fair point, but he also didn't race many miles back then...being in sub-4 shape is one thing, doing/getting in the right race is another.
i'd be interested to see his 06-08 PRs and if they suggest he was in sub-4 shape, or they are equivalent to sub-4 performances by various tables.
I almost don't want to answer this as you and people like Alberto will say that I'm saying he's dirty. I'm not saying that. I'm just answering the question with facts that show your argument just isn't based in reality.
The best way to answer your question is to look at the last year he didn't break 4 for the 1st time. 2008. That was the year Rupp redshirted. He ran the mile a ton and never broke it or came close to it.
As for his equivalent performances in events over 1500/miles?? Let's just be clear - they were WAY WAY BETTER THAN equal to sub 4. In 2008, Rupp was 13th in tHE Olympics in the 10,000. He ran 27:36 in the heat/smog of Beijing. He also won the NCAA xc title that fall. Those are way better than sub-4.
But in the winter/spring, not close to breaking 4 and he had 5 high quality chances to do it. Here they are.
Jan 26. Boston. He runs 4:02.02 at the Boston indoor games. Admittedly the winning time was over 4 - Pablo Solares at 4:00.34. Loses by 1.68 seconds.
Feb 1 - Rupp runs 4:02.17 at Millrose. A tight track but the winning time was Lagat in 3:57.51. Loses by 4.56 seconds.
Feb 16. Runs a 1,500 in England. No where close to 4:00 equivalent. Rupp runs 343.96 and finishex next to last in a race that Lagat won in 335.23. So he lost by 8.73 seconds.
April 25. At Oreogn. Rupp runs 4:03.13 to finish 6th in a race where Wheating win sin 3:58.16. Loses by 4.97 seconds.
June 21st Rupp runs 3:43.33 and finishes 3rd to last in a race that Taylor Milne wins in 3:36.00. Loses by 7.33 seconds/
In 2008, Rupp was getting killed in mile/1500s. He was still viewed as a guy with no speed/kick. Now, it's the opposite. His kick is seemingly lethal and if he ran say a world indoors, some are wondering if he could win it at 1500 like Haile G did back in teh day. The transformation from great distance runner iwth no prayer at 1500/mile to world beater is remarkable.
What legally could explain it?
1) I always always truck how as recently as 2-3 years ago, Rup said he hated continuous tempos/long intervals. To me, that is distance running. When I read that, I was like, the honest thought htat entered my head was, HE's not even training." If he wasn't doing that and was that good, that's like not being trained as a runner and being that good. So he starts doing that and he starts runnign 110+_ verus 80 mpw + and you get a big improvement.
2) One could argue that like Wejo, Rupp looked like he was 12 years old. Maybe he's a late bloomer.
PS. Please don't hate on me for stating facts.