Sunday, February 20, 2011

The one in which I strike a blow for dope-free age-group sport in Nova Scotia

So, I got some of those blood-results back and whilst I'd like to keep the clinical chemistry and endocrinology data to myself for now (the amount of bacon I eat and my method of birth control are my business alone), I don't mind putting up my blood values.

Yup, following such luminaries as Brad Wiggins and Ivan Basso, I'm putting my haematology on-line for all to see. This way you can all be satisfied that my coveted 2nd place overall in the 2010 Run Nova Scotia 40-44 age-group was on the basis of hard work, natural ability and talent. Or large amounts of bacon, beer and luck. Let us not also forget, of course, the ability to suffer, or as Phil n' Paul would have us say, dipping into the suitcase of courage. Of course, I have less of a suitcase of courage as a purse of wussiness. It's a particularly small purse of course, more a clutch really, and very tastefully decorated with sequins. Your choice. I know Anne Gripper just said that putting your blood-work on-line wasn't worth the hassles of armchair haematologists pouring over it and coming up with elaborate conspiracy theories, but I'm an armchair haematologist who loves conspiracy theories, so here goes!

The print-out looks like this;

Yes, it's pretty small and blurry, so the pertinent numbers are

WBC (x10^9/L). 5.1
RBC (x10^12/L) 5.01
Hgb 158 g/L
Hct 46.9%

My haematocrit (Hct) is tad high, 47%, a mere three points off a two-week holiday courtesy of the UCI for the benefit of my health. Still, it's better than that time I did a DIY Hct in the fish physiology lab at the AC and came up with 51%. Twice! From two different fingers!

Lest you think I'm microdosing CERA to stay under the testers' radar, the haemoglobin concentration (Hgb) is right in the middle of the accepted range. White blood cells (WBC) at 5.1x10^9 cells per millilitre are 0.1% of the red blood cells (RBC) at 5.01 x10^12 cells/mL. They didn't do reticulocytes, since they were doing health check on a sad, fat 41 year-old referred because of his age and not a ProTour (sorry, World Tour) cyclist referred for the suspicion of nefarious, performance-enhancing short-cuts, so we can't do an off-score. Nevertheless, the Hgb and the RBC:WBC are pretty good indicators I'm not doing EPO (no extra haemoglobin) or transfusing red cells (no extra red cells) but I can't conclusively rule out an autologous transfusion of whole blood without the off-score. However, I invite you to come around and check my 'fridge. Plus, my hatred of 18G needles is greater than my hatred of running a 10k at full tilt.

We still have to explain the somewhat elevated Hct. The conspiracy theory is I'm using my erstwhile contacts in the research world to keep me supplied with rEPO and have done so since before the DIY Hct test in 2008. There have been no anomalous changes in Hct over the years, so the BioPassport folks are just peachy. Either that or I just have a high-ish Hct; perhaps I'll need TUE from the RNS competition committee before I can do Cabot Trail again! Or maybe we can invoke Occam's Razor and say it's maybe just due to dehydration. It didn't work as an excuse for Pantani or Landis, but it's worth a shot. Speaking of shots; JD? Just kidding. Or perhaps the twin I swallowed in utero is making a come-back. Just remember, as silly as it sounds, those last two have been legitimately offered as a defence for an adverse analytical finding! Or maybe we just need to invoke the silly; living at altitude! The condo is, after all, on the 12th floor; live high, train low and all that.

Anyway, there's my haematology in it's raw, naked and bloody glory and I hope I've demonstrated that however slowly I may run, I'm not using PEDs to do it.

Rami? Over to you?


No comments:

Post a Comment