As a cycling fan, there is something troubling about the case of Lance Armstrong. The seven-time Tour de France winner issued a statement on August 23 that he would not participate in the US Anti-Doping Agency arbitration process against him and he now stands to be banned for life for using EPO, blood doping, testosterone, corticosteroids and masking agents to enhance his performance.

There was always something super-human about Armstrong. In 2003 he was measured cranking up the classic peak Alpe d’Huez with a power output of 7Watts/kg. Scientists consider maintaining values much over 6Watts/kg for any length of time to be physiologically impossible -- to reach that level you need very high oxygen efficiency and maximum capacity, a feat humans cannot do without external assistance.