Doping Was Not An Option For Malcolm Lange

Former South African professional cyclist, Malcolm Lange, has remarked high levels of doping in cycling at an international level deterred him from competing in Europe.

Lange further remarked while speaking at the launch of his tell-all book “Is Winning Everything? Success as defined by cycling legend Malcolm Lange” that the sport has had a bad image with doping and that was one thing that deterred him from the sport. Owner of two successful racing teams known as Team Bonitas and Team RECM, Lange outsprinted seasoned professionals such as Willie Engelbrecht and Andrew McLean and is considered as one of the best every track cyclists.

The 39-year-old Lange said his refusal to make the use of performance enhancing drugs that were rife at the time led to him move home in 1996 to continue his cycling career. The cyclist remarked that the whole doping issue made him make the decision that he want to come back to South Africa and build cycling here and added that doping was always available and guys could easily get a hold of it. Lange, who won numerous South African road and track titles, including Cape Argus Cycle Tours, three Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenges and six MTN Amashova National Classics said he would have to adopt a win-at-all-costs approach, which meant putting his health and integrity at risk if he wanted to be chasing podium places consistently in Europe.

The South African cyclist is considered one of the country’s all-time cycling legends and has won virtually every local race at least once with over 400 major race victories during his 17-year career. Lange won the 2010 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour and took second place in his final competitive Argus in 2011 and bagged the first place in Pick n Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge, Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, Tour de Soweto 2009, Central Gauteng Champs 2009, Century 21 Bela Bela Classic 2009, and Central Gauteng Road Championships 2009 besides bagging the second place in Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour 2011.

The cyclist further added that he had been unfairly criticized about his return, with his detractors making claims that the move was due to him being unable to compete in Europe and said he realized he was up against a system he had no control over when he turned professional for a Belgian team in 1996.

Lange holds the record for back-to-back wins at the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge in 2000 and 2001 and said he believed there were many riders in South Africa who could continue to do well internationally without using banned substances. He went on to remark that the country has great talent, including Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, who’s been racing incredibly well in Europe and it shows you that we can produce great champions. Lange hoped doping would decrease with the improved testing standards by remarking testing is getting better and that’s why the guys are getting caught and the testing that cycling has is really brilliant and R10 from every book is going to Drug Free Sports to curb the problem we have in doping in all sports.

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