The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

June 27, 2013

TOUR DE FRANCE: 10 things to know about doping

(Continued)

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WHAT ELSE COULD BE DONE? Arguably, what cycling needs most is not to ramp-up testing even further but a truth and reconciliation process that would allow the sport to unearth all of the doping skeletons in its closet, once and for all, so cycling fans, sponsors and riders could then focus wholly on the present and less on the past. As it is, the sport's strides continue to be overshadowed by a constant drip-drip-drip of doping confessions and revelations from the Armstrong years. In France, the run-up to this Tour was dominated by media reports that EPO was detected in a urine sample that French rider and now broadcaster Laurent Jalabert provided at the race way back in ... 1998. This blast from the past infuriated five-time Tour champion Bernard Hinault, who works for the race organizers.

"That was 15 years ago. We have to stop unearthing the dead," the website of sports daily L'Equipe quoted him as saying. "There's nothing new in saying that at the end of the '90s and the start of the 2000s, there was an extremely dark period in cycling. We know that. Cycling cheated, perhaps more than the others, but today it is no different from the others."

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SO IS CYCLING WORTH WATCHING? One could ask that of any sport. Doping isn't unique to cycling.

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