doping in cycling – speak now, or forever shut the f*ck up

during the 2013 Tour de France i was contributing to two websites, PEZ Cycling News and The Roar, and amongst my observations was included the fact that Chris Froome was riding very strongly and that, as a result of the previous 20 years of the history of doping in the sport, it would be prudent to wonder just how he was riding so incredibly well.

it wasn’t an accusation. it wasn’t finger pointing. it was a wondering. i feel that anyone that has a genuine interest in this great sport has, now more than ever, a right and even a duty to ask questions when we see something that seems larger than life.

as a result of these comments, i received generally supportive feedback from around the web but, as ever, there were those who wrote comments not just supporting Froome and Sky but more or less telling me to shut up. that all this doping talk was “boring”, or “there is something called innocent until proven guilty!”

yup, indeed there is, but when the crime is largely undetectable – and when the authorities have helped it to remain so – then what’s left of the logic behind ‘innocent until proven guilty’?

we’ve been fibbed to, fobbed off, dumped on and generally treated like spoon-fed idiots for several years now. after every scandal the UCI does nothing and waits for our little voices to pipe down once again – need I name them? Festina, Puerto and on and on – then it’s back to business as usual until slaaaap – another pile of crap falls out the arse of pro cycling onto everyone but those responsible.

people come back after the dust settles, to places like this and the forums, and say ‘hey can we give these guys a break please?’ or ‘surely, SURELY it’s cleaner now!’ or ‘it must be clean, or what’s the point?’ and then bang, another dollop drops.

Gw1516. Aicar. S107. S108. It’s all just waiting in the wings. Another wave will come soon, and we’ll see the same pattern again. To believe that just 1 year after the biggest scandal that hit the sport came about that now it is clean is naive. Frank Schleck got busted, di Gregorio, Contador on ‘beef’, Mustafa Sayer, 3 RusVelo riders on ‘asthma drugs’, Santambrogio, Di Luca…

I do not understand how the committed fan can’t grasp this brief window in time that we have to question all that they see. forget clean or not, the fact that we still, in 2013, cannot be absolutely sure that the guys winning these races are indeed clean is a shame on our sport, on its officials and its standard bearers.

and yes, on its participants too. on its journalists, and even its fans, in some respects. all we ever do, collectively, is bury our heads back in the sand after each scandal.

those of us who question the legitimacy of performances do so because we have seen it all before, and we have heard it all before too. ‘Give him a break!’ – Well sure, we would, if the sport could police itself. If you didn’t learn from the Lance garbage that these tests mean almost NOTHING to anyone with the cash and the inclination to cheat then you really are a True Believer.

micro dosing. Blood doping. new stuff that may be undetectable.

the Bio Passport has been shown to actually aid the dopers – and ex-dopers have said as much. the samples taken at the Tour 2013 will be eligible for retroactive testing in years to come once tests have been developed and perfected for the new generation of drugs, and it is only then that we may see who has been on what. do those calling for people to stop ‘going on’ forget that Lance’s old tests, once retroactively tested, showed use of EPO?

and hematocrit. it is supposed to go down after the body is put through repeated stress, yet the Tour riders of recent years were found with H levels that either remained constant or went UP. is that natural too?

seriously, get over the sense of ‘us’ bashing individuals and see that is it not about that – whoever performed head and shoulders above the rest this year would have and has incurred suspicion. it is not their fault, nor ours, it is just plain as day that there is an existing pattern there that we have been gullible to swallow silently so many times.

and now we are here, in an environment in which we can for the first time ever actually say ‘hey, show us how you do it. we dearly would love to believe again.’

this isn’t ‘us’ against ‘you’, or ‘them’. because WE are the sport.

we have to take this chance. if Pat wins and if there are no changes, and all those ex-dopers come back as usual into management and the peloton shuts shop again, we are right back in the Dark Ages.

your choice.

 

______

parts of this article originally appeared as a comment on The Roar

54 thoughts on “doping in cycling – speak now, or forever shut the f*ck up

  1. Nicely written.

    It reminds me though of advice given to people in a relationship (or one person who is in a relationship.) Either put up with the person as they are or get out of the relationship. You can’t force them to change. That change has to come from within that person themselves.

    But I love them. And I can’t let go.

    Well then, welcome to a life of always bitching and complaining and wondering.

    But the sex is really good.

    Well then, welcome to a life of bitching, complaining and really good sex.

