Some shocking news just popped up this morning (thanks, Roan). The winner of this year’s Gran Fondo New York tested positive during the event. The 3rd place woman was also busted.
First, why this is NOT shocking. The sport of cycling attracts many types of people, but I would gather to guess that at the upper end of the average leaderboard you’ll find some riders whom you might label as ‘Type A’, if you were being kind. It’s no surprise to me, even at the amateur level (and really, we’re not even talking real amateurs – mainly ‘Masters’), that some riders will dope to win.
No, what was surprising was the fact that these two cheaters were caught at all, i.e. there were doping controls. GFNY was apparently the first gran fondo to implement these tests, and they’ve already caught these two from this year, as well as a couple more from 2012. I have a little experience now with ‘serious’ sportives, like Etape du Tour, Haute Route and La Marmotte, and at least the first two of these events state in their FAQs that doping controls can be carried out at any time. But the thing is – and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong – I don’t think they’ve ever followed through on their threat. I’ve certainly never seen any and I’ve done 4 Etapes and 2 Haute Routes now.
So bravo Uli Fluhme and GFNY for walking the walk. Hopefully other ‘serious’ events are paying attention.
Here’s the article: http://www.stickybottle.com/latest-news/gran-fondo-winner-stripped-of-victory-after-testing-positive-for-drugs/