List of doping cases in cycling

The following is an incomplete list of doping cases and recurring accusations of doping in professional cycling, where doping means "use of physiological substances or abnormal method to obtain an artificial increase of performance". [1] It is neither a 'list of shame' nor a list of illegality, as the first laws were not passed until 1965 and their implementation is an ongoing developing process. Thus the list contains doping incidents, those who have tested positive for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, prohibited recreational drugs or have been suspended by a sports governing body for failure to submit to mandatory drug testing. It also contains and clarifies cases where subsequent evidence and explanation has shown the parties to be innocent of illegal practice.

In 1963, the Council of Europe gave a definition of doping.

"Doping means to make use of physiological substances in immoderate quantity or abnormal method from healthy people whose only aim is to obtain an artificial increase of the performance during the competition". [1] or ...

"The administration of or use by a competing athlete of any substance foreign to the body or any physiologic substance taken in abnormal quantity or taken by an abnormal route of entry into the body with the sole intention of increasing in an artificial and unfair manner his/her performance in competition. When necessity demands medical treatment with any substance which, because of its nature, dosage, or application is able to boost the athlete's performance in competition in an artificial and unfair manner, this too is regarded as doping." [2]



In 1886, a Welsh cyclist is popularly reputed to have died after drinking a blend of cocaine, caffeine and strychnine, supposedly in the Bordeaux–Paris race. This was included in the 1997 International Olympic Committee study on the Historical Evolution of Doping Phenomenon, and listed as the presumed first death due to doping during a competition. The report did allow that in this period it was common practice, and not illegal. [1] This is alternatively reported as trimethyl poisoning. [2] However, the main Bordeaux–Paris race did not start until 1891, and the cyclist who supposedly died in 1886, Arthur Linton, actually finished second in 1896 and died a few weeks later, reportedly from a combination of drug-induced exhaustion and typhoid fever. [3] Linton was managed by the notorious Choppy Warburton - See 1896 below. [4] The story may be apocryphal.

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