  2. this is a fair article and i’m not an expert of course, but it doesn’t seem to acknowledge that there have been changes in the culture of doping in pro cycling. back in the US Postal days, there was still a culture of omerta, in which protagonists (Lance et al) behaved as though they were immune from being held accountable. it took a while – but that has been proven wrong. it’s hard to believe that in today’s environment, Sky would be engaging in systematic doping. not due to testing improvements, but the risk of people speaking out. the Omerta really had me stumped – at how effective it was. but in today’s age, with the internet, with a more open cycling community – surely it can’t still work? i know this won’t stop individuals from secretly doping, but not on the scale of or the same way as US Postal, surely?

    1. maybe, maybe not. but how can we know if the testing is still ineffective? as mentioned in the post, people said the same thing after the Festina affair. see the pattern? bad stuff happens, we are shocked, no new legislation against doping comes in, carry on as usual, crap explodes again, repeat ad finitum.

      my point is this – forget about the finger pointing and feeling all tenderised because people doubt certain riders, and push the authorities and the teams to show us that things have changed, rather than us having to believe.

      a year after LA Gate and NOTHING has changed, no new rulings, no extended bans, no referendums, no UCI announcements, nothing.

    2. Santambrogio, Di Luca, they all said they knew they were doping, AFTER they’d been caught. Not a word before.
      Make no mistake, the omerta is still in place.

  3. How do you feel about David Walsh being embedded with Sky, and his announcement in defence of the team and Froome’s cleanliness? Does that ease your mind in that particular case at all?

    1. i’m not sure bodhi, i think it’s too early to be in there and saying they are clean though. how exactly does he verify it? if there are details and numbers they have to be released.

  4. you want an unbiased opinion, find someone without a horse in the race, otherwise its all vested interest and supporting “my man” whoever he is…

  5. According to Phil Liggett on Australian TV during the Tour the problem is solved. He was saying it’s unfair to ask tough questions of Froome & SKY because there hasn’t been any doping since 2005. Lance told him. (I’m joking about the Lance bit, the rest really happened)

  6. The test for blood doping is based on a DNA amplification technique called PCR. PCR won Kary Mullis the Nobel prize and is used for all sorts of things like catching rapists and murderers. No reasonable person would want to do away with the benefits PCR has given the world.

    Kary Mullis was on performance enhancing drugs when he invented PCR. “What if I had not taken LSD ever; would I have still invented PCR?” He replied, “I don’t know. I doubt it. I seriously doubt it*.

    Is it not slightly hypocritical of us to take the benefits performance enhancing drugs give us when taken by scientists and musicians? But to regard sportsmen as pariahs if they take them? There are health reasons not to take them but if health was a key concern we probably wouldn’t allow professional sports at all.

    You are being reasonable questioning if people are taking drugs my point is about why in one area of life they performance enhancing drugs are terrible and in others ok.

    *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kary_Mullis#Use_of_LSD

    1. PCR is used for DNA amplification and hence detection. Blood doping would use methods for detection of proteins and cells and wouldn’t utilise PCR which is used for detecing nucleic acids.

      LSD is a psychedelic drug not a performance enhancing one and adverse pyschedelic reactions are possible. If you heard Kary Mullis speaking in the last few years, you would well believe in this….

      The worry with allowing performance enhancing drugs (other than moral, health etc.) is that it then becomes a competition for scientists and doctors. Who can create the best athlete in the lab? I don’t think people who tune into sport want to see it as a glorified science project.

      1. >it then becomes a competition for scientists and doctors. Who can create the best athlete in the lab? I don’t think people who tune into sport want to see it as a glorified science project.

        Most sports already are this. The last winter Olympics the UK won medals due to a new form of helmet the people sliding down hill had. Sport science is the difference between winning and not already.

        People might tune out if sport becomes battle of the laboratories. If a governing body wants to make rules, including about doping, to keep their sport popular that makes sense for them but sports being entertaining and popular is not a moral issue. We don’t regard people who play boring soccer or who dive in the box as pariahs.

        > If you heard Kary Mullis speaking in the last few years, you would well believe in this….

        Keith Richards is also pretty crispy now. These drugs are probably quite bad for people. But we don’t exclude musicians or scientists who take them.

