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 Post subject: Tyler Hamilton's Book
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:49 pm 
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Afternoon all,

I have just finished Tyler Hamilton's book and i must say it was a great read. It raised a lot of questions about doping by the pro riders in the 90's and 2000's. To me it looks like the UCI in a way allowed it to go on - they did their testing and made sure that the hematocrit levels remained below 50 (if you don't know what this is read the book); this, to me, left the door open to riders to ensure their levels were close to that level without a query as to why is would be so close. I almost think that this encouraged doping - dope until you reached the UCI level and you would be ok. Is almost legalises doping - to their standard point, in my view.

I don't agree with doping, but as Mr Hamilton made clear, you HAD TO dope to be in the top places during that time - so doping made for a level playing field for the riders concerned - which appears to be just about all of them. There is a story today on Eurosport about Michael Boogerd, the three-times Dutch champion, was fifth in the 1998 Tour de France, won the Amstel Gold in 1999, claimed two stage wins on the Tour de France and was the eighth rider of the now defunct Rababank team to admit to doping, from 1997 until 2007.

The view of Lance Armstrong portrayed in the book is at variance to the interview he did with Oprah - where he seems like a nice guy who is sorry for what he has done. Mr Hamilton's describes him in a very different light, and, personally, even from even 20% of the description - he is not a nice guy at all. Mr Hamiliton was LA's friend, neighbour and co-worker (employee might be closer) and he was treated badly by LA, imagine what someone who was on his ****list would expect.

All in all a very interesting book, and a thought provoking one - especially the end where some admissions were made about doping by various riders and LA's constant and vehement denials of any wrongdoing.

Worth a read for those who haven't read it yet. Any suggestions for my next book would be appreciated.

HAve a good and safe weekend all,

Richard


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:07 pm 
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TGR wrote:
so doping made for a level playing field for the riders concerned - which appears to be just about all of them.


I disagree with this bit as different drugs affect people differently as well as what different riders natural blood levels are. Take the 50 hematocrit level as an example. If one rider had a natural level of 48 he can't get much of a boost without risking a >50 results. Someone with a natural level of 44 will be able to get a much biggger advantage. Is that a level playing field?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Well, if it levels their haematocrit levels up - it possibly removes any 'natural' advantage one rider has over another. I don't agree with doping, as i said, and reading this i wonder if all things were equalised - by doping - would there be a dead heat between all the doping riders.

Pondering on ....


Last edited by TGR on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:31 pm 
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I was as actually disappointed by the book and felt that I could have had a stab in the dark of telling his story myself. In short it was informative but dull.

In contrast David Millar`s book is much more emotionally intricate and engaging and shows the more human side of elite athletes and life in the peloton.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:36 pm 
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Next stop might be David Millar's book then, thanks for that.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:40 pm 
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No problems and hopefully you may think and feel the same after reading Millar's account of his journey.

Enjoy


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:51 pm 
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I can see your point about the Hamilton book, there were bits which dealt with his depression etc but they did not go into much depth. I think i liked it so much because of the mechanics of how the doping was done and, if anything, i would like to read the finished book once the LA situation is finally sorted out.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:03 pm 
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TGR wrote:
Any suggestions for my next book would be appreciated.

Have a good and safe weekend all,

Richard


Take a look in the book review thread at the top of the page.

Lots of suggestions and recommendations there.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:16 pm 
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Remember that there was no EPO test at the time - so the UCI had to base its decisions on a 'smoking gun' rather than the presence of the drug itself. I agree that it in some ways encouraged it, but it was a pragmatic decision when little else was available.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:22 pm 
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hamster wrote:
Remember that there was no EPO test at the time - so the UCI had to base its decisions on a 'smoking gun' rather than the presence of the drug itself. I agree that it in some ways encouraged it, but it was a pragmatic decision when little else was available.


There was no test for EPO, but there were a host of specialist and research Doctors who advised the UCI and many others (including race teams) that a haematocrit of 50 was unnaturally high.


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