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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Doping at the Tour de France - a wiki


There have been allegations of doping in the Tour de France since the race began in 1903. Early Tour riders consumed alcohol and used ether, among other substances, as a means of dulling the pain of competing in endurance cycling.[1] Riders began using substances as a means of increasing performance rather than dulling the senses, and organizing bodies such as the Tour and the International Cycling Union (UCI), as well as government bodies, enacted policies to combat the practice.
Use of performance-enhancing drugs in cycling predates the Tour de France. Cycling having been from the start a sport of extremes, whether of speed by being paced by tandems, motorcycles and even cars, or of distance, the suffering involved encouraged the means to alleviate it. Not until after World War II were sporting or even particularly health issues raised. Those came shortly before the death of Tom Simpson in the Tour de France of 1967. Max Novich referred to the Tour de France in a 1973 issue of New York State Journal of Medicine as "a cycling nightmare".[2] In the eyes of a 1998 German observer:
For as long as the Tour has existed, since 1903, its participants have been doping themselves. No dope, no hope. The Tour, in fact, is only possible because - not despite the fact - there is doping. For 60 years this was allowed. For the past 30 years it has been officially prohibited. Yet the fact remains; great cyclists have been doping themselves, then as now.[3]

[Keep reading at Wikipedia]

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