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Casar: Doping falsified everything

Cycling News
December 1, 2012, 11:31,
December 1, 2012, 11:39
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, December 1, 2012
Sandy Casar (FDJ-BigMat)

Sandy Casar (FDJ-BigMat)

  • Sandy Casar (FDJ-BigMat)
  • Sandy Casar (FDJ) in Al Wakra during the Tour of Qatar.

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Frenchman reflects on a career during the Armstrong era

Sandy Casar (FDJ-BigMat) believes that doping has falsified cycling through the last decade to such an extent that it has been difficult for clean riders to gauge their true value.

After finishing second at Paris-Nice as a 23-year-old in 2002, Casar was hailed as the next great French prospect for the general classification at the Tour de France. While Casar has enjoyed success in July, including a trio of stage wins, however, his highest overall finish at the Tour was 11th in 2009.

Asked by Ouest France if he would have been a champion had there been no doping in the peloton, Casar said that there was no way of knowing.

“We can’t know what might have happened in other circumstances. When a whole team is doped, it can control or block a race, it can pull back breakaways,” Casar said. “Maybe I sometimes even benefited from their work without knowing it. In effect, everything was falsified. One of the terrible things about doping is that we don’t know who really was good and who wasn’t.”

Casar turned professional in 2000, and took his fledging steps in the peloton at the very height of the Lance Armstrong era. Such was the culture of the time, Casar maintains that it was all but impossible for a neo-professional to compete at the highest level.

“Things are much better now, because when riders turn professional, they can win races,” Casar said. “Me, I didn’t have that. At the beginning of my career, I simply thought that I wasn’t up to it. During my first Flèche Wallonne, I took a real kicking. That evening, my directeur sportif sent me home, telling me that it would have been pointless for me to do Liège-Bastogne-Liège the following Sunday. At that moment, I thought I’d do two years as a pro and then stop. There didn’t seem to be anything to be done…”

Casar is critical of the UCI’s reaction to Armstrong’s doping, as outlined in the USADA reasoned decision on the matter, and is frustrated that cycling’s consequent loss of credibility is something that affects all riders.

“What shocked me the most was to discover to what extent Armstrong and his teammates were perhaps protected by the powers that be,” he said. “I find that more serious than the cheating in itself. Frankly, you can see that at the UCI, they did the minimum to try to stop him. Cycling has lost all its credibility. Whether you’re honest or not, nobody believes in us anymore.”


skippy More than 1 year ago
Oops , forgot the " OMERTA " , did you Sandy ? Always enjoyed your HONESTY and hope that other Pro World Racers will follow you and speak out about " Doping / PED usage "! SEE for my take on the latest UCI snow job .
BigBoat More than 1 year ago
Its true that doping changes who comes out on top. The most realistic level playing field achievable I think is to either test for total body hemoglobin or just legalize epo. Its sad only a small handful of pro riders are willing to publicly condemn the true nature of doping, because it is unfair to the max for the dopers who are busted, for the clean riders who say nothing & for the clean riders who speak out.
Galmozzi More than 1 year ago
Casar will always remind me of that TdF stage he won after getting in the break, hitting a dog, crashing, chasing and re-catching the break then winning the sprint.
RHRH19861986 More than 1 year ago
Thanks for writing about Caar, dear CN! ;-) I also would be so glad to read something about Moncoutie, maybe your French editor J.F. Quenet has the opportunity to speak to him about the Doping issue within the next time, now that he has finished his career.
Rob Slater More than 1 year ago
When are Verbruggen and McQuaid going to be resolutely investigated? Cycling will not have a chance until those two are investigated thoroughly.
LaBici More than 1 year ago
Verbruggen and McQuaid They will get exposed once the Kimmage lawsuit trial begins
Unoghoulie More than 1 year ago
This is absolutely right, there is clearly corruption in the organisation of cycling. Armstrong & Bruyneel may be assholes, but that isn't the problem, without the cover-up they would have been caught years ago and the problem would have been solved.