41. The scientists speak

Dec 15, 2015, 08:37 PM

December 15 | The new Telegraph Cycling Podcast features part one of a two-part interview with sports scientists Jeroen Swart and Ross Tucker. Part two will be released later this week.

The South Africans, both based in Cape Town, have been among the most prominent voices in the discussion over power data and Chris Froome’s recent physiological tests. Swart was one of the scientists who tested Froome in the GSK laboratory in west London while Tucker has publicly questioned Froome’s performances and repeatedly called for greater transparency.

They met in Cape Town this week for a conversation moderated by Lionel Birnie and recorded exclusively for The Telegraph Cycling Podcast.

At the heart of the conversation is the question about what power data means in the context of trying to establish whether a rider is clean or not – can it be a meaningful indicator of doping or is it, as Daniel Friebe suggests in discussion with Lionel Birnie and Richard Moore, “a blind alley”?

And should science and scientists be dispassionate or spikily opinionated? To the charge that in some of his commentary about Froome and Team Sky in particular he is guilty of making “leading statements,” Tucker responds: “Yeah, but that’s fair enough,” arguing that suspicion in today’s top riders is justified by the sport’s history.

The Telegraph Cycling Podcast is supported by Trainer Road