Tuesday 15 January 2013

Lance Armstrong on the Oprah Winfrey Show

I can’t wait to hear the 112 questions Oprah tried to ask Lance Armstrong. None of them I think are likely to be the ones scientists want to know (or at least this scientist). So here are my alternative questions?

1               Who designed his doping program (though we can all guess this)?
2               Was his program more sophisticated than his rivals?
3               How was it evidence-based? For example was the performance titrated individually versus body haemoglobin or was there just an optimum hemoglobin concentration that the all the climbers in the team aimed for?
4               We know how blood doping worked. But what benefit did he feel he get from steroids (both corticoid and anabolic)? How was this evidence-based?
5               Did some people get doped and still not perform better?
6               Was the Armstrong phenomenon in part that he was ideally suited to being doped i.e. was blood oxygen content more rate limiting for his performance than his rivals?

Oprah won’t ask these of course (and to be fair they are not really prime time TV questions)

But she might ask these two

1                                 Would he still have win seven Tours if nobody was doping?
2                                 Would he still have win seven Tours if everyone had the same doping team?

On a non-science level I hope he doesn’t leave any grey areas about his moral standing. He should come as clean as Landis and Hamilton. I won’t hold my breath, however. 

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