Holy crow! What a disaster. So, the Tour de France started with several top riders accused of doping being banned from the race. Then, during the Tour, a few other riders were kicked out for failing blood tests or illegal blood transfusions, including Alexandre Vinokourov, who was favored to win. In fact, the manager of Vinokourov’s team pulled his Astana Cycling Team from the race entirely. Following that, the Confidis Team pulled out of the Tour after its lead rider, Cristian Moreni, failed a drug test.
Now, Michael Rasmussen, the clear leader of this year’s Tour de France, holding the Yellow Jersey (worn by the current overall leader) for most of the race, has been fired by his own team, Robobank, for lying to the team and missing several scheduled drug tests. This move takes him and the team out of contention.
As of now, Alberto Contador, of the US Discovery Team has the Yellow Jersey. The Discovery Channel Team has three riders in the top ten.
So, is Contador the last man standing? Is anyone clean? Professional cycling is a sport for the elite of the elite. It requires a combination of superhuman genetics, non-stop training and a will to win that overcomes the agony of climbing 100+ mile hills for 26 straight days. It appears that the self-selecting group of top riders in the world have found that there is no way to differentiate between themselves other than to push their bodies beyond their already distorted genetics.
These guys get tested for drug use constantly. The top riders even get tested frequently enough to see if they’re getting transfusions of their own oxygenated blood. Can more be done? Can the sport be cleaned up? I dunno. It would be very sad if young cyclists come to believe that they can only win by following their now banned brethren.