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Doping at the Tour de France: From amphetamines to Armstrong, the scandals that have rocked cycling’s premier road race

Doping at the Tour de France: From amphetamines to Armstrong, the scandals that have rocked cycling's premier road race

Tadej Pogacar will aim to add his name to cycling’s list of all-time greats by becoming only the fifth man to win three consecutive Tour…

Friday, Jul 15

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Tadej Pogacar will aim to add his name to cycling’s list of all-time greats by becoming only the fifth man to win three consecutive Tour de France titles.

Pogacar rode to glory in the 2020 and 2021 editions and he will join Louison Bobet, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain in a select group if he stands on top of the podium on the Champs-Elysees this time around. Lance Armstrong was once among that exclusive club before being stripped of his seven consecutive Tours de France between 1999 and 2005 for doping offences.

The Armstrong scandal continues to cast a shadow over the sport to this day and forms part of a history of once-revered champions who have been implicated by the use of performance-enhancing drugs, including Anquetil and Merckx among others. "I’m not angry," Pogacar said amid the familiar wave of innuendo after his 2021 triumph despite having never failed a test or committed a doping violation. "They are uncomfortable questions because the history of cycling was really bad. I totally understand why there are all of these questions.

"I didn’t prepare anything for those kind of questions. I just like to ride my bike and what comes with it, comes with it. I’ll deal with it. I’m a good kid with a good education. I’m not one to take shortcuts."

Unfortunately for Pogacar and his contemporaries who are publicly committed to clean cycling today, such shortcuts are as old as the race itself. Did doping used to be legal at […]

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