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The Indefinite Article.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Cheese Eating, Bike Race Losing Surrender Monkeys

Shortly after the conclusion of both the 2005 Tour de France and Lance Armstrong's professional career a story surfaced in France that claimed urine samples from Armstrong had tested positive for EPO. The samples were fairly old. I don't recall what year they were from, but they had been frozen for some time. They were being tested as part of a study, the purpose of which was not to catch doping. After this story broke people piled on Armstrong. I found that sort of suprising given that 1.) The study was not being conducted according to protocols that would be in place if it were designed to catch dopers and potentially result in suspensions or fines and 2.) There is no scientific evidence that the samples would be stable given the amount of time that had passed and the method of storage.

I am continually shocked by the apparent lack of respect for sound scientific principles in the process that is employed to catch doping in professional sports. I am also continually shocked by the behavior of many prominent figures in the professional cycling world. Check out this statement from the organisers of the Tour de France that was released in conjuction with the unveiling of the 2006 route. Oh, and by the way, the company that runs the Tour is owned by the same parent company that owns L'Equipe, the paper that broke the Armstrong doping story.


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