January 25, 2013

It’s tough to decide which dumb statement to pick apart today – there’s so much choice. But in the end, it’s hard not to pick Ferrari. As cyclingnews points out, Ferrari wrote on his blog:

“Therefore Armstrong would have achieved the same level of performance without resorting to doping, also thanks to his talent which was far superior to the rivals of his era.”

So Ferrari is telling everybody that he’s a hack, that all the stuff he prescribed to Lance doesn’t work. Basically, he charged more than a million bucks for a placebo effect. You can’t make up stuff like this, can you?

Although it isn’t that far-fetched. Some experts say that four out of the five drugs Lance took were useless, only the EPO wasn’t.

19 Responses to “Ferrari”

  1. tomsescu Says:

    Imagine ferrari saying:
    “Listen, you can win the tour either by going to altitude or take epo and other drugs that we dont know all the sideeffects of yet. I propose you take the drugs, what do you think?”

  2. IanExton Says:

    This is why EPO is banned. The unwary cyclist might be suckered into paying a huge amount of money and taking risks with their health for no increase in performance at all. Poor Lance – paying all that money for no actual gain and then being stripped of his titles later. :)

  3. The real, effective product was orange juice.

  4. Mack Says:

    I’d like to hear Ferrari’s theory on how you can get a “rest day bump” during a grand tour by going to altitude.

  5. Siamon Says:

    Cortisone is far from useless, it provides an instantaneous & miraculous cure for ITBS. The whole Lance issue could do with more accuracy and context.

    • Which makes it useless if you don’t suffer from ITBS. They’re not saying it is a drug that has no purpose, only that as a standard part of a doping package, it’s not necessarily useful.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Yikes. “If you don’t suffer from ITBS, then cortisone is useless [for an athlete].” Did you really mean to say that?

  6. jon Says:

    I wonder if Lance will ask for a refund for being duped?

  7. Leo Says:

    definition of “expert”: a drip under pressure.

  8. woz Says:

    “some experts” doesn’t equal all experts.

    Stuart Stevens said that all of the drugs he tried (HGH, EPO, testosterone, steroids) worked to more-of-less some level when he wrote about it for Outside magazine.

    Also, maybe Lance wasn’t doing Clenbuterol in the off-season as well as his blood doping when he came back, which is how Contador et. al. beat him up. Maybe Ferrari was behind the times by then.

  9. stuartlynne Says:

    There appears to be some proof that placebo’s can help performance.

    So if your coach gives you sugar pills and tells you they are steroids are you doping? You had the intent but of course sugar pills are not (yet) on WADA’s list.

    In theory you and your coach may fall afoul of the parts of WADA’s code that prohibits aiding and abetting. Is your coach aiding you if he knows it is just a sugar pill? Are you guilty if you just think you are guilty?

    Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky) comes to mind.

  10. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    The ethics of studying the performance enhancing effects of these substances prevent much in the way of concrete proof. Tough to do a blind study when the doped guys wipe the floor with the subjects getting sucrose. Ferrari’s not admitted doping BigTex so why wouldn’t he make a claim like this one? Though altitude tents are banned in Italy, hasn’t their use been a good tool to justify odd blood values by dopers in the past?
    One thing’s for sure, the cheaters will always be one step ahead of the testers…all we can do is make that step shorter and shorter while catching and prosecuting the ones who are eventually caught. Changing the risk/benefit ratio to the point where only a few cheat (and are eventually nabbed, even if years later) is about the best we can hope for in the battle, no? All this is AFTER the sanctioning body folks are replaced with officials who are interested in cleaning up the sport rather than simply avoiding/managing scandals…as has been the case now and….well…forever.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    No, Ferrari is not telling everybody that he’s a hack, because he apparently never saw any doping practice from Lance Armstrong and he never asked Ferrari for information about doping. If you read his blog post, Ferrari supposedly made his conclusion based on the methods “reported by several teammates”.

  12. Maarten Ducrot Says:

    Hey Gerard,
    Ferrari should not be the guy putting things into perspective for obvious reasons. Read the book of Hamilton and you will understand that the biggest contribution of Ferrari to “his’ athletes performance was his systematic approach: every detail should be in place. Hamilton mentioned his weight as very important and also the moments on which he was pushing himself to and over the limit on training (so not just doing that but very carefully plan on what times in his season building process he should do so). And yes there were the substances by which an athlete could do more than most.
    The most significant and abject aspect is Ferrari’s approach of an athlete as a lab-rat; lacking the notion of humanity and ethics. Much the same way as a plastic surgeon gives a playmate FF cups
    And in that perspective he is right: Armstrong was the best

    • hi Maarten, sorry to disappoint you but I am not sure we disagree. I don’t think there’s anything in your reply that contradicts with my statement?

      Unless you are trying to say that aside from the doping stuff, Ferrari was also the best in his understanding of proper training methods. There I fear we don’t know enough, but his methods don’t seem to be cutting edge 21st century thinking. Maybe he once was the world’s foremost expert in that field, but not anymore (although certainly doping could hide that fact). And I am not sure being methodical alone warrants his price tag. But of course, if riders want to pay a guy to properly keep track of everything they do, that’s their good right.

  13. Dan Says:

    Just more evidence of how rampant doping is in other sports, such as baseball, but cycling remains the media’s whipping boy and is viewed as the dirtiest sport:

  14. Steeb'n O' Says:

    I don’t think it’s in The Scret Race, but Dan Coyle has pointed out that these “expert” doctors only got into doping because they were hacks who couldn’t cut it with a traditional practice.

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