+1 for all the above posts.
for an n=1 on athletic performance look at Dr Shawn Baker. I know that the counter argument would be that he may no longer be classed as an elite athlete [if he ever was] however that classification might be made, but his athletic prowess is phenomenal [for his age].
Perhaps the scientists should consider what other substances the elite athletes in question are ingesting/injecting before concluding that absence of carbs may be a problem. But anyway, as Christine said, the time scale of the data collection was simply not long enough. It is like a diet study which concluded that sugar was not harmful after 4 weeks but never went on to see how it looked after 50 years.