acoggan said:No, I did not. I said that it wouldn't be proof of doping.
131313 said:I can't see the link, but I'm glad to see at least one person is asking the right question.
All of this "wind speed", "power calculation" stuff is complete nonsense. Unless there's a rider in that front group with known weight and a well-calibrated power meter (two very big "ifs"), determining w/kg is going to be fraught with enough error that it's completely useless to make any determinations regarding doping. This is particularly true on a climb like Ventoux that has high, variable winds and is exposed. Plus, strategy and race situation always play a part.
The real question is "how much more power did Froome have to put out compared to the other guys". If Ferrari's calculations are correct, then the answer is "a lot". Enough of a difference to be plenty suspicious, particularly given Froome's pedigree. >10% over the next non-Sky rider isn't exactly "marginal", it's the advantage you'd get with a very well-orchestrated doping program.
acoggan said:No, I did not. I said that it wouldn't be proof of doping.
Krebs cycle said:So lets say that Froome produced 10% more power (expressed in w/kg) than Contador. So f@#king what? What does that prove? We already know he finished 2min ahead or whatever.
acoggan said:Allen Lim, sportscientists.com, Vayer, Lemond...the list is quite long, actually.
131313 said:I think you're mis-characterizing their positions a bit, which the exception of Vayer, who's an idiot who can't do basic math and has some clear, strong biases. "suggestive of doping" doesn't equal "proof".
acoggan said:I don't think so. For example, Lim came out quite clearly on precisely where he thought the "doping line" should be drawn (even though, ironically, estimates of his employer's, i.e., Armstrong's, power would put him above that line). The same is true for Tucker and Dugas, at least a couple of years ago (they have backed off significantly on their stance more recently).
As for Lemond, I don't recall him ever stating a specific value, but he didn't believe that Contador's performance on Verbier (sp?) was believable, and has long argued that power data can and should be used to detect doping.
dansmith said:apparently, this has been a sticking point with others too...getting at the real data...
"LeMond calls for Froome, others to release power data"
"Q&A: Brailsford on why Froome won’t release power data"
"Transparency & Grand Tour Contenders"
"Watts the Story to Tour de France Glory?"
Alex Simmons/RST said:
Just where is the doping power plausibility line? Can we really assign such a line? Is 6.2W/kg for an hour proof? 6.3? 6.4? 6.41?
A: In reality we simply can't put a clean line in the sand. The line for each rider may be different, and the line may vary depending on context. How long was the effort? When did it occur? What were the environmental conditions? How steep was the climb? Was it solo or with others? Was it a consistent effort or variable? Who responds better to doping?
Will it prove riders aren't doping?
Of course not. Since it assumes there is an arbitrary upper power limit for doping to be confirmed, it does nothing to pick up any doping by riders who are below whatever that arbitrary limit is. No green jersey contender for instance is going to out ride the GC contenders on major cols. Hence such data only serves to tell us what we already know, i.e. a handful of riders finished ahead of their competition on the mountain top finishes.
Can power data be manipulated?
A: Yes, of course it can. Accidentally, inadvertently or deliberately. So then we'll have those on the conspiracy trail of a new doping avoidance technique of "data doping". Since we already know the amount of slop in power estimates from other methods, then fiddling with the numbers means no-one can really know if numbers are fiddled or not. There are of course forensic data analysis techniques that can identify some examples of that, but only if crude data manipulation methods are used. If riders and their support people are clever enough to manipulate blood to avoid detection, I'm pretty sure they'll be able to work out how to manipulate data to avoid detection.
What would it cost to run such data collection in an independent manner, and free from possible manipulation?
A: Millions of dollars. Think about the number of bikes in the ProTour, the need to carefully calibrate say 1,000 SRMs, to have non-tamperable data loggers, to ensure all riders correctly perform zero-offset checks before and during races. The data collection process. Staff to manage this. Millions of dollars that perhaps would be better directed at improving doping control processes, technology, reducing testing costs, and simply performing more tests and more frequently testing in and out of competition.
Alex Simmons/RST said:
Thanks for reading/responding. I figured it'd provoke a bit of a discussion.Merckx index said:I think you’re exaggerating the problems. There is a line beyond which we can say with very high certainty that doping must have occurred. There are ways of controlling for the effect of time on power, definitely, there are well known if not exact relationships between the two.
