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
- 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: Yahoo.com, 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: Wikipedia.com; 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: iSport.com; 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)