Then Toni Reavis replied:
Bill Rodgers wrote:
Should altitude issue be addressed, especially since 99% of world is sea-level born? I categorize runners by sea-level versus sea-level and altitude-born vs altitude-born. I have always thought altitude-born athletes only needed that extra factor to defeat all sea-level born. To take home the money perhaps there has been some significant drug use by altitude-born. Interesting that no significant journalism exploring these issues has come from America as it was Germans who explored Russian and Kenyan cheating.
I never really thought all that much about 'born at altitude'. I always just assumed 'genetics'. Or is it both? If a Kenyan baby is born at sea level, will it not be as good as one born at altitude? I wonder what Ross Tucker or David Epstein would say about that.
TR: Interesting suggestion to separate sea-level born from altitude-born. I recall Sev (coach Bob Sevene) telling me years ago how bodybuilding distinguishes between drug-free and drug-enhanced competitions using polygraph and urinalysis testing. I have gone over the IAAF lists from the last three years and the all-time list for the marathon.
In 2014 top sea-level born was Kohei Matsumura of Japan at #86 with 2:08:09
In 2013, Kazuhiro Maeda of Japan at # 62 with 2:08:00
In 2012, Henryk Szost of Poland at # 70 with 2:07:39