At last, the ultimate cheat – scientists in the States have
developed an artificial lung, which can be implanted temporarily to
provide around half the oxygen the body needs.
How long will it be before the leading Tour teams are secretly
stashing them inside top riders for the duration of the race? No more
drug testing problems when you’ve got a third lung… They’ll need
x-rays for that.
The device is reportedly about 18-inches long and is inserted
through a vein in the leg and threaded up into the vena cava, the
major vein returning blood to the heart. It consists of hollow fiber
membranes that introduce oxygen into the blood and remove carbon
dioxide. The oxygen source sits outside the body and is attached to
the catheter by tubes.
So next time you see a racer with ram air ducting tucked down his
pants, you’ll know what’s going on…
Full details in this Reuters