|Image via Wikipedia|
|Alberto Contador at the 2010 TdF team presentation|
Do read this in depth article by Tim Liew on the Contador scandal
I am a fairly recent convert to the thrills and spills of the marathon cycle races, and I am aware as a fan that there is a widely held public belief that many, if not most, of the tour cyclists take performance enhancing drugs. A title of any sort, in any sport, won with the benefit of illegal enhancement tarnishes not only the character of the sportsman involved, but damages the reputation of the sport as a whole.
I really enjoy the Tour, and I want to believe that these fantastic athletes are drugs free, clean and noble competitors. The Tour de France, as with all major sporting events, carries with it the promise of glory, fame and fortune for the winner, and the chance to take an edge on your competitors over the gruelling 3,000+ k race is obviously still tempting for some riders.
Is Contador the only leading rider to be using controlled substances, either in race or more likely in out of season training as Tim Liew suggests ? It seems unlikely. What a shame though that the greatest of the long distance sporting events has once again been sullied in this manner.