The list of fallen riders from this years Tour de France continues to grow, even though the Tour is over. According to this article over at the BBC website, Iban Mayo has failed a drug test and has been suspended by his team.
The Saunier Duval team were forced to take action after it’s star rider tested positive for EPO, a banned substance that is used by riders to increase the red blood cell count, increasing their aerobic activity. Mayo was considered as one of the pre-race favorites, and is a mountain specialist, but ended up finishing 16th in the General Classification. The team sponsor has said that if his “B” sample also tests positive, Mayo will be released from the team.
We’re less than a week after the tour and yet another star of the sport has tested positive. There was already a shadow over the event, and it seems to only grow darker. It seems like doping is a pretty widespread issue, at least at the top of the sport. It’s crazy how many cyclist seem to be doing something to give them an advantage and it’s disheartening to think about how far the sport has to go to clean up it’s act. The fault isn’t just with the riders either, as the doping labs have had their fair share of scandal as well, and it’s not as if the International Cycling Union has been on the up and up with all of their dealings as well. At the moment, it’s a sport in crisis, as fans in Europe are growing disillusioned and apathetic about a sport they love. Clearly we’re at a critical moment in the history of cycling, and what happens over the next few months could determine the direction the entire sport will go.
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