Special Report from our Crack Investigative Reporter
Blood Doping Scandal Rocks the TriHards!
Rumours have recently been spreading throughout the TriHards that one of their ranks has been engaging in the unethical, uncompetitive and just plain cheating behaviour of blood doping. Even more of a concern is the fact that it does not seem to have improved his results in the least! We tracked the culprit down to a room in Garran, where we found him reclining in a chair, with several ladies hovering over him ensuring his comfort, and passing him a chocolate milkshake.
And we found it was true; we watched as the blood of this elder statesmen of the TriHards was taken from his body, then cleaned and filtered, reducing the overall volume, thus increase the red blood cell density (doping!) We knew the Cyborg was getting old, but we never thought he’d consider such underhanded methods to keep up with the “whipper snappers” amongst the TriHards. Not being the hands-off journalistic types, we pushed the Cyborg on the issue.
And the cheat, squirming in his luxuriously-padded chair, dared to justify his behaviour. He claimed he was donating blood product to the Red Cross. Platelets, with some plasma in fact, and that it was all for a good cause, that he was in fact saving lives We, of course, didn’t believe his defence of altruistic actions for a moment. So, to convince us, he began to barrage us with facts in a pathetic attempt to distract us, heaping so much logical argument and statistics against our shimmering sensationalism as to render the entire story quite dull.
The Cyborg started out by claiming he’d been a regular blood donor for years - since well before the TriHards had even started. And, just as adventure racers may move from shorter, novice courses up to the longer classic courses once they were experienced, so too he had moved through the ranks from the simple whole blood donation (which can only be done once every three months) up to plasma donation (which can be donated every fortnight), then finally onto the precious platelets (again which may be donated every two weeks). The more elite categories of plasma and platelet donation require a little more “work” whereby the donor is hooked up to the machine, and their blood is filtered through to make the donation. It takes a little longer than a regular donation, so is much more of an endurance event. And endurance event where you get milkshakes, a warm blanket and a chance to finally read that latest edition of Outer Edge (alternatively, they can provide a portable DVD player, so donors can bring in their own copy of 24 solo to watch!)
He then began to lull us into a slumber, rolling of facts and figures associated with what he claimed to be his life-saving donations, such as the fact that of the 22,704,190 Australians, only approximately 500,000 donate blood, or about 2%, which is a very small number of people to cover the 27,000-odd blood donations Australia needs every week. Particularly when you consider that approximately 33% of the population will need blood in their lifetime.
As our eyelids grew heavier and heavier under the burden of the Cyborg’s montone, one of the nurses made us more comfortable, tilting the chair back and putting a blanket over us, as the Cyborg continued in his dulcet, sleep-inducing tones:
“And you know, it doesn’t hurt at all. You won’t even know it’s happening - apart from the fact that you’ll receive some pampering for a half an hour or so. And who doesn’t need a bit of pampering every now and then? In fact, you’re soaking it!” And sure enough, they’d already taken 250ml of blood from us without us even noticing, distracting us from our indignant outrage by offering us a chocolate milkshake. Between the milkshake, and the juice and bikkies in the post-donation lounge, we probably put on more weight than we lost in the donation process, losing any advantage it may give us.
If you’d like to know more about blood donation, feel free to go to the Red Cross website (http://www.donateblood.com.au/) for some very comprehensive information.