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  • jim w jim w Jun 21, 2011 09:55 Flag

    Cadena COPE

    For the unaware this is a Spanish radio station, Apparently a story it ran is causing the usually fractious relationship between Madrid and Barca to go into deep freeze. It has quoted a Madrid Board member of accusing Barca of 'doping' their players.
    This is how these revelations started in Italy in the 90s......!

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    • That is your privilege. I tend to think if something looks too good to be true, its usually because it is.

    • I don't think any single factor can account for it, but a combination of factors probably can. I don't tend to see anything particularly mysterious or untoward about it.

    • I certainly have agreed that there are spates of injuries at United that seem to be 'training' related. No doubt you are correct that there are different levels of expertese.
      I am not sure how far this can be used to explain the apparent differences between Barca's recovery and endurance performance and the rest.

    • Jim, United are a top club, but their medical staff have often proved worse than useless. You even agreed with me on that...although the good news there is that Fergie is apparently unhappy with United's medical staff and their failure to correctly diagnose injury problems and has resolved to do something about it.

      The problem with your argument, Jim, is that you seem to think that there is an equality of expertise with regard to the top clubs, when there almost certainly isn't.

    • No doubt they do, but substantially better than those at other top clubs? Doubt it, nothing left to chance these days.

    • Hi Ian

      We'll as it has happened with Rio then of course it could happen again.

    • Jim, there are many ways of improving players' energy levels or physical fitness without resorting to using banned substances. Didn't Wenger - if you can cast your mind back to when Arsenal had some success - maintain that his players were on a special diet that meant they wouldn't flag late in the game?

      You could argue quite reasonably that a special diet is performance enhancing, yet perfectly legal. I recall that during a period of stress, I had a kind of mental and physical exhaustion. A doctor put me on a raw food diet, and as I am vegetarian, this involved eating raw vegetables alongside nuts, fruit, etc. The effects were quickly noticeable, and my energy levels were boosted beyond belief.

      Maybe they just have a good dietician at Barca?

    • Hi Jim

      I think there's some confusion, I was referring to a different occasion.

      The way I remember it (maybe I've got it badly wrong and Robert can correct me) ...

      As Chelsea manager, he said he had seen Barca players of entering the ref's dressing room at half time. There was a big furore about it and lead to a UEFA enquiry at which point (and after death threats to the ref in question) he changed his story and said that he was told by other people that they had told him that Barca players ... etc.

      I think he was banned as a result.

      My point is that, great manager though he undoubtedly is, he's got previous when it comes to making accusations to undermine another side or deflect attention away from his sides performance. Now, I won't mention SAF or Rafa here ... ;-)

    • Overall Barca ran 5% more which is a significant difference. Most of the difference was in central midfield ( where you might expect it) and fullback. Now fullback is odd as Abidal had the highest stats by a long way, this is a man just back from long-term injury with scarcely 45 minutes playing time behind him, some adrenelin rush! Evra was low compared to normal and Fabio hardly moved. Clearly they were told to stay in position, shame Evra didn't listen.
      It explains Valencia's 'poorish' performance, he did the running for himself and Fabio, must have been knackered when he got taken off, yet ran 10% less than Xavi.
      Barca have some exceptional athletes, or.......

    • Hi Jim

      If your post is saying what I think it's saying (i.e. that you believe Stam was taking drugs at Utd and that's the reason that SAF chucked him out) then I happen to agree with you.

      I guess the problem is where we both extend that leeway to SAF - he kicked him out because of drugs - you are drawing a different conclusion with Barca (that PG was taking drugs there with the knowledge of the club - not that they chucked him out because of it).

      I don't see any difference between the two situations so reckon it's best to believe in the testing structure and that cheats will be found out rather than the conspiracy theories (maybe too optimistic on my part!).

      That said, neither of us knows for sure and it's been fun posting with you on the topic.

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