Doping: Why Rwanda should take caution

Editor, Reaction to the story, “Algerian tests positive, costs Team Rwanda UCI points” (The New Times, April 27)

Editor,

Reaction to the story, “Algerian tests positive, costs Team Rwanda UCI points” (The New Times, April 27)

Cycling and doping are like dogs and fleas; virtually inseparable. Le Tour de France, the sport’s most prestigious competition, has been known as a chemical industry’s favourite testing ground or, as the cynics have often remarked, a case of “My chemist is better than yours!”

The number of high profile competitors (who have tested positive) has been so high that some fans have dubbed it “Le Tour du Doping!”

It isn’t just Lance Armstrong and his 8-tournament victories that he was eventually stripped of, other very prestigious riders that have been found to be doped up to their gills have included such champions as Contidor, such entire teams as Festina and its star rider Richard Virenque, the entire Cofidis Team, etc.

In fact, doping is as old as the “sport” and with the Tour de France, drug assistance is as old as the inaugural tournament in 1903.

I used to love watching Miguel Indurain, the King of the Tour, beat everybody up every year till I realised most of the riders were EPO-besotted—then I became weaned off cycling and Le Tour de France for good.

Since cycling is one of the most promising sports disciplines in Rwanda, I hope handlers of Rwandan riders take caution to ensure they do not fall into this trap.

Mwene Kalinda

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