The science behind Lance Armstrongs 7 Tour de France “wins”

Lance Armstrong is a former cyclist that had won a total of 7 Tour de France races. However, in October 2012, his title was taken away from him when the US anti-doping agency uncovered that he had been doping to win all 7 races. Blood doping is a way to enhance a person’s athletic performance by raising the number of blood cells in their body.

Armstrong used EPO, a widely known method for blood doping. It’s a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to rapidly produce more RBC, which carries oxygen into the bodies tissues. These RBC’s carry a higher than normal amount of oxygen. They move into the muscles which hugely increases the amount of oxygen in the muscles, improving stamina and athletic performance. This is especially effective for going long distances, like the Tour de France races. He also used blood transfusions, which is when the athlete takes out part of their blood and stores it in a cool place while the body makes more RBC’s to compensate. Then they inject the blood back when a competition is coming up, overall increasing the amount of RBC’s in the body.

Extra oxygen in the body increases the athlete’s energy because of aerobic respiration. Aerobic respiration is a chemical reaction that breaks down food substances by using oxygen to produce energy. Food is broken down into glucose, then oxygen mixes with the glucose in the mitochondria to produce carbon dioxide, water, and energy.

(https://www.khanaca de my.org/science/high-school-biology/hs-energy-and-transport/hs-cellular-respiration/a/hs-cellular-respiration-review)

the equation for aerobic respiration 

 

 

 

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Molecular-structure-of-d-glucose_fig8_269420097

the structure of glucose

 

Now, Armstrong is forever banned from the competition for life. According to the books, no one has won those 7 races.

 

works cited

https://1.cdn.edl.io/29wHeaf9WuKaUNjE7gk0G3YZ5JLTH6um9HML4nqb1lEGl4uZ.pdf

https://www.livescience.com/32388-what-is-blood-doping.html

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2012/oct/10/lance-armstrong-team-doping

 

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