Ive been a long time follower of this forum and this thread in particular, but posting for the first time to get an answer/opinions on one question that i've never really found an explanation to that satisfies my curiosity...
The most oft repeated reason for peoples absolute certainty of Froomes doping is the magical 3 week transformation from pack fodder/donkey/insert your own put down....to the best GT rider of a generation. Its the timing and sheer unprecedented nature of this transformation that leaves me so unsure, rather than convincing me as it seems to have done many others.
I think it can be taken as fact that Sky were about to offload Froome before his magical transformation, so this is what i dont understand; Why would Sky invest so much and take such a big risk on a rider they were looking to let go? Surely they wouldn't, so do we assume that Froome went freelance with the most successful doping programme ever undertaken in such a short space of time?
Again i find this hard to believe, the type of programmes being spoken about i would imagine would be both prohibitively expensive (ive read that an effective use of Aicar/GW5156 would be in the region of £1m at the time) for a rider of Froomes status at the time and extremely difficult to undertake without the knowledge of the full team/medical support. Im pretty sure old school EPO couldn't bring about this transformation alone.
The second theory, that he suddenly began using motors seems even less plausible to me unless it was done with the full knowledge of his team, mechanics, suppliers etc. Same question sticks in my mind, why on earth would sky take such a huge risk with a rider about to be let go?
Theres a third theory, that he had a tropical disesase which, catastrophically for an endurance athlete, destroyed red blood cells and held him back from reaching his full potential, and it was finally getting on top of this condition that began the transformation. Again i agree that this seems to have been very conveniently talked about only after the transformation, but the possibility seems just as plausible as the other 2 to me.
I'm genuinely on the fence about this one, not a Froome/Sky fan, but also not a hater convinced beyond any doubt that he's cheating.
The main reason people believe Froome is doping is because in a sport where it has been proven a hundred times over that cheating is the main variable for winning, and that cheating is the ONLY way anyone can get close to riding Lance Armstrong speed up climbs and time trials, Froomey has been riding Lance Armstrong speed up climbs and time trials for 6 years now.
He has done so while he and his team have lied about absolutely every little thing.
The things you mention about his ridiculous transformation, the fact that he lied about Bilharzia and that Bilharzia doesn't explain his earlier struggles (like how in 2008 before he had Bilharzia he finished the Tour several hours behind his contemporaries Nibali and Schleck) only add to the certainty
In almost no other situation in the world would someone be given this much trust considering the situation?
Imagine for example a President of a 3rd world country was on trial for diverting funds to his own bank accounts. The previous 10 presidents going back 40 years had all been found to have done the same. Many of his cabinet had over the last few years also been found guilty of embezzlement. The President had lied on their behalf as well and only distanced himself when they were found guilty. The President is also living a lavish lifestyle in a mansion that far exceeds his recorded earnings and has no explanation for how he paid for it. Whenever he is asked about how he pays for his lifestyle he bans the person from the country.
BUT, no money trail has been discovered and no witnesses have come forward to tie the President to the corruption.
Do you trust that guy? Do you present it as a 50 50 situation?