I guess it shouldn’t be much of a surprise any more, but another cyclist has admited to doping. This one gets headlines though because it just so happens to be former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis who admitted that he used EPO from 1993 to 1998. Riis won the Tour in 1996.
EPO is a synthetic drug that enhances the number of red blood cells in the body allowing for more oxygen in the blood. With this increased oxygen levels, athletes are able to perform at a higher level. It has been one of the most commonly used performance enhancing drugs in cycling, a sport that is rife with doping controversies including the Floyd Landis scandal and the huge doping ring that was discovered in Spain last year.
Riis says he no longer feels like a worthy champion, and that he is willing to give the title back if the UCI decided to strip of it. The problem with that is, that the second place guy was probably also doping. And back in the mid-90’s, it’s likely that the majority of the riders were using something. I applaud the guy for coming forward and taking a stand. Admitting you were using performance enhancing drugs this far after the fact takes a lot of courage, and perhaps he can help clean up the sport, which really is in need of a good shot of PR at the moment.
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