Ed Coyle's paper about LA delta efficiency is a fraud.

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Mar 18, 2009
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cawright1375 said:
Excuse me if this is off topic, (or covered elsewhere) but a lot of the posts I've read on this thread seem to focus on the impossibility of a one day rider winning a Grand Tour (not to mention 7 back to back). So I'm wondering what you all make of Bradley Wiggins 4th place performance at the Tour, given that he posted his blood profile and attributes his success to considerable weight loss and refocusing on road cycling and puttting the track on the back burner for the time being. Becuase and you all may find this simplistic, but if you can believe Wiggins has done what he did clean and made what some consider a major performance breakthrough. Why can't you believe Lance did it? Granted Brad is a track rider, but to my understanding and having read In Pursuit of Glory it seems that track riding while needing a lot of power and endurance is not the same as what is needed for one day or even GTs?
While Wiggins definitely lost weight, he never said his improvement was because of his weight loss, that was just media hype. Wiggins's always had the power numbers and sustainability to do well in 1-3 week tours, at least according to Jonathan Vaughters and the Garmin gurus, it just took until this tour to believe in himself. He also was stuck between committing to the track and the road, but this year committed his training 100% to the road.

This is also only one part of the answer to your question. Some people are highly suspicious of Wiggins's improvement and such a dramatic improvement does warrant scrutiny, particularly in this day and age. Armstrong has a long history of factual and circumstantial evidence from which it is difficult to reasonably conclude that he did not dope, a history which Wiggins does not have.
 
LMaggitti said:
And the opinion of most of the people on this forum, even among the "haters." Scroll up for at least one example. If you have been spending as much time on these forums as you appear to, you would be aware that even most of Armstrong's critics concede that he was/is a very good cyclist.
And your reasonong on his performances pre 1996?
 
Aug 14, 2009
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Digger said:
And your reasonong on his performances pre 1996?

I've made my arguments on that above. Obviously you don't accept them. I won't repeat them. There seems to be a tendency here to rehash again and again. I'm trying to avoid that.

But you might want to consider the fact that even your fellow "haters" don't seem to place nearly the weight that you do on that one piece of "evidence," and most of them accept that Armstrong is a very good rider.
 
LMaggitti said:
I've made my arguments on that above. Obviously you don't accept them. I won't repeat them. There seems to be a tendency here to rehash again and again. I'm trying to avoid that.

But you might want to consider the fact that even your fellow "haters" don't seem to place nearly the weight that you do on that one piece of "evidence," and most of them accept that Armstrong is a very good rider.[/QUOTE]

How many more time are you going to 'rehash' this point though?
 
LMaggitti said:
There is indeed a lot of scepticism about Wiggins' performance (there are multiple threads on the topic). As you can see from above, I am more willing than some to accept the possibility of such a transition ... unaided. But by and large the people more sceptical about the possibility of such a transition do question whether Wiggins is clean. They WANT to believe he is clean, but they are (mostly) honest enough to express their doubts.

While it may appear otherwise from this thread, for most people sceptical that Armstrong is clean, the disconnect between his pre-cancer and post cancer results (or, if you prefer, his pre-Ferrari and post Ferrari results) is far from the most convincing evidence against him. IMO the most convincing evidence is circumstantial - his domminance over a peleton where (pretty clearly) all of the other best riders where doping (given the evidence that doping does indeed give a significant advantage). Others point to the (allegedly) positive samples, the Ferrari connection or the "confession." These are less convincing for me individually, but still part of the evidence overall.

If the only "evidence" against Armstrong was the dramatic improvement in his grand tour performance, very few people would be convinced that he was a doper.[/QUOTE]

Michael Ashenden says this is one of the big tell tale signs of him having doped.

Michelle Smith de Bruin...Google her.
 
Aug 14, 2009
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Digger said:
LMaggitti said:
If the only "evidence" against Armstrong was the dramatic improvement in his grand tour performance, very few people would be convinced that he was a doper.[/QUOTE]

Michael Ashenden says this is one of the big tell tale signs of him having doped.

