Saturday, 25 July 2009

Contador refuses to bite on LeMond's 'clean' challenge - tourdefrance - Sport

Being a relative newcomer to the tour I'm not completely qualified to make or defend the accusations that fly regarding the doping scandals.  But LeMond's extrapolation of cheating by deducing the VO2 max of Contador seems a bit underhanded.  Certainly, if I was given a question which basically implied cheating I'd probably not answer it either.  Since Mr LeMond was reputed to have one of the highest VO2 max scores ever (92.5?) it's understandable that he's a bit obsessed with this stat but the claim that nobody's had one higher than 99 is a bit misleading - Bjørn Dæhlie supposedly had a score of 96 in his off season with the researcher's claiming it was possibly over 100.  Contador has shown himself to be the strongest cyclist in this race so maybe he does have the highest VO2.  But as any statistician will tell you - correlation and extrapolation is no guarantee of knowing anything - there are always outliers on the edges that defy the hypotheses.  Maybe Contador has taken something illegal or, more likely, he's trained in the grey area of legality, regardless, he's looking likely to win and it should be left up to the drug testers to determine whether he's cheated and not stat obsessed former champions.

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