Doping In Athletics

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Jul 15, 2019
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That women's 1500. Hassan 6th fastest ever behind Genzebe Dibaba and 4 Chinese athletes from the 90s. The American who came 4th ran a time never previously achieved by anyone other than Dibaba, the Chinese, Soviets and a Romanian in the 80s.

A shout out as well for the three best shot puts since the end of the Cold War.
 
Jul 15, 2019
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They might all be clean, but the make up of the winning 4x100 team isn't a great advert for the sport. Gatlin obviously, Rodgers served a ban and whilst there is no evidence Coleman has ever done anything wrong his recent troubles are well known.
 
Reading the AAA decision on USADA's case against Salazar, it's hard not co come across a bit Paula Radcliffe. Here we've got a case of doping (Salazar ordering Magness to take an illegal IV of L-Carnitine) but no one's doped (unlike the USADA Six in the LA case, Magness does not appear to have been sent to the naughty step, not even for the weekend). If you read the whole of the AAA decision, you're left thinking that - if this is all USADA have on Salazar - Travis Tygart should have been calling it the least sophisticated, unprofessional and unsuccessful doping programme that sport has ever seen.

One illegal IV of a legal supplement, a few athletes advised to not disclose their legal use of that legal supplement on anti-doping forms, possible micro-dosing with testosterone ... where's the EPO? Where's the good stuff? Is this really where the bleeding edge of doping is today?
 
Reactions: 18-Valve. (pithy)
Nike wind down Oregon Project:
Nike said it will shut down the Oregon Project, the athletics training programme funded by the US sportswear giant, following a doping scandal that has engulfed the company.
From Nike chief executive Mark Parker's statement to staff:
“I want to reiterate that Nike has always tried to put the athlete and their needs at the front of all our decisions. While the [Usada] panel found there was no orchestrated doping, no finding that performance-enhancing drugs have ever been used on Oregon Project athletes and went out of its way to note Alberto [Salazar]’s desire to follow all rules, ultimately Alberto can no longer coach while the appeal is pending.

“This situation, along with ongoing unsubstantiated assertions is a distraction for many of the athletes and is compromising their ability to focus on their training and competition needs. I have therefore made the decision to wind down the Oregon project.”
 
You're usually more verbose than that

meanwhile

Perhaps most important is the new pacesetter formation. Robby Ketchell, a sports scientist and an expert in aerodynamics, who also consulted on Breaking2, told me that he decided to completely rethink how best to shield Kipchoge from the head wind created by running at thirteen miles per hour. Using software for computational flow dynamics, and his experience of working with the Ineos cycling team, he experimented with hundreds of different scenarios. Eventually, he hit on what he believes is the best design
...

Ketchell estimates that this formation, if everyone did their jobs perfectly, would save Kipchoge a minute and fifty-two seconds, compared with Kipchoge running alone. In reality, Kipchoge won’t receive that benefit. It takes ten seconds each time the pacers swap in and out, every three miles. Also, there are parts of the course, like the turns, where the formation will splinter somewhat. Still, if the V shape works, it might be this project’s masterstroke innovation—its Fosbury Flop.
https://www.newyorker.com/sports/sporting-scene/inside-the-race-to-break-the-two-hour-marathon-eliud-kipchoge
 
Yes, I saw all of that....again I ask, please tell me more about this technology that allows someone to run at 13mph plus for two hours....and I’ll give you a pointer; green lights, pacesetters in fancy formations, shoes with memory foam and carbon fibre soles, and flat courses with very few turns do not allow mere mortals to run at 13mph plus for 2 hours...
 
What are the physiological impediments that stop a man running 13 mph plus for 2 hours?
Vo2 max, efficiency and lactate threshold...I think I once read that in testing Kipchoge had freakish LT, that his body hardly produced any lactic acid at all

The one thing that struck me most about yesterday, and I watched it in full, is just how effortless it all looked. He never wavered from the target pace, he sprinted the last km in 2mins 40, then was running around the finish areas for minutes afterwards celebrating before giving his interviews seemingly fresh as a daisy...sure that could have been adrenaline after what he’d achieved, but it was startling, none of the usual collapse we often see at the finish line of the marathon, no outward indication that he’d just pushed himself to his absolute limits.

Compare all of that to the Monza attempt

I’m convinced he could have gone even quicker than he did yesterday by a significant margin
 
But it allows 2h3m runners to go 5% faster
Yes … but that potential advantage is negated, in turn, by "Clinic Drag" … the slowing down (of the athlete) in anticipation of The Clinic putting the boots to a commendable athletic performance. Think Merck Index had the formula up some time back. Or maybe it was FMK or BB. Can't remember.
 
Vo2 max, efficiency and lactate threshold...I think I once read that in testing Kipchoge had freakish LT, that his body hardly produced any lactic acid at all

The one thing that struck me most about yesterday, and I watched it in full, is just how effortless it all looked. He never wavered from the target pace, he sprinted the last km in 2mins 40, then was running around the finish areas for minutes afterwards celebrating before giving his interviews seemingly fresh as a daisy...sure that could have been adrenaline after what he’d achieved, but it was startling, none of the usual collapse we often see at the finish line of the marathon, no outward indication that he’d just pushed himself to his absolute limits.

Compare all of that to the Monza attempt

I’m convinced he could have gone even quicker than he did yesterday by a significant margin
Gotta wonder if everyone is gonna wear those shoes now lol
 
Vo2 max, efficiency and lactate threshold
Back when sports science began in the 1890s with guys like Philippe Tissié, most of the thinking involved finding ways of overcoming the pain barrier. This involved doping, a part of sports science but not the totality of it. Stimulants allowed the body to be pushed further, other products dulled the pain.

In the 1970s or so, sports science began to look at oxygen delivery and uptake., VO2 max and lactate threshold (the latter can be calculated as a function of the former). That became the dominant thinking through to the noughties. Now I mentioned Moser's Hour earlier. At the time, that Hour was fully legal. It was only in later years that the way it worked around the oxygen limitations - blood transfusions - were made illegal (and it was only years later that the technology of the bike was deemed illegal). Oxygen uptake wasn't the only part of Moser's Hour, there was some counter-intuitive thinking with regards to the bike (it was heavier than then traditional thinking said it should be). Like this sub-2 run, all areas were considered, but we tend to focus on one as the key element.

In the last decade or so, the science seems to have moved on from oxygen to fuelling and we're having to get our heads around things like L-Carnitine and Ketones. Get past the laser pacing (similar to a technique used by by the American rider Willie Hamilton in his 1898 Hour record), the allegedly counter-intuitive aerodynamic formation, the pacing strategy, and the shoes, and the narrative for this sub-2 run revolves around fuelling. In the last attempt, they say they got the fuelling wrong at the end, hence his ragged finish then. This time, they say they got it right.

Point here is that setting the physiological limits of man as oxygen-based seems to miss where the thinking is actually at today.
I’m convinced he could have gone even quicker than he did yesterday by a significant margin
I would have thought that that was a given? The strategy was to break the sub-2 barrier. This is the way with records. from the Hour to the pole vault and all in between: generally speaking, you aim to break the record, only rarely do you aim to put in on the shelf and thoroughly smash it.

So if the the guy had a pacing strategy to get sub-2 without tripping over his lactate threshold - and a fuelling strategy that enabled that pace to be held to the end - then the flags you're seeing at the end, him not being on his knees and crawling across the line like we imagine a true hero should, aren't really flags.

But, then, we're back to where the physiological limits are: if you insist the physiological limits make sub-2 physically impossible then you're not going to accept that the new record is already ripe for breaking.
 
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