There is a big difference between a test that is used to declare whether a substance actually is detected in blood/urine, and a power meter file which simple records what the rider did performance wise. The power meter file does not tell us whether a rider used a prohibited substance or method, just as climbing ADH in 40-minutes doesn't either.Merckx index said:By that logic, a positive test won’t prove riders are doping, either, since a test also frequently assumes an arbitrary limit for confirmation. Most doping tests are based on probabilities,
I'm confused with your terminology. You are saying we can't sanction based on power data but it can be sufficiently indicative of being positive for doping. If it's sufficiently indicative, then surely sanction must follow? Else it's pointless.Merckx index said:The fact that many riders might be doping and not meet the criterion because they aren’t climbers is not relevant. No one is saying that power data should be used to sanction someone (at least I’m not). We’re just saying it would give us a better idea. So the fact that there might be a lot of false negatives doesn’t matter. The question is whether we can identify some real positives. It’s well known that there is a tradeoff between false positives and false negatives, so if you’re willing to allow a lot of the latter, the positives you do identify can be at any arbitrary level of significance. This is another way of stating that there has to be a line above which we can indeed say with any degree of confidence we want that a rider must be doped.
OK, so what's the line? And why?Merckx index said:This is another way of stating that there has to be a line above which we can indeed say with any degree of confidence we want that a rider must be doped.
Perhaps, but if we are going to implement a doping control regime, should it not apply equally to all?Merckx index said:Again, I think you’re exaggerating the problem. We don’t need one thousand SRMs, a few dozen would cover the riders and stages of most interest. How many riders in a GT are genuine contenders for a jersey, particularly the GC? How many stages are critical? That would be the main focus, at least in the begining. Moreover, much of the data could be checked by comparing outputs from riders who finished together or close together on specific climbs, for example.
Hey, I'm all for release of data.Merckx index said:What is there to lose? Drug testing is next to useless. It probably catches less than 10% of those doping at any particular time. I think this should be given a try. I’m not saying the power data have to be publicly released, they could be restricted to an independent panel, but why not give this a try?
131313 said:Alex, with respect, I think your thoughts are pretty misguided. It seems to be an overreaction to some of the nutball conspiracies you read on here, both in the content of what you're saying and how you say it.
First off you're right, if riders release power data there will be questions about its integrity. That's not "conspiracy theory", or automatically indicative of "confirmation bias", that's healthy skepticism. If a rider climbs Ventoux at record time @ 5 w/kg, there are going to be questions, as there should. And it won't surprise me if there are some wonky files, intentional or not. But guess what? If ALL of the riders release their power data, it will provide enough information that it will be easier to determine the actual power riders are putting out, unless of course they're all conspiring together to doctor their power files in the same manner. It will simply add additional data points to the estimations.
Secondly, I think you're off base saying that it holds no usefulness. It could be a piece of the puzzle, just like the biopassport data. Of course, as I mentioned before this is only useful data if those evaluating it are interested in catching dopers. If a rider's threshold power increases 10-15% after several years of being within a 2-3% range, don't you think that rider should be subject to additional out-of-competition controls with more complete panels done? I think so.
The alternative of course, and the one you seem to be suggesting, is that we simply look at nothing besides drug testing and say "mission accomplished". That seems a bit too "head-in-the-sand" for my tastes, and it sings a familiar refrain. Bottom line, I see some usefulness in evaluating performance and comparing it to past performances.
It is funny how you, Coggins, Krebs are bending in all sorts of ways to 'debunk' the w/k calculations. Do you guys have a vested interest or something?Alex Simmons/RST said:Speaking of intelligent posts, have a read of this item which puts the pVAM model under some sound physiological and physics scrutiny:
wouldn't go that far, TBH. the w/kg measure will probably be popularised anyhow, even among casual fans. it is a ballpark figure and as such quite sound. i take it the people plotting the statistics know they are on the mark in what they are doing. ie. not shooting down individual dopers, but establishing baselines.Fearless Greg Lemond said:It is funny how you, Coggins, Krebs are bending in all sorts of ways to 'debunk' the w/k calculations. Do you guys have a vested interest or something?
That I agree with, of course.meat puppet said:also, it doesn't hurt to look at the models critically, even if the critical input isn't necessarily constructive. quite the opposite, I dont think any of the "pseudo scientists" (brailsford 2013) claim that their current models are the be all end all in this but rather welcome criticism and input to improve them. which is exactly what intellectually honest persons would do at this point, no?
Fearless Greg Lemond said:It is funny how you, Coggins, Krebs are bending in all sorts of ways to 'debunk' the w/k calculations. Do you guys have a vested interest or something?
The calculations are not 100%, the error margin on SRM's are documented at most 2% for a number of riders. Still within the 2.5% standard deviation I would say. But, they are not a gospel. In the Vayer magazine 21 Counts the authors clearly state for example the Ventoux stage measurement after Chalet Reynard has a 5% margin of error due to wind conditions, that is too much. The part between Esteve and Reynard however has a 2% margin.
Or are you guys now saying SRM is unreliable?