Study -Anti-Doping Systems in Sports are Doomed to Fail

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Merckx index said:
1) If this conclusion is true, then those who argue against using power data as an indication of doping—e.g., Alex S. and Andy C., in the Clinic—on the grounds that we already know who to target are missing the point. If most riders are doping, then targeting is not the solution. At best, it will slightly increase the chances of catching the best riders, but if there are limited resources, it will also decrease the chances of catching other riders who are also doping.
Can you re-phrase that as I don't understand your point?

If it was true, then it seems to me it would support my original point about the futility of attempting to target testing with the "aid" of power meter data, i.e. it won't help much because to have an real anti-doping impact you really need to target everyone and do so with high frequency. IOW it's not targeted approach at all, but rather a carpet bomb approach.

That was my original point in the "power as a dope-o-meter" discussions, i.e. the targets we already know, i.e. professional bike riders. Of course a carpet bomb anti-doping strategy will never happen.

Whether it's true or not is another question, as rightly you go on to consider.

Even if it's not, the reality is that until the perception of getting caught is high enough, then anti-doping strategies will not be effective in significantly eliminating doping.
 
Alex Simmons/RST said:
Can you re-phrase that as I don't understand your point?

If it was true, then it seems to me it would support my original point about the futility of attempting to target testing with the "aid" of power meter data, i.e. it won't help much because to have an real anti-doping impact you really need to target everyone and do so with high frequency. IOW it's not targeted approach at all, but rather a carpet bomb approach.
My support of using power data was not necessarily to target specific riders for more doping tests, but to use it as more evidence of doping. These data may not be good enough to support a sanction by themselves, but if they’re used in conjunction with passport data, for example, they could help build a case. A major problem with the biopassport is that parameters have to deviate from the baseline values by a relatively large degree, because of the difficulty in ruling out pathologies or other extreme conditions in affecting these parameters. It might well be easier to rule out such conditions in cases where highly deviant values of the parameters are closely correlated with highly deviant values of power output.

E.g., if a rider puts out one of his highest levels of power in a race in which he also exhibits a very high HT, it’s harder to maintain that the HT was just a result of dehydration, which would be more likely to reduce his power (JTL is an obvious case in point). In fact, because of plasma expansion, HT is supposed to fall over an extended period of effort--not only during a GT, but even over the course of a season--so there are times when even a stable HT should be suspicious, but because it doesn’t exceed the baseline extremes, it gets a pass. A higher than normal power output under such conditions can help flag these instances. Power in effect can become something of a stand-in for total hemoglobin mass (as opposed to Hb concentration, which is easily manipulated), which is not measured by the passport, but which is a much better indication of blood doping.

Power data can also be used to cast public suspicion on riders and perhaps pressure them. I know many will object to such trial-by-the-media tactics, but I think any approach that makes actual dopers feel they have to be more careful is worth it.
 
Merckx index said:
My support of using power data was not necessarily to target specific riders for more doping tests, but to use it as more evidence of doping. These data may not be good enough to support a sanction by themselves, but if they’re used in conjunction with passport data,
This is exactly right. Something worth noting here is the difference between the power output of a top-3 grand tour podium vs 5-10 is very large. Underlying that will be test data that is either consistent or inconsistent with their grand tour performance.

A PED-fueled podium will look something like Wonderboy's test data where very little fits the profile of a grand tour podium performance. The contrast to that is Pinot's data that supports his grand tour performance.

A clean-ish athlete would have no concerns about publishing their test data. The sport's administrators will have endless problems with it as it will impact riders who dope and the federation doesn't test positive. Suddenly, the role of the federation in doping is exposed.
 
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