Sunday, May 24, 2015

Team bio passport for pro cycling?

Watching the Astana supremacy in the final kilometers of today's stage at the Giro gave me an idea...

The biopassport is based on the assertion that there is a statistical uncertainty in testing values. But the more data you have, the tighter the bounds which can be set under a given threshold of certainty. If you're examining data from 8 riders in a batch, while any one of them may exhibit variations consistent with normal variation, if they exhibit correlated variations then that becomes less consistent with random chance.

So does it make sense to apply testing protocols to teams as a whole in addition to individual riders? If the team fails analysis while each individual on a team passes, do you eliminate the whole team from the race?

It seems a promising idea. No two-year bans, of course:, that would be unfair to individual riders, but disqualification from a race, at least.

The key is you're introducing an additional source of variation in addition to temporal variation for a given rider: you're adding interpersonal variation. So you can't just average everyone's statistics together. But you can, perhaps, analyze trends in each individual's numbers, and to analyze these variations in a batch.

Maybe I'm being unfair but I'm having difficulty being really interested in this Giro.

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