I'm not quite so convinced by Magness. Undoubtedly there is some useful info in his article. But, as he admits, he is not an endocrinologist. To me, it reads more like a term paper written by an enthusiastic student. Magness seems like an OK enough fellow, but scientifically, I sometimes get the impression he is biting off more than he can chew.
Still, one thing sticks out to me when people point to his article and use it to back their claim that TSH at best restores you to normal, and these elite athletes would not be using it as a performance-enhancer. Magness writes:
"But, it’s not a performance enhancer. If anything, I see it as a performance hindrance. Training with a thyroid disorder is about the most complicated thing in the world. You are always on the edge of overtraining, even if your medication is spot on, and you are doing half of what your competitors are. For example, using an athlete who suffers from hypothyroidism on my college team, it’s a tough road. For this athlete, he can only run about 4 days a week, despite treating his thyroid disease AND taking almost 3 months off. He can only do 1 actual hard workout a week, and after races it takes him at least 5 days to recover. He can go from running a 4:12mile as an example, to being unable to run 800m repeats in 2:30 with ample rest."
So, on that line of reasoning, it doesn't sound at all like Rupp genuinely suffers from hypothyroidism. He doesn't seem to have a difficult time managing his training around his thyroid disorder, and he doesn't seem to have a hard time getting enough hard workouts in, and he is remarkably consistent in his racing.
So whatever you get from this article, I find it hard to believe it could be useful as evidence for a lack of wrongdoing by these athletes taking TSH. Basically, Magness claims that having thyroid issues makes training extremely difficult. I haven't heard one whit of evidence that this problem exists for all the people (Rupp, Hall, Begley, etc) who are reputed to use thyroid meds. If it was that difficult, you would think it would be something that would have been brought up more in interviews. Instead, it's more like, "my thyroid was messed up, so I saw this doctor, and now I take medication and it's fine".