Michelle Smith de Bruin...Google her.

I didn't say "no one" would be convinced - just "very few people." I'll stand by that.
 
Aug 14, 2009
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Digger said:
LMaggitti said:
Well when people like Paul Kimmage, David Walsh and Ashenden are suspicious of substantive and sudden increases in performance, then I tend to take notice of them.
There's a difference between being suspicious of such increases, and being certain that they are entirely the result of doping. Especially in the absence of other evidence of doping (and I readily concede that there is other evidence in Armstrong's case - remember, this started with my comment that if we had no evidence other than the improved performance few people would be convinced that he was a doper).

Moreover, in Armstrong's case the "sudden" part of the equation is complicated by his illness - because of it, there was a long gap between his earlier performances and his tour wins. I realize that this arguably cuts both ways - as should be obvious by now, I'm not a fanboy by any means and am merely trying to advocate a balanced, fair assessment.
 
LMaggitti said:
Digger said:
There's a difference between being suspicious of such increases, and being certain that they are entirely the result of doping. Especially in the absence of other evidence of doping (and I readily concede that there is other evidence in Armstrong's case - remember, this started with my comment that if we had no evidence other than the improved performance few people would be convinced that he was a doper).

Moreover, in Armstrong's case the "sudden" part of the equation is complicated by his illness - because of it, there was a long gap between his earlier performances and his tour wins. I realize that this arguably cuts both ways - as should be obvious by now, I'm not a fanboy by any means and am merely trying to advocate a balanced, fair assessment.
Okay, how's this...In my opinion, Lance's success in the Tour de France is largely due to him working with Michele Ferrari. In my opinion, he never had the engine to win a Grand Tour, clean, without the help of Ferrari. This is exemplified by three years of results at the Tour. My opinion is, I feel, backed up by his results post and pre cancer. Ed Coyle put forth a paper which some use as a reason why Lance improved so much. It is the opinion of myself and some others, not everyone clearly, that this does not explain his improvement, and the only real plausible reason for the sudden improvement is PEDs.
You believe that not all his success is down to doping. In my opinion, himself, and his team, were doped to the gills for all his Tour wins.

Now you can say that you feel sorry for me that I've all this 'hate' if you like, but it won't alter my view, which has been arrived at, from following the sport for so long.

Incidentally, I don't believe I ever used the word certain to express my opinions about the above. I strongly believe it yes.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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acoggan said:
Okay, I understand what you meant now - but how would coming forward expose such former graduate students to charges of academic misconduct?
I think you are misunderstanding this point. If a witness came forward (as they have in private) and testified to the University of Texas in relation to the formal complaint, it might very well lead to a finding of scientific misconduct by Ed Coyle. I don't think people want to ruin Ed Coyle over this paper though. People respect what he has done, including myself, I really enjoyed reading his work from the late 80s through mid 90s, but I would have to agree with CJG, DTM and others of this stature in saying that this particular paper on LA did not deserve to be published in JAP.

Obviously I cannot say where I get this information from so my apologies, but you'll have to respect that. Again you can choose not to believe me if you wish.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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acoggan said:
Sorry, but I can't resist:



You didn't think that labeling a paper a fraud would create a big fuss?
Fair enough, yes I admit the language was a tad strong, the word "flawed" would have been more appropriate.
 
i have followed la's progress since he was a 15 year old beating professional
triathletes. i must say, in my own mind when he came down with cancer, i felt
it was related to external sources. make of that what you will. his success after that was remarkable. if people want to catch him for doping, well, they need to stop bringing a p shooter to a gunfight. he is a texas baddass and nothing but your own WMD will work. it has not yet.:cool:
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Krebs cycle said:
I think you are misunderstanding this point. If a witness came forward (as they have in private) and testified to the University of Texas in relation to the formal complaint, it might very well lead to a finding of scientific misconduct by Ed Coyle.
Okay, now I understand what you meant - when you had written before "...possibly bring about a professional misconduct suit..." I thought you meant one aimed at the (former) graduate student(s), not at Coyle (since that is exactly what happened as a result of Ashenden et al.'s actions).

