October 1, 2020

Blame Spain for Doping in the Tour de France

The desperation in professional cycling is increasing as commentators try to explain away the pervasive doping problems in the sport. At the onset of the 2008 Tour de France, the doping problem was characterized as a generational issue. The “old cycling” versus “new cycling” story was bolstered when 37-year old Miguel Beltran tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO). Beltran represented the old school generation that was to blame for systematic doping in the sport. The story offered hope for a clean drug-free sport with the emergence of several young, talented riders that represented “new cycling.” (“Riccò case a setback for ‘new cycling’,” July 17)

Faith in the new generation of cycling was shattered when Riccardo Ricco tested positive for EPO and the new CERA drug Mircera.  How could the story of “new cycling” explain why the 24-year old leader of the best young rider competition was doping just the same as the old generation of cycling? The old generation could no longer be blamed for the scourge of doping in cycling. Cycling needed a new story!

The Scotsman was happy to provide a new story to preserve the integrity of the Tour: Blame the country of Spain for doping problems in cycling! If Spain were eliminated from world maps, the Tour de France would apparently be a very clean sport. How did the Scotsman arrive at this conclusion? [Read more…]