He wasn't 'absolutely shit' at all, 5th in a Commonwealth Games TT for example, but I know what you're getting at. What seems to muddy the waters for some is his diagnosis for bilharzia, and his subsequent treatment. I'm no medical expert & have no idea what his treatment was, and if it would have had side benefit/spin offs. Presumably being cured of the illness itself would have given him some kind of boost in itself, if he'd previously been performing with that handicap. I need to read up a bit more on the condition.