        > Blood doping would use methods for detection of proteins and cells and wouldn’t utilise PCR which is used for detecing nucleic acids.
        Google scholar search for “pcr blood doping”
        http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=pcr+blood+doping&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ei=QsbvUZG4OsGO7AbgmID4BA&ved=0CCkQgQMwAA

    2. iamreddave, of course there is nowt wrong with artists, musicians, accountants and scientists taking PEDs. i myself took several when i was in my 20s and perfecting the art of the lazy dosser and, if i am honest, my life was made the richer for it.

      but sport is different. within sport are enshrined values that underpin the whole endeavor. values which, if they are absent, make the pursuit fundamentally worthless.

      look at LA, if you can. and then look at say Jimi Hendrix.

      both massive figures who took drugs to further their ‘mastery’ within their respective pursuits.

      one is still respected and beloved by millions, the other is a pariah.

      why is that?

      there is a reason why athletes that take PEDs cannot admit it, because they, too, know fundamentally, somewhere deep, deep down, that what they have done or are doing is wrong.

      that might sound terribly judgmental but it is what it is – doping in sport, cheating, is just plain wrong.

      sport offers us the opportunity to be the best we can be – cheesy, right? but again, it is what it is. if you can’t achieve that without a srynge, a pill or gene manipulation and blood doping, then you weren’t good enough in the first place, were you?

      the whole question of doping in sport is part of a bigger picture for me, one that poses the question of what kind of a world do we want to live in, and what are we willing to accept?

      yes, cheesy again, but this is what underpins it all. i don’t want parents sitting down with their young, hopeful and talented kid and discussing when he or she should get on their first course of HGH.

      i gave up on Santa and God and the Easter Bunny (that bastard) and David Icke.

      yet despite the miles of shite that it’s been dragged through, i’m not giving up on cycling.

  7. Nicely written.

    I cant disagree and like most cycling fans over the years I am bored of being lied to by riders and teams aided by the UCI.

    Maybe I am naive but I do think there has been a change from the likes of Sky & Garmin (and others) and, whilst we may not know categorically for another 10 years with retro-testing, I do also get a bit frustrated with 200 journalists asking the same question to the same rider day after day. Do we really expect the rider(s) to give a different answer?

    The way David Walsh, Paul Kimmage etc. made their name in the past was to uncover evidence (or at least people willing to put their reputations on line) before going after the rider. The fact that most of the cycling family then collectively buried their heads in the sand and ignored the evidence – and that includes UCI, Liggett et al, journalists, Team DS, fans and race organisers – is part of what is now really holding us back. No one wants to make that mistake again.

    But if we are asking the riders to learn from the mistakes of the past then surely we all collectively need to learn from those mistakes too.

  8. well done.
    I’ll feel better when the best climber in the tour, is also not the best TTer.
    I’m not a Vaughters guy, but I think he said it best, we’ll know the truth in 10 years.
    I did enjoy the tour this year, but how can anyone who has followed the sport closely not be at least a little suspicious after watching the postal years. Seriously, is anyone going to be the least surprised if Froome gets popped?

    keep fighting the fight.

    respect
    fatmarc

    1. thanks fatmarc, much appreciated. 10 years is a long time huh. guess we best settle in. it is unfortunate for Froome individually that he is the best out there right now and by some margin, and again, i am not accusing him of doping. but now is the time to question how. Froome and Brailsford, Wiggo and JV, Garmin and Quintana and well just about any other rider could seize the moment and go down in cycling history as the father of clean riding if they would just open all the doors and let us see inside. give the data to Ashenden and two or three other independent people and let’s see what they say. this could also force the UCI to implement real change, once they see the impact that such a move would have.

      i want Froome to be clean like nothing else, i really do. but i’m not gonna stick my head in the croc’s mouth again, hoping he ain’t gonna bite. i, like you, like all of us, have done that too many times…

  9. Execellent article and I sympathise but my fear is if we dont give riders some benefit of the doubt we will go full circle.

    Those who think they will never win anything clean will either, leave the sport altogether or not join it in the first place. How many mum’s are left in the world like Chris Froome’s encoraging their sons to go into professional bike racing?

    Those who are riding clean will wonder why they’ve starved, trained, stressed their families out just to be called a cheat.

    Maybe it’s right that the onus should be on teams to prove their riders are clean but we have to be realistic. The sport wont survive without sponsors ( you only have to examine the recent struggles of the Belkin team to see how tricky that is already) . And sponsors are only interested in success. Success comes mainly by gaining an edge on your competitors and how that is done has got to remain confdential to a certain extent. It’s the same in any business.

