|Pantani and Merckx similarities||BAi9302010|
Jul 12, 2003 7:52 AM
|It just occured to me that Marco Pantani and Eddy Merckx have a big similarity, one that has pretty much ruined Pantani but is almost always overlooked when everyone thinks about Merckx.
Marco Pantani tested positive for performance enhancing drugs at the end of the 1999 Giro while in the lead and was forced to retire (from the race). Ever since he has been labeled a drug user and his career has basically been ruined, and only now is he starting to make a comeback.
In 1969, while leading the Giro on the 2nd to last stage, Eddy Merckx tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and pulled from the race. Before the second sample could be tested to see if it contained drugs, it somehow mysteriously disappeared. Under today's rules, Merckx would have been suspended from competition and he wouldn't have been able to compete in the 1969 tour de France (1969 was the first of his 5 wins) and his career would have looked entirely different.
|Too be accurate...||Dwayne Barry|
Jul 12, 2003 9:19 AM
|Pantani has never tested positive for drugs. He was kicked out of the Giro because his hematocrit was above the 50% limit, which can occur for many reasons other than EPO.
BUT I think it's fairly safe to assume he was doping. Given his hematocrit following the Milan-Turin crash, and the fact that he's never been the rider he was back when you could use EPO without consequence.