At this stage most of us want to believe the fairy tale. Leicester’s change in fortunes goes to the very essence of sport – compete and you have a chance. The biggest damage caused to sport by doping is that it erodes our belief. We no longer belief what we see. The uplifting experience of seeing a person, or a team, transform itself is undermined by the actions of those who have previously used illegal means to change their fortunes. We fight against the suggestion that something could be amiss. In 1996, as Irish swimmer Michelle Smyth was collecting a range of medals at the Olympics, the Irish public dismissed the questions raised by US swimmer Janet Evans. When Lance Armstrong recovered from cancer and started to dominate cycling some of those who raised question were treated harshly.
We want to believe. At this stage we can put forward all sorts of potential explanations for Leicester's dramatic improvement and it is difficult to separate them because there is no obvious explanation. The change in performance started at the end of last season when the team was managed by Nigel Pearson and it continued under Claudio Ranieri. This seems to rule out a change in manger as the explanation. Nor did they spend vast amounts of money on players in either the January 2015 transfer window or during the summer of 2015.
When we are confronted by something like the turnaround in Leicester City's performance, it raises questions about the way we think about the world. This applies whether a person in sitting on a bar stool, or, sitting in front of computer with access to the latest range of player statistics. If we cannot explain it in a manner that stands up to scrutiny then we should say as much. We can speculate but we should acknowledge our lack of evidence. Immediately reaching for the doping explanation is akin to what our forefathers did when they reached for a divine explanation. It could be true but it could also be mentally lazy.
A far more interesting question relates to what we want to believe transformed Leicester’s performance. Good players? Hard work? A good manager? The chemistry between a group? The sporting gods? I'd go for all of these and in the order listed.