    To be fair on Sky they are calling for this themselves and even when they have handed over information, the press are saying it’s not enough.

    I fear good clean riders will go, soddit I’m damned if I do and damned if I dont and only those who have already dirtied their hands will stick around because they’ll be of a mind that I’m going to get done sooner or later so I might as well make hay whilst the sun shines.

    We are at a tipping point here and it could tip either way.

    1. but what you’ve just described is the way it’s been for the past 20 years. we are beyond the tipping point and have been for quite some time.

      as for Sky and the release of data – it goes to Grappe, the LA apologist. i mean, is this a movie? a comedy farce? where’s the writer? how did this pass the board, for chrissake?

      they moot it going to WADA but WADA then say they can’t accept it, and that they’ve never even heard from Sky.

      the endeavor was half-cocked and open to criticism from the very beginning. so farcical in fact that it’s obvious that there would be some voices wondering why and how just such a mess could be made from a seemingly positive step, and that those voices would then draw their own conclusions.

      it might have been the fault of l’Equipe, but why trust it to them completely? why not send it out to several different sources?

      if we are going to do this – and we must – we have to do it 100% right. not half-arsed.

  10. OMERTA is not DEAD ! Vested interests are RAKING in the CASH , so want the roller coaster to keep rolling thru while there is PROFIT to be made !

    The UCI Congress , where 42 ” Voting Delegates ” will elect a puppet to continue the ” Move along folks , nothing to see here ” attitude , can ONLY be derailed by a MASSIVE UPRISING OF CYCLING FANS !

    The IRISH showed it is possible , but , it is far too late for this upcoming 4 year term !

    We the Fans are getting what WE DESERVE , for sitting about doing SFA the past 12 months !

  11. Great post, well thought out, agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment. I am a Froome fan myself, but I can completely understand the questions being thrown at him. What’s a real shame is that we could have just witnessed one of the greatest moments in cycling these last few weeks but the history of the sport has taken that feeling away from us, the fans. One point not covered in your post is the new glut of armchair statisticians trying to prove or disprove a hypothesis that they are changing on a daily basis. I can’t see how this is helping the situation at all and to be honest the majority of social/online reports seemt to agree with me. Be interested to get your thoughts?

    1. yes i agree John though it is an inevitable development when there is a dearth of any substantial and meaningful stats coming from any of the teams. people are filling a void and looking for meaning.

      it is a great shame that we are in this position where the governing body has collectively gone AWOL on this and the last chance of any credibility being salvaged is lying at the feet of the teams and the riders, but this is where we are and that is that.

      when you are in a bad situation you can either kick and scream about it or calm down and rationally work on finding a way out of it. at the moment there is a heck of a lot of shouting going on, and very little thinking.

  12. What a sad, ‘glass half empty’ article this is. Perhaps we should just forget cycling ever happened or, even better, automatically disqualify the first 10 riders in every race – just in case. By casting doubts on Froome’s performance (which you clearly are) you continue to perpetuate a ‘McCarthy esque ‘witch hunt’. What about Riblon or Dan Amrtin, don’t forget that they rode well, arguably better than we could expect – clearly dopers! Don’t think about generalities, think about/listen to specific riders and decide then. Oh BTW, Froome is clean…..

  13. I assume by your last paragraph you mean lifetime bans from the sport for all who have doped? You’d rely on retrospective test to identify them? If not that then this post isn’t clear about what positive things you’d change and its just a whole lot of hot air.

    You ask, ‘hey, show us how you do it. we dearly would love to believe again.’ – but do you know what they could say that WOULD make you believe again? If you want to go hunting ducks be sure you know what a quack sounds like.

    Amazingly Lance was right when he said “I feel sorry for those of you that can’t believe”, because in the end he knew we’d kill the sport we love by asking for it to do something impossible – prove a negative.

  14. You’ve every right to question what you see as a fan, but isn’t it hypocritical to do it of cycling if you don’t do it of other sports to? I say that because cycling has had its issues only in part because it has tested its athletes and investigated scandals. Other sports have ignored the issue, gotten away with it and everyone just cuts them slack?

    For me cycling has a great testing policy now in place — at long last and after a lot of pressure to do it — but there’s blood testing, there’s out of competition testing, there’s the whereabouts program and there’s the bio-passport. History suggests if you’re cheating you’ll get caught eventually. Cycling’s gone through the ringer in the eyes of the sporting world to try and sort itself out, it deserves a break to police itself now.

