The document also alleges that Salazar went out of his way to prescribe a nasal spray called calcitonin on his personal theory that it would strengthen nasal bone strength and prevent stress fractures. In actuality, it was shown later to increase cancer risk and the Nike Oregon Project team told its athletes to stop using the spray in November 2012. Ritzenhein responded with incredulity, asking, “Is this some kind of joke? I have been taking this for the last four years!” Despite the warnings, records show that Brown prescribed the spray to Galen Rupp in December 2012. Additionally, Mo Farah, perhaps the world’s greatest distance runner, was told to stop taking it after being diagnosed with hypercalciuria, but the alleged secrecy and overmedication of Nike Oregon Project athletes under Salazar kept him on calcitonin well after he was told to stop.
Frankly, though, the real question might hinge on your feelings about the nature of punishment. Does she deserve a clean slate after doing her time—., should she be treated like exactly what she is, which is a five-time major winner returning from a long absence from the tour—or will her past misstep just continue to haunt her career indefinitely? Or for a deliberately provocative analogy: do you think felons should always be dogged by their past indiscretions or should they get a fair shot at redemption and re-entering the workforce?
The bottom line then, is that doping seems to work VERY WELL. It’s still difficult, if not impossible, to put an exact number to the benefit, though the data of Franke et al give a pretty good indication that it’s at least 15% in those power based sports. It may be slightly less for endurance based sports, like cycling. But as i wrote yesterday, there’s substantial evidence that hormone levels, particularly testosterone fall during the course of a race like the Tour. And so if Floyd Landis and others are using the drug, the benefit would come from defending this drop-off, which promotes recovery and hence allows them to maintain their form throughout the Tour. In theory then, the systematic use of drugs will have a large effect in cycling, not because it acutely boosts performance, but because it allows it to be maintained. Think of your own training – you always have good days and bad days. But what if I said that by using a drug, like testosterone, you could drastically reduce the number of bad days – that is what these drugs will do for cyclists.