Doping  // Posts categorised as Doping

We need to talk about East African runners and general trust vs skepticism in performances

The London Marathon on Sunday will almost certainly be won by an East African. This group may be one of the most fascinating in all of sports science, such has their distance dominance been. But in a time when doping stories tarnish their success, what are we to make of their performances, and how should they be trusted or doubted? This article explores skepticism and trust in performances

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Asbel Kiprop banned for four years: The Final Decision and anti-doping insights

Asbel Kiprop, former Olympic and three-time World 1500m champion, has been banned for four years for doping. Here are my insights on the Final Decision and some concepts it raises about anti-doping.

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Short Thought on Sport: Asbel Kiprop’s “positive test” and a chance for the biological passport to shine (or not)

I’m back with a short thought on sport! Turns out these haven’t always been short enough to allow me to do them as often as I’d have liked, apologies. But let’s see how this one goes! So Asbel Kiprop is due to hear his fate any day now. On March 23rd, I read an article […]

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The aging of elite performance: “Geriatric champions” and have the rules for getting older changed?

Yesterday, I was sent this link. It says that Dwain Chambers, he of THG and a doping ban in 2004 (!), is making a comeback, hoping to qualify for Team GB at the European Indoor Championships. At the age of 40. Well, almost 41. My first thought was “Of course he is”, and then upon […]

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Can we trust the Tour, Sky and Chris Froome: Le Monde Op-Ed

The French newspaper Le Monde asked me to write an Op-Ed on the 2018 Tour de France, specifically addressing the question "Can we trust Chris Froome and Team Sky". This is the original, unedited piece that was submitted. It details the history of the Tour, which makes up the canvas onto which the words "Trust me" are written, and explains why that appeal must be accompanied by extraordinary actions to break a cycle that is now decades long. Froome and Sky fall well short of it.

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Team Sky and Marginal Games

UKAD sent a scathing letter to British Cycling, outlining a series of improper and sub standard processes and governance issues in the aftermath of their Jiffy Bag Investigation. The letter shatters the illusion of Marginal gains by the most professional, well run team in cycling, while the inaction by UKAD despite all the problems reveals the impotence of anti-doping bodies.

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On the recalibration of world records: Brief thoughts

A proposal to recalibrate the track and field world records by removing all records set prior to 2005 has caused considerable controversy. I offer some views on the proposal, and explain why the step is probably necessary, but should not be 'abused' as a sign of a new generation.

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The way, then the lack of will: A story of anti-doping and those who might save it

The history of antidoping can be divided into two overlapping phases. There was once a huge lack of a "way" - inadequate tools to catch doping, leaving antidoping two steps behind the cheats. Advances in science have narrowed this, creating a better "way". This has exposed a bigger problem - a lack of "will". This article describes this, and offers a conceptual solution.

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On the Jamaican clenbuterol positives: A procedural failure and credibility black hole

An explosive new investigative report has revealed that numerous athletes have tested positive when their samples from Beijing 2008 were retested. They include Jamaican male sprinters, so dominant in those Games. The IOC and WADA however did not act, suggesting the cases are all contamination, not worthy of pursuing. How viable is this, and what does it mean for already bottomed-out anti-doping credibility?

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