Doping Is Still A Problem In Cycling

The Italian investigating judge, Benedetto Roberti, who has uncovered key evidence against Dr. Michele Ferrari and a long list of his clients in an interview said a little has changed in cycling ever since the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. The judge added that new and undetectable versions of EPO and other doping products are still being used by professional, amateur, and even Gran Fondo riders.

While revealing his passion for cycling, Roberti said he has ridden numerous Gran Fondo events, where he has seen riders making the use of cortisone suppositories as they line-up for the start. The former military judge angered the Italian Olympic Committee anti-doping investigators when he refused to share evidence collected by him during his meticulous investigations. Some evidence has already emerged as part of the USADA Reasoned Decision documentation that brought an end to the glorified legacy of American cyclist Lance Armstrong, the winner of seven consecutive Tour de France titles, and prompted the world governing body of cycling to disqualify him from his seven Tour de France victories.

Talking about doping in every level of cycling, Roberti told Tuttobici magazine that he has seen things people cannot even imagine and riders are often considered the weakest link in all of this but the riders are responsible for what they do. He added that he has learnt not to trust some people and remarked that riders are the start and the end of it all and the rest is just a lot of talking. Roberti further said that we are dealing in cycling with scruple-less people who inject themselves with everything, without knowing what they are doing-products stolen from hospitals, from Eastern countries-without any guarantees on the quality. He also said that he was recently told by riders that there are substances in use that can’t be found by anti-doping tests such as Erythropoietin Z by Retacrit, also known as EPO Z, and a Chinese EPO that cannot be found in testes and there is also AICAR, that is brought in from the East as a powder and is apparently a kind of genetic doping that helps to reset muscle fibers after huge efforts and cannot be found in anti-doping tests either.

The Italian investigating judge called for a generation change and a culture change in cycling. Roberti is adamant that people like Bjarne Riis should have no place in cycling while referring to the Dane being allowed by the UCI to continue as a team manager with the Saxo-Tinkoff WorldTour team, despite his doping confession and links to the past. Tuttobici reported Roberti as saying that the world governing body of cycling should take the license of Bjarne Riis as he has confessed and the UCI actually allowed him to work as if nothing has happened and the cycling’s governing body should take a clear stance and for sure is responsible too. Roberti also added that we have got to teach young people that it’s more important to promote the good name of a sponsor rather than just easy wins.

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