On the climbs, the chasing peloton did claw back some time, but Floyd’s superior descending skills pulled back that lost time. And on the final climb Floyd lost some time, allowing Pereiro to retain the jersey by a hair. Allen Lim, one of Floyd’s trainers, had posted the watts generated during the stage (watts is the amount of energy produced). And while beyond the ability of ordinary riders, not unnaturally high, and within range of an athlete with Floyd’s ability. Floyd won that stage through guts, determination and luck, not due to any doping.

With Floyd winning the Tour, it was natural that he was going to be on our next cover of ROAD. Suddenly I was getting asked, “Are you still running Floyd on the cover?” My answer, ABSOLUTLY! Not for a second did we think of pulling the cover. I would also like to do something with Floyd on the following issue’s cover of ROAD for our Interbike issue, one of our biggest and important issues. That is how much I believe that Floyd is innocent. Unfortunately, Floyd and cycling will get dragged through the mud for a few weeks. I know that there will always be a group of haters that love to jump on a doping story and paint with broad strokes a dismal, dope-filled picture of cycling. If that’s what you want to do, there’s little I can say to open your mind. Scandal is all you can see. For now I ask people to look at the facts and don’t get caught up in the easy, hyped-up story of doping. Give Floyd the opportunity to defend himself.

5 Responses to “Lets get the facts straight!”

  1. Nicholas Brandt-Sorenson III July 29, 2006 at 2:51 pm #

    yeah those drugs aren’t even effective. its just natural talent.

  2. SLOVER July 29, 2006 at 6:51 pm #

    4:1 ratio is not nothing.I have friends that bodybuild and they ratio is like 40:1. You can get more testosterone from a Belgium Hamburger…Then what Landis had in this test

  3. The Great Dane July 30, 2006 at 7:49 am #

    Neil, couldn’t agree with you more about Landis’ innocence. I even blogged about it myself the other day (offmyleash.blogspot.com) I’ve heard the B sample results could be released Monday or Tuesday so hopefully we can get this behind the sport quickly

  4. Hooptie July 31, 2006 at 4:49 pm #

    Neil,

    you cant listen to anything Floyds Dr. (Brent Kay) says, clearly he has an agenda to protect Floyd. Please, for the sake of the integrity of your mag, don’t publish an opinion based on his comments.

    Have a look at the comments from Jorg Jaksche Dr….he has less to hide.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2006/jul06/jul07news3

    Testosterone is widely abused in cycling, especially because it’s difficult to test for. Testosterone is just like it used to be w/ EPO, you can bump it up to 50% w/ EPO, or 4:1 w/ testosterone, and you wont get caught…aka green light for cheating to a certain limit.

    Cyclists don’t need body builder levels, they are not trying to build mass, they are simply trying to recover. A bit of testosterone, a shot of HGH, then a bag of blood before the big day. That’s the recipe for a tour win.

    Here is my theory, Landis must have been so haggard from getting shelled in stage 16 that he forgot to take the testosterone patch of his nuts before he passed out. Now that’s much easier story to believe and digest than whatever lie he is trying to conjure up.

    I love your mag, but really don’t want to see yet another publication sell out to the American hero bandwagon. Armstrong has carved out a “witch-hunt” culture in the US. He has taught dopers it’s OK to deny it to their grave, Tyler followed in his footsteps, now Landis…who’s next?

    How about this for the cover of your mag “Dopers and their Excuses” Or rather than dedicate an entire magazine to cheaters and fill it w/ their lies and BS stories about comebacks, dogs and honest mothers, dedicate it to those who came clean, Decanio, Manzano, Millar, even Adam Bergman deserves a cover shot more than Floyd. These guys know the real story…and so should we.

    -Rob

  5. gwadzilla August 25, 2006 at 7:15 am #

    what is the update?

    synthetic testosterone that was stored in his fat cells from off season cheating?

    burned up and brought to surface from when he bonked?

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