Systemic doping, fishy fish, and checkered chess: niche sports have had quite a week of it.
If you crave the chaos of blatant sporting fraud, it’s been an all-time champion week. For followers of professional cycling – mistakenly regarded by much of the broader public as one of the dodgier sports – it’s been a vindicating one, too. You see, despite a major doping case implicating almost an entire Portuguese team coming to a head, the sport of cycling barely made a ripple – the rest of the world’s sporting media had its sights elsewhere, ghoulishly fixated on two other niche scandals.
So where does the sordid case of W52-FC Porto’s downfall rank alongside these other villains? Were those alleged cheats as blatant in their execution? What can we, as bicycle cyclists, learn from the week’s three big cheating moments? And finally, was this entire article a transparent ploy to write about competitive fishing? Portu-geese
We’re a cycling website so we’ll start, begrudgingly, with the cycling team – the W52-FC Porto squad, racing at the Continental level since 2013. In that time, the team has won numerous editions of the Volta a Portugal as well as the 2021 Volta ao Algarve, often against more fancied rivals.
That high came crashing down following an anonymous tipoff which led to the team being raided in April of this year. The 120-person anti-doping Operation Clean Test in fact unearthed quite a few Dirty Tests, with reports at the time suggesting that 10 of the team’s […]