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Doping -- Le Monde editorial

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Old July 31st 03, 12:16 AM
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Default Doping -- Le Monde editorial

The French journal Le Monde ran an editorial (July 28) suggesting that the
TdF may not be free of doping, despite the extensive urine and blood testing
that is now performed under the direction of the UCI. While not an
accusation, the article notes that the average speed of stage winners this
year is the fastest on record, even faster than in 1997, the year preceding
the Festina affair, when EPO use was presumably widespread.

The piece goes on to suggest two possible reasons: (1) Climate conditions
were ideal this year, and the riders also benefited from tailwinds, and (2)
New techniques for evading the chemical controls have been put into play.
The official TdF line is apparently (1). The speeds themselves are not
disputed, since they are essentially a public record.

For perspective, Le Monde is something along the lines of the New York
Times -- a fairly well-respected middle-of-the-political-spectrum newspaper
(rather than a tabloid, for example), but not particularly a sports rag. I
don't know its history well enough to know whether it has any axes to grind
with the TdF, but again, it does not specialize in sports coverage.

The article (in French) is available by going to www.lemonde.fr. In the box
at upper left entitled Rechercher, type in "dopage" (no quotes needed) and
click the arrow. On the list of articles that comes up, look for "Un Tour
trop vite?" Right now it seems to be the second article listed, and for the
moment, at least, it is available for free. I don't know of an English
version, but I know there are at least a few francophones in this group who
might find it of interest...



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