    I personally think Froome is clean, but if he was cheating he’ll be found out and then we can kick him. Until then, I was able to watch and enjoy the tour knowing they’re as scrutinised by testing as any athlete alive, and didn’t feel the need to be weighed down, suffocated and/or obsessed with the doping subject all through the 3 weeks.

    1. ‘it deserves a break to police itself now’ – it’s been doing that for years. how do you think we got here? seriously? Verbruggen used to tip LA off that his values were going awry. they let him donate money, buried positive tests, instructed him how the tests worked, let him ‘shower’ before tests, etc etc.

      it’s not about getting caught ‘eventually’, it’s about educating teams and riders to not dope NOW, to have a governing body that pro-actively discourages doping with increased bans, a rule making it mandatory for data to be released to independent anti-doping experts and for ex-dopers to not be allowed back into management.

      it might even be time to have a serious discussion about an amnesty. it certainly isn;t the time to say ‘hey our testing is awesome, give us a break!’

      once again, how do you think we got here in the first place?

  15. If a rider performs better than you expect and the first thing you think is that he must be doping, why on earth do you follow cycling?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am sure that there are still plenty in the peleton who are on drugs but I I have to believe that the winner is clean. Otherwise, what is the point?

    If Froome does test positive in the future, I’ll shrug my shoulders and hope that the testing improves and the next winner is clean. I don’t have the ability or opportunity to do anything about it myself so that is all I am left with, hope.

    1. i have heard that question before, and every time it reminds me of those who ask another question: ‘if you don’t like this country, why don’t you just leave?’

      that is where this logic gets you.

      1. Is it a fair analogy, one is more life changing than the other.

        You are right, we should ask questions but your article is rather negative. I guess I’m more glass half full than half empty.

        I don’t see that Froomes performance is that unremarkable. In the past, he’s ridden for small teams with tiny budgets. Now, he’s with Sky and able to taken advantage of modern training techniques which they can afford to pay for. In contrast, Quintana won the white and polka dot jerseys and hcame second in he debut tour. As far as I can see, no one has questioned his performance.

  16. Fair points. My only quibble is this. It’s not “just 1 year after the biggest scandal that hit the sport came about”, but 1 year after that scandal was exposed, several years after the fact. There’s an element of reaction to this exposure in the questioning of Froome. So he’s not just being put on the spot because of cycling’s history, but because so many journalists (and fans) are annoyed with themselves that they were taken in for so long, and want to prove to themselves that they’re properly sceptical now.

    In other words: “I believed in Lance and even he was doping, therefore Froome must be doping”.

    1. i think it is more a case for most that the veil has been lifted. this is why LA had to fall. it is the silver lining to all this, that we can now talk openly about it. it may well be that some are driven by a sense of being cuckolded, so to speak, but you can’t sustain that and there are, i feel, far deeper and more sincere motivations behind this desire to see the sport rescue itself.

  17. If Contador’s beef dopes, surely we can refer to Team Sky as volcano doping? (mallorica, tenerife, mt teide)

  18. What will it take for you to accept, either now or eventually, that Froome was clean?

    Genuine question. If we can’t answer it then the sport is fucked.

    1. if an independent anti-doping panel made up of several leading experts could be assembled and work out a system of procedures that could then be applied to the pro peloton – not just Froome – which could actually make use of a revamped Bio Passport along the lines that were envisaged by Ashenden, crunch the data, establish realisitc and unrealistic peramaters of performance and of blood values etc – and explain it in such a way that even idiots like me could undertsnd what was going on – and if they then, after the testing, could give riders a clean bill of health, then i would be satisfied.

      if this could then be supoported by a remodelled UCI with a person at the helm that opened the doors, brought in more serious financial and criminal deterrents to doping, supported anti-doping initiatives and got rid of ex-dopers in managament, then whoo, i’d be dancing a goshdarn jig…

  19. Not quite sure the point of this article. Everything you have written is just as applicable to the Lantern Rouge as it is to the winner.

    Why believe in Quintana? Because he rides with Valverde?
    Why believe in Rodriquez? Because Katusha is a paragon of virtue?
    Why believe in Contador? Because Riis has kept him on track?
    Why believe in Mollema? Because Rabobank bailed on the team?
    Why believe in Fuglsang? Because Astana is a step up from Radio Shack?
    Why believe in Kittel? Because his exposure to UV was not considered PE?
    Why believe in any rider’s innocence? Because innocence is undetectable.

