Indeed. But remember in my original comment, I did not want to focus solely on the spectacle of this event because it had so many additional factors. Keep in mind at the top level of the male field are breaking 8 hours in a "regular" Ironman. So a solid 50 +/- minutes of open swim racing, 180 km tt at around 43-45 km/h, and then a 2:30 to 2:45 Marathon.I think there’s doping in tri but I’m not convinced this event was any more suspicious than any regular race.
Skipper confirmed he rode at 300W NP which is his normal IM race pace, the drafting just made it that much faster. He only had to hold his IM power for 3:15 instead of 4:05 so that helped as well. He’s also done 12 hours at around 280W and holds the British record in it. The top riders in tri are pretty legit.
Then all 4 of them were fresher than usual on the run and ran run PRs. No doubt that is somewhat suspicious but they were clearly fresh going into it and all the extra aid can help. Skipper had a guy watering him with a literal hose on a bike for most of the run and he’s ran similar times in other hot conditions, plus this wasn’t really that hot or humid.
Everybody in the event smashed 7/8hrs by so much that it comes across as the bike being surprisingly easier than expected, rather than some massive doping gains imo. Actually they all set public personal goals and all of their goals were 10-20 mins better than necessary, so they probably knew after one group training ride how much the drafting would help.
Anyhow, with testing being pretty sparse and performances being fairly insane, it's hard for me to buy into it, especially knowing what sport can be like.