Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cyclists, like students, abuse ritalin.

If the counter-analysis does show the presence of EPO, Roberto Heras would be the second rider in Vuelta a España history to have the overall title stripped away due to a doping offense.

In 1982, Angel Arroyo was docked a 10-minute penalty days after officially winning the Vuelta and Marino Lejarreta was given the win.

Anti-doping controls were in their infancy in the early 1980s and outright racing bans were yet to be introduced. Instead, riders were issued time penalties for doping infractions.

Arroyo was among several riders who tested positive for Ritalin, a banned stimulant that was detected in stage 17 of that year's Vuelta. Other riders caught en masse were Vicente Belda (current sport director at Comunidad Valenciana), Alberto Fernández and Pedro Muñoz. The results of the test weren't revealed until several days after the Vuelta and Arroyo was slapped with a 10-minute fine and dropped to 13th overall.

The Vuelta was still held in the spring and Arroyo denied the doping allegations and went on to win a stage and finish second overall in the 1983 Tour de France.


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