Friday, June 18, 2010

More doping among amateur cyclists.

The Giro d'Italia (aka the Tour of Italy) is one of the biggest stage races in pro cycling along with the Tour de France and a few other races known as the "grand tours." In an amateur version of the race, known as the Baby Giro, the organizers have gone to great lengths to encourage the riders to avoid any form of doping. An article in Velonation reports that the leading team in this year's race was caught running a serious doping operation and was immediately kicked out of the race. Here are a few quotes:

The raiding authorities found prohibited drugs and a huge assortment of doping paraphernalia. The doping materials that were found at the race hotel were also found at team headquarters in Brescia, which was searched at the same time as the hotel.

La Repubblica reports that the prohibited drugs included insulin, female hormones, stimulants, pills, syringes, and butterfly needles, which are used for blood transfusions. This would be illegal under any circumstance, but it stands out even more starkly at the Baby Giro, where riders are not even allowed to take medicines of any sort including vitamins, unless expressly handed over to the race officials before the race, who then approve or forbid the use of the requested product.
I think it's a very sad day when highly orchestrated doping is found among the amateur cycling ranks at a race that specifically has made a serious attempt to discourage it. Knowing racers are doping at the amateur level suggests more credibility to the allegations by Floyd Landis and many others that pro cycling has a serious doping problem that involves all the main American contenders from A to Z (i.e., Lance Armstrong to Dave Zabriskie).


  1. Female hormones huh? Should I even attempt to make a joke out of that one?

  2. I know. I've seen that phrase in several of these articles. I'm guessing that it's the latest fad diet hormone going around known as hCG that they are using to become leaner.