Lies, damned lies, and statistics

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They say the numbers don’t lie. They also say the numbers tell the story you want them to. If Lance Armstrong opts for arbitration, experts will strenuously argue both sides of this same coin. As it should be, I suppose. The truth is out there somewhere.


This is from Armstrong’s published blood values, which he apparently put online himself.

Click to open full size image. Or, right click & save as.

You can also see the table in jpg form at this link (which will probably work better than the embedded image above):

A “blood researcher” named Jakob Mørkebjerg looked over these figures. In an article (written in Dutch Danish) Mr Mørkebjerg says, “If you look directly at his values, they are below the limits they should. As a layman will therefore only be able to see that they are where they should. If you have a little more knowledge, you will see a pattern that differs from a normal pattern.” (as translated, horribly, by google).

Mr. Mørkebjerg also spoke with the fine folks at Velocity Nation (which used to be NYVelo). This second article (thank god) is in the King’s English.

I’m just saying that the first value and the last value are almost equal, and that the decrease you would expect is beyond the margin of variance for those numbers. That’s the take home message.

. . . If you’re not doing strenuous exercise, you wouldn’t expect these values to change. You would expect these small variations that you see, but the reason I’m saying these values are suspicious is that he’s doing strenuous exercise, and then you would expect to see a decrease, as you see in his values during the Giro. That’s what’s suspicious.

This is all old news. The articles I’ve quoted are from years past. I began writing this post back on 7/24/2010. It’s been that long. Fast forward to the present day, and all of this is in the news again. The Captain (whom I am becoming a fan of) broke it down this week on his blog as only he can:

in the giro
yuh might fuggin notice
the hgb starts high n fuggin drops
where fuggin as
bounces up
dips bounces up
n if yuh correlate with the reticlyctes
stuck at their lowest point in the fuggin year
its clear as day
fer the tdf
lance transfused
prior tonthe [sic] start
then 2 more times during the race

I don’t know much, admittedly, about such matters. And you can find arguments out on the web going both ways. But, really, these data points certainly suggest something is/was seriously amiss.

Tick, tick, tick…

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

21 Replies to “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”

  1. Before the turtles start mouthing off about how this is old news, and why are we still talking about this, and yada, yada, yada, I’d just like to say for the record that the reason we can’t let this go, has nothing to do with doping.

    We love Pantani and we love VDB, but we hate Lance Armstrong.


    Because he is an ass hole.

  2. @Gypsy

    As a Turtle Pirate who earned his shell I’m here to tell you that I agree with your statement re one Mr L Armstrong.

    DC Turtles believe in Truth, Justice & the American way!

    (Actually, I’m not that keen on that third point, speaking as a non resident down under turtle, America Inc. politics scare the shit out of me, especially since you’ve got whole counties going bankrupt & local infrastructure going down the toilet but by GOD you’ve all these fucking shiny new weapons & you ain’t afeard of using them! especially on the other side of the world).

    …Cue JoeThe12Volt….

    Agree about Pantani & VDB but my personal favourite is Tyler Hamilton

  3. That article is written in Danish. Not Dutch… As they say Danish is a throat infection not a language.

  4. @05

    As one who’s married to a lady of Nordic origins..

    viser den midterste finger på dansk

  5. @Hurben

    Scare the shit out of you ? My Gubment scares the shit out of everyone.

    They are bombing the shit out of every country on the planet and arresting everyone internally. All while picking our pockets and bitching we ain’t paying out fair share.

    At least you got all those sheep to play with.


    And as far as the one-nut wonder, asshole or not, I still say let it go.

    The Turtle Gawd has spoken.

  6. the reticulyte evidence is the most damning. It shows us that Lance is in fact guilty….of being a total douche ASSHOLE.

  7. I’ll be more than happy to let it go after the due process runs its course. The outcome either way will be fine with me, I’ll always remember LA as a cheating poor sport regardless.

  8. @guest

    OK. So we take down LA. Then what ? Retroactively name someone else as the winner of those 7 Tours ?

    And how far down the list of riders would you have to go to find someone who’s clean and/or not an asshole ?

    Everyone of those fuckers from number one to lanterne rouge was doped to the fucking gills.

    So you want to replace one dope-head with another ?

    And what’s the fucking point of that ??

  9. 3T, look at all the other dopers they have taken down. I’m not saying it made the sport clean but they have worked hard at it.

    I’m saying let the process run its course. If LA comes out on top, he has been scrubbed clean for history, if he is proven to be a cheater, let it be known. Cycling will benefit either way and I can live with that (though admittedly I’ll rejoice if they take some/all of his title away. It looks horrible to have the most titles ever won be by a cheat.).

  10. And 3T, don’t just look at cycling. There has been a long line of assholes outed for cheating, the vast majority seemed to have occurred post 1995. It speaks well to the future as far as I’m concerned.

    So finish it. If LA is a cheater and keeps the prize, then give the prizes back to everyone else, starting with FL…think about how that would look.

  11. +11 Marty –

    I don’t think LA was clean as time has passed along but seems to me we won’t find a worthy Champion, meaning they all fucking doped…just like they all took amphetamines before that. Moving forward one hopes the science IS getting better in detection but then again with this Schleck stuffz maybe there should be a one & done punishment.

  12. Leave Cancer Jesus Alone. He is busy saving the lives of young cancer children everywhere.

  13. …ya mean cancer jesus has a laboratory in that private ‘livestrong’ jet & he works on kids whilst jetting off to race in triathlons around the world…

    …that’s remarkable !!!…that’s just fucking awesome !!!…

    …go, cancer jesus, go !!!…

  14. Hincapie winning the queen stage at the tdf should let you know hey had some good shit in that bus