News / Europe

Tour de France Riders Say 'Enough Is Enough' Regarding Doping

Radioshack-Leopard team riders cycle during a training session for the centenary Tour de France cycling race on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, Porto-Vecchio, France, June 28, 2013.
Radioshack-Leopard team riders cycle during a training session for the centenary Tour de France cycling race on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, Porto-Vecchio, France, June 28, 2013.
Reuters
Tour de France riders protested angrily Friday on the eve of this year's race against the burden of suspicion they have been forced to carry because of a previous generation's doping.

“It is degrading to be dragged through the mud and be run down by some who look to make money on our backs,” the riders said in a statement on Friday after Le Monde newspaper printed a headline quoting Lance Armstrong saying it was impossible to win the Tour de France without doping.

American Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour titles for doping and later admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs, had been speaking about the 1999-2005 era during which he crushed the opposition.

Earlier in the week, sports daily L'Equipe said a urine sample from Frenchman Laurent Jalabert in 1998 showed traces of the banned blood-booster EPO when it was re-tested in 2004.

“Enough is enough!!!!!!,”' the riders' statement further read.

“Today the limits of the bearable have been reached!!!! We have for many years shown our will to work for a flawless fight against doping.

“If there was a culture of doping in the 1990s, in the past 15 years our sport has been fighting alone against the plague of doping.

“We are professional bike riders and we are proud of that. But do not treat us like sub-citizens as you have been doing for too long,” the riders' statement continued.

In 2011, blood tests accounted for 35 percent of tests in cycling, while 17.6 percent in athletics and less than 6 percent in tennis.

Cycling pioneered biological passports in 2008, a program that according to the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] “indirectly reveals the effects of doping”.

'Racing is cleaner'

Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters told Reuters he thought cycling was cleaning up its act.

“The science points to a trend that racing is cleaner, that it is possible to win the Tour de France clean,” he said.

“When you look at the climbing speed and look at the numbers. The science firmly points to the fact that doping is on the decline.

“Racing is slower even though the equipment and the training are better. To me there is only one explanation for that - doping has decreased a lot,” added Vaughters.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme backed the riders' complaints, saying that almost every year a doping-related story breaks days before the Tour.

“I can appreciate that some agendas have nothing to do with cycling but 14 times in the last 15 years, it cannot be a coincidence,” he told Reuters.

“For some, the Tour is a unique opportunity to communicate their message.”

Referring to the report about Jalabert, Prudhomme added: “Why give on June 24, 2013, the name of a rider whom it is said doped after a control that occurred on July 22, 1998?.”

Garmin-Sharp rider David Millar, a former doper turned anti-doping campaigner, thought it was essential cycling learned from previous mistakes.

“What needs to change is that we need complete truth and transparency into what happened in the 15-year era of the 1990s and early 2000s,” said the former Armstrong teammate, who served a two-year ban after admitting taking EPO.

“So we can understand what mistakes were made and we can make sure those mistakes do not happen again. Because I think racing has cleaned up a lot, I think the Tour de France can be won clean,” he said.

For all the effort it has been making to clean up, cycling cannot let its guard down, according to Vaughters. “What I hope is that we gather information from the past to find a way to correct those mistakes the next time around.”

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid