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High Vo2max with no history of training is due to high blood volume: an alternative explanation
  1. T D Noakes
  1. MRC/UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science & Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town and Sports Science Institute of South Africa, Boundary Road, Newlands, South Africa 7700;

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    In a paper published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in 2002, Martino and colleagues1 conclude that some untrained subjects achieve high Vo2max values because their naturally high blood volumes optimise cardiac filling pressures, spontaneously producing higher maximum cardiac outputs, even without physical training.

    It appeared to me that their data failed not only to prove the authors’ hypothesis but they could also not exclude an alternative interpretation along the lines of our opposing hypothesis.2 However, the editor of the journal considered that my letter was too delayed (more than 12 months) after the publication of the original article and hence could not be considered for publication. This came as something of a surprise as I was unaware that there is now a “statute of limitations” within which published scientific work can be critiqued, where after it becomes the irrefutable truth, immunised against further scrutiny. As it is possible that the …

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    • Competing interests: none declared