Thursday, July 26, 2007


It is not my intention to degrade the premier cycling event of the world. The controversy over who is caught for doping and who is not and what substances are used for the abuse is really taking the attention away from the cycling.

There was a cloud over whether Lance Armstrong used any performance boosting substances to win the Tour five times in a row. The German Uhlrich who was one rider to challenge Armstrong was found guilty. Then there was the Italian who admitted to doping offences and died very prematurely of side-effects.

The American Floyd Landis won the Tour in 2006 and was immediately touted as the natural successor to Armstrong. Landis is now spending most of his time in courts in the United States trying to clear himself from doping charges.

Most of the big names were absent from the Tour of 2007. Aleksandar Vinokurov of Kazakhstan was expected to be the winner. But it is the Kazakh who has been found guilty of ‘blood doping’ and his entire team has been pulled out of the race.

The current leader of the Tour and the holder of the yellow jersey, Rasmussen of Denmark is accused of not turning up for out of event drug testing on more than one occasion. There are bound to be doubts over his credibility if he manages to win the event.

An event that is supposed to be one of the ultimate challenges for a sportsman is now under a huge shadow.

Is the great Tour on the verge of becoming a farce?

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