Human Limits

Exploring performance and health with Michael J. Joyner, M.D.

Photo of Michael J. Joyner, M.D.

Lance: He’s Back?

There are news reports that Lance Armstrong is considering coming clean and admitting that he doped.   Back in October I speculated that this might happen, and at least some of this may be about his desire to compete in high level triathlons.   As I think more about it, the average observer may not be fully aware that a subset of super-elite athletes really “needs” the combination of fame, glory, money, and adrenaline that comes from being at the absolute competitive edge.  My bet is that Lance is thinking that with a suspension lasting between 2-4 years he would be back by his middle 40s with just enough “physiological time” left to win the Ironman.   It would be a stretch, but some folks in their early 40s have done very well at that distance and it is certainly not physiologically impossible.   If Lance did it, he would get everything he seems to crave…… at least for a while.


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