      1. Yes; impossible for it to be otherwise – your solution above boils down to “I don’t believe the teams, but I will believe some independent experts.” It’s not sound logic and as open to corruption as we currently are. Next!

  20. Well, Pat shouldn’t stay. Totally agree. But questioning Froome’s performance is, according to me, an implicit accusation. The answer is: “- Because he trains his ass off and is extremely talented,” and not : “Because he most probably doped.” There’s nothing naive in drawing a line and making an effort to move on.

    This discussion has been going on in The Netherlands, especially in the last three weeks, during the Tour. Former world level cyclists (in The Netherlands we have a very long cycling tradition) were crying on TV: “OK, we doped, we all did it, we apologize, but let’s not pass this on to the next generation, that’s unfair.”

    If you don’t draw a line you better stop watching world level cycling because there will always be possibilities that people dope.

    -Can’t get around it.

    -Won’t get it water tight.

    Reality is not a given. It’s what we make of it. If we choose a hard core skeptical perspective, we choose to keep the sport incredible, we choose to look from that perspective. We choose to emphasize incredibility, because there will always be dopers, it will not stop. And given the nature of the sport, performances are incredible anyhow. Is 5 minutes a big difference after three weeks cycling? Who says that number two didn’t dope then? One might assume, further, that the differences are solely related to talent, but nevertheless they all dope, et cetera, et cetera. It is possible to keep going like this, but I choose not to do so.

    Armstrong’s confession was sudden for the general public, but for others he had, very likely, doped. Given the era, given the fact that everybody did. It was impossible to perform without dope. So acting like we’re shocked because of Armstrong’s confession and considering cycling as the fresh post confession era, while suddenly being skeptical about EVERY excellent performance?

    – Now that’s naive. It’s not about Armstrong. It’s about 100 years cycling.

    Dope was accepted in the past. Therefore, athletes were not cheaters. Calling them cheaters in hindsight, looking back, is always easy. One has to understand history from it’s time frame. Try to understand why they did it. try to understand perspectives at the time. Try to understand society at the time.

    We choose a different mentality now. That is not suddenly after Armstrong and Oprah, it has been in the process for a few years. It takes time. Athletes will get caught. Forever. But for the sake of the sport, you have to be willing to start somewhere.

    Cycling is idiocy anyhow. I’m an idiot. Haven’t ridden my bike properly for a few weeks, suffering in the mountains like a dog now, to get my old shape back. Which is extra difficult, because I’m 52. Why the hell am I doing this? For God’s sake, I could get my PhD or something, something that really matters, you know?

    Sorry, can’t help it, maybe I’m weak, but I am going to ride until I die.

    Cycling makes my life nicer and better. No acid please. The glass is half full, not half empty. That’s a choice, indeed. A matter of perspective.

    That’s why I wrote: “Give that man (Froome) a break.”

  21. This is a great article. It’s logical. It’s honest. Well written.

    History has a habit of repeating itself. You cannot change the nature of humanity.
    The human body does not evolve physiologically over the space of a few years so that a “CLEAN” Chris Froome is able to post times on climbs that are right up there with some of the greatest “DOPING” performances in history. These dopers “ULLRICH, ARMSTRONG” etc were not just doped, they “JUICED TO THE GILLS” Their haematocrit levels were kept at around the 50 mark for the entire Tour. (Yes that crazy rule the UCI INTRODUCED for “health reasons” ?? (HIGHLY DANGEROUS AND THE UCI NEW THIS), effectively granting a free licence for any cyclist to use as much OXYGEN VECTOR DOPING as they wished, as long as they kept their haematocrit level below 50. To say the least, what an absolutely ridiculous rule that was. CORRUPT. YES ABSOLUTELY) Plus they were loaded with plenty of recovery products. To claim that Chris Froome is clean (amongst others) IS A STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION. Only those who follow this sport with a naive blind faith and a lack of insight would believe that he and others are clean.

    1. So all the advances in training programmes in the intervening years and Sky’s multi million budget to implement them hasn’t made any difference to Froome’s performance?

      I suspect that if I implemented a relatively modest training programme my performance would improve dramatically.

      Don’t get me wrong, I suspect there are still plenty of dopers in the peleton but to just assume that Froome’s improvement is all because of doping is unfair.

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