The World of Cycling and Doping

Pictured here is Hippolyte Aucouturier of France, at the 1905 Tour de France, in which he placed second.

The confessions of Lance Armstrong, the most successful American cyclist of modern times, have rocked the world of road-racing cycling. After being charged with using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Armstrong was stripped of all his prestigious medals. The verdict of USADA, a nongovernmental organization that regulates Americans’ participation in cycling competitions, was upheld by the sport’s international governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Also known as the International Cycling Union, the UCI banned Armstrong from the sport for life and removed his name from the recordbooks. (He had won seven straight Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005.)

The evidence against Armstrong often consisted of testimony by former teammates, some of whom themselves also admitted to having used PEDs. Though by far the most famous of cyclists to run afoul of the anti-drug regulations that bodies like the USADA try to enforce, Armstrong is by no means the only such athlete. In other words, the revelations about Armstrong’s use of PEDs (and of procedures like blood transfusions) to gain a competitive advantage in cycling races appear to be just the tip of the iceberg.

And that “iceberg” has been afloat since before the iceberg that sank the RMS Titanic in 1912. Charges of doping—whether the use of drugs to enhance one’s performance or the poisoning of competitors to prevent theirs—have gone head-in-helmet with the sport since its beginnings. Now the revelations about cycling’s being riddled with PED users threaten the sport’s viability as an Olympic event.

Image credit: © Branger/Roger Viollet/Getty Images

Related Links

  • Olympics Could Drop Cycling Over Lance Armstrong Revelations
    Read about how the Lance Armstrong doping scandal puts the future of cycling as an Olympic sport in doubt.
    (Source:, January 16, 2013)
  • List of Doping Cases in Cycling
    This detailed list includes allegations, scandals, and other information on doping in the history of cycling from the late 1800s to the present.
    (Source:; accessed January 31, 2013)
  • UCI Confirms Lance Armstrong’s Life Ban
    This article recounts the outcome of the Lance Armstrong scandal, according to the conclusions of the International Cycling Union.
    (Source: Cycling News, October 22, 2012)
  • History of Cycling
    Read about the history of bicycling, from velocipedes to the 21st century (though not updated for the Lance Armstrong scandal); includes a glossary of cycling terms and a guide to the sport’s rules and regulations.
    (Source:; accessed January 31, 2013)
  • Cycling Hall of Fame
    Check out this resource for biographies and other historical information on the sport of cycling.
    (Source: Cycling Hall of Fame; accessed January 31, 2013)


  1. nobody says:

    first place!!!

  2. shift click place says:

    2nd place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jalimori says:

      JIGuy is a serial LIAR. Resides quite cboroftamly within the American Teflon Class- hence the decision to drop the suit. It would have been IMPOSSIBLE physically to have competed for those 7 Tour titles without being supplemented by PED’s because it was so heavily ingrained within the sport during the early 2000 s. Every one of his top competitors has been busted and/or associated with doping- oh yeah ,i forgot , Lance has some other worldly physiological attributes .load of bull roar. Just take a look at his Livestrong Foundation and what they spend on travel in a year- close to $2 million bucks! Lovin those private jets eh Lance? Closest competitor- National Cancer Institute- $160,000 That gives you a pretty neat and tidy summation of this guys character- He’s a fraud! Feb. 4 2012

  3. alan says:

    3rd place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Jalamba says:

    I started coniverg Lance Armstrong in 2004 as he tackled the Vuelta de Murcia road race in preparation for the following Tour de France.I was astonished to find that stick-thin sportsmen, for they really are, could ride uphill for five hours at motorbike speeds and then tell you it was all down to pasta carbohydrate.Testicular cancer had robbed Armstrong’s body of normal testosterone levels, so he was able to regulate this for medical purposes. One can easily see how doping could have got out of hand without tripping tests, considering his medical condition.When people finishing 10th were being busted for doping, you had to ask yourself how those in the lead could possibly be on simple durum wheat products.The truth is they weren’t, all of Armstrong’s main rivals were busted at some time or other. Even teammates have acknowledged witnessing the man himself at it.The most common form of doping used to be what’s known as blood packing, using your own red blood cells which have been passed through a centrifuge to eliminate plasma and leave just red blood cells for maximum metabolic oxygen availability. Alberto Contador was busted for this because they could detect traces of the plastic bag his blood cells had been stored in.As sports go, cycling is one of the most difficult to clean up, I reckon.

  5. flying narwall says:

    My MOM

  6. Asia says:

    watz up yahhh

  7. Jon says:

    4th Place

  8. Eric Ada says:

    5th place!!!!!!!