Freakonomics Author: The Surprising Thing Is That Anyone Thinks Lance Armstrong WASN'T Doping

lance armstrong

Count Steven Levitt, the author of the acclaimed pop-econ book Freakonomics, as being among those who are convinced by Floyd Landis’ claim that Lance Armstrong improperly gained an advantage through doping.

For one thing, he finds it implausible that Floyd Landis could concoct such an elaborate explanation of Armstrong’s doping.

But beyond that, you’re just not gonna win if you’re not juicing:

More surprising to me than the allegations is the fact that people seem so willing and eager to believe that Lance Armstrong is not doping.  The evidence suggests that the benefits of doping in bike racing are perhaps greater than in any other sport except weight-lifting.  In contrast to sports like baseball, where it is hard to find obvious links between steroids and performance, when racers/racing teams are caught doping and confess the details of when they started, the improvement in their times is stark.  When the benefits of cheating are so great, it is statistically unlikely that anyone could race at the top without cheating.   So many of the top racers have been caught.   And it is not like Lance looks particularly clean.  An Italian doctor who he worked with, Dr. Ferrari, went on trial for doping-related charges.  Interestingly, Armstrong denied any ties to Ferrari until he was caught on a hidden camera exiting Ferrari’s office building, or so I am told.

Read the whole thing at Freakonomics >

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