Gabe Murray wrote to Andrew Gelman, asking for comments about the accusations hurled at the current Tour de France front-runner Chris Froome. He said:
Also, for the distribution of W/kg, the parameters of the Gaussian distribution for clean riders (shown in the first plot) suggest that there is a very narrow range of W/kg values for clean riders in the peloton. I don't know enough about sports physiology to know whether this is true, which is part of why I was looking for critical analysis from others. I would have expected the standard deviation to be larger.
Finally, I wonder if the Gaussian distribution is even appropriate here when modelling the distribution of W/kg values for the most elite athletes in the world.
All models can be challenged on the grounds that you don't like the structure of the model. I personally don't like that kind of critique unless someone can offer an alternative model that both sides agree to be better.
I'd add that given the revelations around Armstrong, we should be modeling: the more naturally gifted a performer, the more likely he/she dopes. People say the opposite before but they were wrong. Because of this, it is even more difficult to separate out doping from talent!