Ever since the Lance Armstrong scandal, cycling has been a sport under intense scrutiny over doping, for a long time riders such as Chris Froome have been subject of suspicion and rumors on the subject due to the dominance he shows in the Tour de France.
However, the recent evidence of national sponsored doping by Russian Athletes that lead to their exclusion from many Olympic and all Paralympic events in Rio this year, shows that cheating isn’t exclusive to cycling.
As Tour de France director Christian Prudhome told Reuters, “We knew all the cheats and the liars on this earth did not gather up one day to decide they would be taking up cycling,”
In many ways it is human nature to seek to upgrade our situation and live the best life possible. This desire has been seen with The Telegraph’s evidence of corruption in football which started with the exposure of Sam Allardyce, who being the manager of the English national team, was a man at the top of English football management.
The corruption of both football and athletics shows that cycling is not the only sport to have one of its stars cheat, unfortunately just one of the first. Both Russia and Allardyce show parallels to Armstrong – all were at the pinnacle of their sport, but sought to improve their situation whether that be in medals, money or Tour wins.
After the shock of the Armstrong scandal cycling has sought to change its image with the introduction of an electronic record of a riders doping test results after the full extent of Armstrong’s use of performance enhancing drugs such as, triamcinolone and erythropoietin was exposed.
As Prudhome told Reuters, the use of the so called “Biological Passport” has led to less surprising results, “You don’t see champions who come from nowhere any more. The likes of Nairo Quintana, Esteban Chaves have a pedigree, they shone on the Tour de l’Avenir (the most prestigious under-23 stage race). It’s reassuring.”
Yet there are still means for debate about what classes as doping under the regulations with Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins being the subject of a leak which shows he had taken triamcinolone and salbutamol before the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
Is anyone above suspicion?
About the Author: Luke is a second year Sports Journalism student at the University of Huddersfield who heads out on the trails whenever he gets home. You can follow him on twitter here.