Unfortunately, it’s the number one spot that requires it… When some people reach new heights, surpassing their opponents with ease, only one question arises: did they cheat to get there? Since the existence of the Tour de France and cycling in general, this question has come up repeatedly from the 1990s to 2000.
And this is particularly true since the confessions and denunciations of former riders and winners of the Grande Boucle. For example, the German Jan Ullrich, winner in 1997 and who lost his title after being involved in the Puerto affair in 2006. He has long tried to compete with the emblematic face of doping in cycling, the American Lance Armstrong, who won the 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 editions. s after her confession on the couch to Oprah Winfrey in 2013.
See also: Tour de France 2023: the yellow jersey, Jonas Vingegaard, deprives his teammate of the birth of his child!
The Tour de France, king of doping?
Doped winners having confessed or been caught red-handed, we can unfortunately cite many others, such as Floyd Landis, Alexandre Vinokourov or even Michael Rasmussen. In fact, with this tumultuous past of the former numbers one of the Tour de France, it has almost become usual to ask questions about the sincerity of a champion and the legitimacy of his performances. And Jonas Vingegaard is no exception to the rule.
Indeed, the current yellow jersey of the Tour de France has revived the doping debate with his latest stratospheric performances, worthy of an alien. While he only had a ten-second lead over his rival Tadej Pogacar (winner of the Tour de France in 2020 and 2021, editor’s note), the Dane distanced his main competitor by 7 minutes and 35 seconds in just two stages… Which revives the debate and raises new questions. Thus, after the 17e stage, this Wednesday, July 19, the main interested party took the floor to defend himself.
Jonas Vingegaard, not doped and his daughter can “prove” it
“It’s hard to trust cycling with what’s happened in the past. But I can assure you with all my heart that I haven’t taken anything, and I would never take anything that I wouldn’t give to my two-year-old daughter.”, did he declare. Words he had already made at a recent press conference, where he also said: “All I can say is that I’m not taking anything. It’s true that we are going fast, even faster than some ex-cyclists accused of doping”.
To ease the tensions concerning Jonas Vingegaard, Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, wanted to reassure. Indeed, the boss of the Grande Boucle spoke on Wednesday, stressing that the checks are carried out by an independent agency, “which was perhaps not the case before”: “The ITA (International Testing Agency) tests not only in cycling, but also in about fifty other disciplines… The yellow jersey is subject to daily tests, just like the bikes which are checked every day”, he assured. It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to dispel suspicion.