Krebs cycle said:
I don't think people want to ruin Ed Coyle over this paper though.
Perhaps, but that raises this question: what is/are their ethical obligations in this context, and have they fulfilled them? From what you imply, it would appear that the answer would be "no", i.e., they are just as guilty of academic misconduct as they claim Coyle to be.

Krebs cycle said:
Obviously I cannot say where I get this information from so my apologies, but you'll have to respect that.
Oh, it is quite clear that you are Australian, or have at least spent enough time Down Under to, e.g., have served as a research subject in some of Gore et al.'s EPO studies. What you may not realize, however, is that although I don't really have any contact with Coyle these days and have never discussed this particular issue with him, I, too, am familiar with all of the "players" here, and hence have some insight into their motivations. To give but one example: how much of the reaction to Coyle's paper do you suppose is the result of the personality conflict that he and Asker Jeukendrup famously had during the brief post-doc that he did in Coyle's lab?

One a more general note: it sure would be interesting to hear the reaction of Gore, Martin, Ashenden, etc., now that the Terrados et al. paper has been published...
 
acoggan said:
Okay, now I understand what you meant - when you had written before "...possibly bring about a professional misconduct suit..." I thought you meant one aimed at the (former) graduate student(s), not at Coyle (since that is exactly what happened as a result of Ashenden et al.'s actions).



Perhaps, but that raises this question: what is/are their ethical obligations in this context, and have they fulfilled them? From what you imply, it would appear that the answer would be "no", i.e., they are just as guilty of academic misconduct as they claim Coyle to be.



Oh, it is quite clear that you are Australian, or have at least spent enough time Down Under to, e.g., have served as a research subject in some of Gore et al.'s EPO studies. What you may not realize, however, is that although I don't really have any contact with Coyle these days and have never discussed this particular issue with him, I, too, am familiar with all of the "players" here, and hence have some insight into their motivations. To give but one example: how much of the reaction to Coyle's paper do you suppose is the result of the personality conflict that he and Asker Jeukendrup famously had during the brief post-doc that he did in Coyle's lab?

One a more general note: it sure would be interesting to hear the reaction of Gore, Martin, Ashenden, etc., now that the Terrados et al. paper has been published...
In the same way as Coyle has put a figure on the percentage improvement, are there percentages mentioned in this paper? I.e. performance improvement figures for example.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Krebs cycle said:
Fair enough, yes I admit the language was a tad strong, the word "flawed" would have been more appropriate.
Why start a thread on the subject in the first place? The flaws of the paper are widely known, at least to people who frequent forums such as this one, so you can't claim that it was necessary to correct the historical record. Thus, one is forced to conclude that your desire was to denigrate Coyle, Armstrong, or both. That is certainly your right, but it hardly makes you appear to be an objective observer.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Digger said:
In the same way as Coyle has put a figure on the percentage improvement, are there percentages mentioned in this paper? I.e. performance improvement figures for example.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19346977

In a relative sense, gross efficiency improved by 14% over a 5 y period, which all else (i.e., LT and VO2max) being equal, would translate into a 14% increase in sustainable power output. Thus, the improvements in efficiency observed in these twelve world-class cyclists were even greater than those Coyle reported for Armstrong.
 
acoggan said:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19346977

In a relative sense, gross efficiency improved by 14% over a 5 y period, which all else (i.e., LT and VO2max) being equal, would translate into a 14% increase in sustainable power output. Thus, the improvements in efficiency observed in these twelve world-class cyclists were even greater than those Coyle reported for Armstrong.
Thanks for the link.

The term 'world class professional cyclists' is used. Do we know the age profiles of them before and after?
Secondly, have their names remained anonymous?
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Krebs cycle said:
Fair enough, yes I admit the language was a tad strong, the word "flawed" would have been more appropriate.
I don't mind the choice of words. The forum is about informal dialogue - it's not a masters thesis. A good thread and good discussion is initiated with an original post that is polarizing. This has been a very successful thread based upon the post count alone not to mention the intelligence of the dialogue, and the mostly well behaved posters.

