You seem to have lost sight of what you initially argued. You keyed on the word "observation", as if all observations have the same weight, emphasizing there is no difference between GDR/women/steroids "observations" and EPO "observations". The GDR "observations" were carefully controlled, in a real world training and competition environment with real athletes, while the Kenyan and Scottish studies, lack controls, real world conditions, and elite athletes, and the anecdotes of "Boulami, Ramzi, Mourhit, García, Estévez, Shobukhova, Jeptoo, Sumgong, etc." were not controlled.
Similarly the "double-blinded crossover experimental study" was not controlled. Just running three time trials in three or four weeks is also known to improve performance. If control subjects had improved by 2.3% (say 45 seconds) without the intervention, like in the 1997 altitude study, you draw a different conclusion about how much difference the blood transfusions made. Since there are no control subjects, both you and I are left with one unanswered "if", that when ignored, leads to an over-estimation.
I did search for "Wilkerson et al., Birkeland et al., Parisotto et al." and got many results -- can you give me search terms, or a title, to help narrow the search to the study you recommended I would enjoy?
Lets Tell It Like It Is wrote:
There is still a big difference. We don't have the same level of documented detail and control for "Boulami, Ramzi, Mourhit, García, Estévez, Shobukhova, Jeptoo, Sumgong, etc."
Of course not...there's nothing to see here with these EPO/blood doping cheats running WRs, winning Olympic Gold, winning major marathon titles, winning European titles, etc. I forgot - you're the new authority now on EPO & blood doping effects with elites. My most humble apologies for ever suggesting that doping had anything to do with any of their achievements.
While you try to poke a hole in the first example, I also gave a second example -- the IAAF testing testosterone on women to show an advantage in response to Caster Semenya.
So what...top female distance runners were getting caught using EPO & blood doping (e.g., Shobukhova, Savinova, Dominguez, Graf, Ceplak, etc.). If it's all about androgens with the ladies, then why are they O2-vector doping? Since you're the new authority now...please explain this?
I think we must be working with different definitions of "observational study". Intervening with EPO makes it "experimental":
"Cohort studies are observational. The researchers observe what happens without intervening. In experimental studies, such as RCTs, the scientists intervene, for example, by giving participants a new drug and assessing the outcomes."
Yes...it's an experimental design study but the authors use the word "cohort" in both the abstract & text. And they are observing & analyzing data from the study...so what's with your nick-picking?
Looks like you missed giving a link to: "Wilkerson et al., Birkeland et al., Parisotto et al."
WTF? ☝️ Look them up yourself - go to google scholar and search for them.
Ah -- once again we see the blood transfusion study which lacked control subjects, that concludes the intervention caused all of the performance improvement.
WTF again? It was a double-blinded crossover experimental study. So, doping expert; Why did the group when reinfused with RBCs experience a significant increase in Hct (over 10%) and run an average of about 69 seconds faster than when infused during the crossover with a placebo saline solution and no increase in Hct seen?