• Robert Merkel

    Dr Hampton is quite right when he says that delays of over a year are not uncommon in scientific publishing. In fact, going from “hey, why don’t we investigate X” to a published journal paper in less than a year is unusual.

    As an example of the kind of delay that happens, the paper might have been sent to a high profile journal, been through a round of review, and been rejected on significance. That is, rejected not because the research was somehow invalid, but because the reviewers didn’t think it was important enough to make it into that particular journal. There’s several months gone just in that process.

    • campirecord

      I am sorry but I work both in Academia and private, some scientists can be down right cheap and lead to absolute slow down to pinch money, never looking at the big picture. For example, most often working on disease, scientists are completely disconnect from clinical worth or efficiency. Let’s just take the human genome, never worked private nerds waisting billions in cheap home few automation over 6 years. Until Celera came along and made fun of them in 6 months. There aware tons of examples like that, so let’s all think twice before covering academic scientists with a shroud of greatness and excuses. They can be lame just like the next one, at best most are poor project manager and can’t control a research budget. Just ask Bill and Melinda Gates when they started spending crazy amounts of money without results. Academia: “let’s sequence Malaria’s DNA for millions ” Bill Gates :”let’s make sure every kid has a net over them at night for 10$”.

      • Robert Merkel

        Fair points – nobody (least of all academics) would claim that academia is perfect.

        I was just trying to illustrate the point that there are any number of reasons other than “Sky/Henao have gone cold on publishing this stuff” for a journal article to not have appeared yet.

      • Hughesdale

        Campirecord – I would expect that having “work both in Academia and private” that your communication skills would be better than they clearly are.
        I disagree with RM, your points are not fairly made, they are assertions with nothing behind them, adding little to the discussion. A short google excursion would have disavowed you of your notions regarding Bill Gates spending pattern vs. Academia.
        Your post is incoherent garbage.

        • campirecord

          I am sorry, English is my third language and unfortunately, my auto correct systems can really get confused. You are correct, too fast on the keyboard I guess. It appears however that Robert got the gist of it. His skill sets are probably better than yours.

          • Hughesdale

            I think you’re missing my point, your post is an exercise in talking yourself up at the expense of academic research while committing some pretty basic errors. You have not checked the truth of anything you’ve posted.
            You don’t even know what The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds, do you?Their website even has links marked “what we do not fund” as well as an extensive grant database – which includes massive grants for basic medical research, i.e. University of California San Francisco for Malaria $4,788,458, Johns Hopkins University, Vanderbilt, over $10,000,000 to the University of Oxford, the list is massive.
            You are talking from a position of near complete ignorance. Mosquito nets? Please.

            • campirecord

              My spouse is a Gates Foundation award-ee, no need to get upset. Just read anything Mr Gates mentions in 2010 at the very beginning, first two projects were to fund room temp vaccines and microfluidic diagnostic tools (to which I had indirect info on). Both failed miserably even if scientist had a road map within a year, ten years ago. There are things that campus do not teach, like real life problem and lean execution. That’s just a reality, there is no need to worry. If my example of Whitehead versus Celera is not god enough, I am not sure what more I can add. I try to err on the side of caution when scientist promise anything, its just not a good thing, in fact this idea from SKY wasn’t really the best. May I suggest the readings of Timothy Caulfield on hype in science, a respectable scientist in the field. Back to the subject.

  • Penny Wilder

    You should ask the researchers if they have actually submitted a paper. Otherwise it could look like they are just using the rubric of “delays in the publishing process” as an excuse for their lack of progress.

    • Whippet

      Exactly what I was thinking Penny. The article states they “intend to publish” but not that a paper has been submitted for publication. Given that it was a short-term study of an individual rider, it is not certain that any academic journal would find it fit for publication. I am not criticising the researchers though. It is not clear that they have been slow with what they promised. Sky paid them to study Henao for a few months, then to share the data with the UCI & WADA. Perhaps that has already been done.

      • jakub

        That is spot on, the sample size of exactly one rider will make it very hard to publish in any reputable journal.

        • campirecord

          Absolutely, in this case n=1 might get a letter to magazine, if that. There is also, I am sure a lot of legal detail about publishing physiological details of an un-encrypted patient. The whole process is weird to me. It looks like the lab was used as corporate slow down… ‘let’s have a commission’ kind of feel sorry for Henao, at this point he is better off with a two year ban…

  • jules

    it’s good that they’re doing this stuff. as they build data and understanding of blood profiles and responses etc., the anti-doping capability should improve. at the moment it seems a case of “too much uncertainty to convict”, whereas in the future as more certainty is built into assessments, you’d hope the rate of false negatives would decline.

  • Neuron1

    Check out the article on CN about Froome missing a doping test. Don’t worry, he rides for an english speaking team and we can trust his assertions that he is clean. That whole TUE dustup last year was nothing. Trust us, really.
    BTW, I have over thirty peer reviewed publications and book chapters in the medical literature and it doesn’t take that long to get an article to print. They completed data collection over a year ago. Has it been submitted and where, has it been reviewed, is it in revision, is it in pre-print? If your material is sound and reasoning cogent it shouldn’t be that long of a process.

    • jules

      his excuse was reasonable. if you want to amuse yourself, look up Serena Williams’ case for missing a test. excuse – not so convincing..

    • Whippet

      If the same behaviour of Sky was seen by a team like Astana, the doping spotters would be outraged and commenting en masse.

  • Derek Maher

    One would think that a person born and raised from native stock at high altitudes would have a natural higher blood count than natives of low altitude countries.Given runners from the higher regions of North Africa have been crushing their European counterparts on the track in endurance style races for years you would think the authorities in charge of testing would have copped on by now.
    Pro cycling Teams racing in Europe are bringing more althletes into their squads from Africa as they hope to benefit from this natural advantage.With training and improved bike skills in another couple of years they could dominate the mountain stages.
    European born riders will probably have to spend a lot more time altitude training to try to counter this or give up on the mountain stages.
    Oxygen tents can only be used very short term as pure oxygen used over time can cause serious health problems.

    • campirecord

      I believe the debate is still out on that, why do Norwegian create better skiers per capita… Simply look at the long term athlete development systems of Kenya and you will see more impact on the large runner base than actual physiological benefits, culture seems easier to mend than genes. Then there’s the good old jamaican story too, speaking of horrendous, WADA warned practices…

      • XTR

        The runners from Kenya actually come nearly exclusively from one tribe, the Kalenjin. There are less than 5 million of them in a population of 44 million. Kalenjin men have won about 40% of the running medals over 800m in distance in WC, Olympics, WC cross country since 1980.

  • KyoGrey

    I wonder what would the reaction in this page would be if an Eastern/Southern Europe team took over 1 year to explain the scandalous variations in the biological passport of one of their riders.

    Hey! But he is riding for British Sky, so surely it has a convincing scientific story to prove everybody wrong.

    If TT-specialist Wiggins could win a Tour de France with “a confidence boost and marginal gains” and Froome could turn from a donkey to a supertalent by healing an exotic tropical disease in his blood, nothing should surprise us.


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