It's been a bleak couple of weeks for cycling, with three more Tour de France riders returning positive A samples for the new generation of EPO, CERA. Like ASO and many others in the sport, the UCI had hoped that this year's Tour would pass without major scandal, but it was not to be. Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes spoke to its President Pat McQuaid about the latest test findings and the way forward.
"My first reactions are obviously shock, anger and dismay... that guys are still willing to cheat. After all that has been done, after all that has been said, after all the efforts that people have made to try to bring the credibility back to the sport over the past couple of years, individuals will still resort to cheating." said Pat McQuaid, describing his feelings about the recently-announced positive results for Leonardo Piepoli, Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl, who between them won three stages, wore the yellow jersey, finished third overall and triumphed in the mountains classification of this year's Tour de France.
Since taking office in September 2005, the UCI president has repeatedly said that fighting doping is one of his biggest priorities. This and the ProTour were high on his list, and he's had a big headache from both; the first aim became even more pressing when the Operación Puerto scandal broke and Floyd Landis tested positive during the 2006 Tour de France. Since then, there have been plenty of high profile positive cases in the sport, and while this year's Tour was supposed to be all about a new start, the seven positives from the race show that a scandal-free event is still some way off.
The prevalent, pessimistic view is that some riders will always try to find a way to cheat, to beat the system.
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