Preface: Lance Armstrong is guilty as sin of doping, helping others with doping, arguing with other dopers over doping, and generally being a huge dickhead. His charitable work is commendable. But he is a charitable dick.
So, that said, here’s something in the Times that is supposed to communicate a reasoning of probability through inverse impossibility, I guess:
As part of its investigation, Usada asked Christopher J. Gore, the head of physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport, to analyze test results from 38 blood samples taken from Armstrong between February 2009 and the end of last April. Those taken during the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France, the report said, show blood values in which the likelihood “of occurring naturally was less than one in a million” and other indications of blood doping.
Okay, for those of you who didn’t take Statistics and haven’t already kicked a trashcan, consider this:
There are 7 billion people on Earth. 7,000,000,000.
If something happens on a 1-in-1,000,000 basis biologically, that means 7,000 living people are likely to possess the trait.
The evidence against Lance in which virtually everyone who worked with the man independently provided matching anecdotal testimony about his use of PEDs, that’s far strong evidence than many of the methods they use for blood doping screening. Many of the blood analysis techniques out there, independently viewed, are akin to saying, “Well, Lance had a tan and was wearing shorts, so he must have been in Hawaii.”
So, while parts of the evidence collected against him are damning, other parts of it are very witch-hunty but are being used to communicate guilt by biased parties. That’s the sad thing about all of this, the authorities have no credibility, either.