October 1, 2020

Professional Cycling is Synonymous with Doping

Rant’s Daniel Rosen asked the question “Will it ever be possible to have a Tour de France… that is completely free of doping?” I would answer that with a definitive no – not now, not ever. Professional cycling is an extreme sport that is practically synonymous with doping.

Steroid and doping expert Dr. John Hoberman of the University of Texas wrote an article about the Festina scandal at the 1998 Tour de France for me almost ten years ago. Hoberman thought that the public had finally accepted that the Tour de France during a “definitive outing of the Tour as a virtual pharmacy on wheels.”

The Tour debacle has finally made it acceptable to say in public and without provocation what many have known for a long time, namely, that long-distance cycling has been the most consistently drug-soaked sport of the twentieth century. 

Unfortunately, we still have not come to terms with an acknowledgement of the scope of doping in cycling. We continue to entertain incredulous stories that doping in the sport is limited to certain generations of riders or specific geographical areas. We still believe in fairy tales that tell us a dope-free Tour de France is possible. It is not. So what should be done about doping in cycling? [Read more…]