Don't hesitate to initiate a thread like this one in the future and don't soften the language too much KC, it generated great debate.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Digger said:
The term 'world class professional cyclists' is used. Do we know the age profiles of them before and after?
Secondly, have their names remained anonymous?
I have to admit, I am always a bit puzzled when people choose to engage in a discussion re. the scientific literature when they haven't actually read that literature. That is sort of like going to a gunfight without taking any bullets, no?

Anyway, to answer your question: the subects were, on average, 22.6+/-3.8 y old at the start of data collection. The paper does not indicate how long they had actually been training, but given 1) the fact that the study was done in Europe, and 2) many of the subjects went on to achieve very high levels of success (see below), it is probably safe to assume that most of them were not "johnny come latelys" to the sport of cycling even at the outset of the study.

As for the subjects being "world class cyclists", I don't think that there is any denying that fact. All twelve had participated in an least one of the three Grand Tours during each of the 5 y, and many had done more than just participate. Specifically, to quote the paper the study included:

"...one winner of the Tour de France, one winner of the Vuelta a Espana and first in the annual ICU world ranking, one three-time Tour de France podium, two Vuelta a Espana podia, one Junior World Time Trial Champion, and two 1-wk stage race winners."

In keeping with typical research ethics, their names are not provided in the paper, but it would be pretty easy to work who at least some of them were.
 
acoggan said:
I have to admit, I am always a bit puzzled when people choose to engage in a discussion re. the scientific literature when they haven't actually read that literature. That is sort of like going to a gunfight without taking any bullets, no?

Anyway, to answer your question: the subects were, on average, 22.6+/-3.8 y old at the start of data collection. The paper does not indicate how long they had actually been training, but given 1) the fact that the study was done in Europe, and 2) many of the subjects went on to achieve very high levels of success (see below), it is probably safe to assume that most of them were not "johnny come latelys" to the sport of cycling even at the outset of the study.

As for the subjects being "world class cyclists", I don't think that there is any denying that fact. All twelve had participated in an least one of the three Grand Tours during each of the 5 y, and many had done more than just participate. Specifically, to quote the paper the study included:

"...one winner of the Tour de France, one winner of the Vuelta a Espana and first in the annual ICU world ranking, one three-time Tour de France podium, two Vuelta a Espana podia, one Junior World Time Trial Champion, and two 1-wk stage race winners."

In keeping with typical research ethics, their names are not provided in the paper, but it would be pretty easy to work who at least some of them were.
Hold on now a second, I wasn't disputing the findings of the said paper in any way. Absolutely not. I have no reason to doubt the paper or express doubts about it. It was merely a question of curiousity - more on a generic level than anything. :rolleyes:
So nobody in your eyes shoud ask a question about a paper, unless that person has read the paper first....Interesting hypothesis there Mr Coggan.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Digger said:
So nobody in your eyes shoud ask a question about a paper, unless that person has read the paper first....Interesting hypothesis there Mr Coggan.
My hypothesis (philosophy, really) is that one should never go to a gunfight unless you are bringing lots of bullets. :D
 
Jul 5, 2009
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acoggan said:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19346977

In a relative sense, gross efficiency improved by 14% over a 5 y period, which all else (i.e., LT and VO2max) being equal, would translate into a 14% increase in sustainable power output. Thus, the improvements in efficiency observed in these twelve world-class cyclists were even greater than those Coyle reported for Armstrong.
But this doesn't pass the *sniff* test. So does that mean after ten years pros are 28% more efficient? Do we see this in reality? 22 year olds can not win a race to save their lives, but 27 year old pros clean up? 32 year olds are unstoppable? Is the 14% improvement in DE the same for *all* the cyclists in the group? What is the physiological basis for this improvement? Have the riders been screened for other factors such as PEDs or comparative muscle biopsies? And if that r = -0.6 is the coefficient of regression... Phew.

Reminds me of all the bad calorimetry experiments I've see over the years...

John "83% more efficient than I ever was" Swanson
http://www.bikephysics.com
 

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