We look back at the Vuelta a Espana top ten from 1998 to 2007 and study the impact positive dope tests and doping scandals have had on the credibility of the event.

Looking back over the past ten editions of the Vuelta, we have crossed through the names of all riders who have tested positive, served a suspension or were significantly linked to an anti-doping investigation at any time in their career.

Riders with question marks hanging over them are marked with asterisks.

Each rider’s offence or alleged offence is clearly explained the first time they appear in this article.

To be absolutely clear, striking through a riders name does not equal an allegation that their result in that particular race was achieved while doping. What it means is that the rider in question tested positive or was sanctioned or sacked at some point in their career, either prior or subsequently.

Back to The Wednesday Comment, September 17, 2008

LINKS

How the shadow of doping has damaged the grand tours in the past decade.

Giro d’Italia 1999-2008

Tour de France 1999-2008

1998

1 ABRAHAM OLANO (Spain)

2 FERNANDO ESCARTIN (Spain)

3 JOSE MARIA JIMENEZ (Spain)

4 LANCE ARMSTRONG (USA) *

In August 2005, L’Equipe alleged six of Armstrong’s urine samples, taken during the 1999 Tour de France, contained EPO. There was no ratified EPO test in 1999, but the samples were tested as part of a study in 2004 and 2005. There was no counter-analysis (B-sample tests) and no proceedings can be taken against Armstrong in any case because the alleged offence is more than seven years old. Also tested positive for a corticosteroid during the 1999 Tour, for which he retrospectively produced a medical certificate

5 LAURENT JALABERT (France)

6 ROBERTO HERAS (Spain)

Tested positive for EPO at the 2006 Vuelta a Espana, which he had won. Stripped of that race win and banned for two years

7 ALVARO GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO (Spain)

8 ALEX ZULLE (Switzerland)

Admitted to using EPO in the wake of the 1998 Festina Affair and was banned for seventh months. However, before his ban he was eligible to ride the Vuelta

9 MARCO SERPELLINI (Italy)

10 MARCOS SERRANO (Spain)

Named in the Operacion Puerto documents in 2006

1999

1 JAN ULLRICH (Germany)

In 2006 he was named in the Operacion Puerto documents as a client of Dr Eufamiano Fuentes. Sacked by T-Mobile because he had signed a document stating he was not involved in the OP investigation. Retired. Served a suspension in 2002-03 after testing positive for amphetamines out of competition

2 IGOR GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO (Spain)

French anti-doping authorities declared his level of salbutamol – permitted by a Therapeutic Use Exemption from the UCI – was too high during 2002 Tour de France. Prevented from riding the Tour in 2003

3 ROBERTO HERAS (Spain)

4 PAVEL TONKOV (Russia)

5 JOSE MARIA JIMENEZ (Spain)

6 JOSE LUIS RUBIERA (Spain)

7 MANUEL BELTRAN (Spain)

Tested positive for EPO at the 2008 Tour de France. Sacked by Liquigas

8 LEONARDO PIEPOLI (Italy)

Cleared by Monaco Cycling Federation after salbutamol positive at the 2007 Giro d’Italia. Reported to have admitted doping to Saunier Duval management during 2008 Tour de France. Sacked for breaking team’s ethical code

9 IVAN PARRA (Colombia)

10 SANTIAGO BLANCO (Spain)

2000

1 ROBERTO HERAS (Spain)

2 ANGEL CASERO (Spain)

Named in Operacion Puerto documents in 2006, after he had retired

3 PAVEL TONKOV (Russia)

4 SANTOS GONZALEZ (Spain) *

Stopped from starting a stage of the 2005 Vuelta by his Phonak team after routine in-house tests showed irregularities

5 RAIMONDAS RUMSAS (Lithuania)

His wife Edita was stopped in her car as she tried to drive from France to Italy after the Tour. Performance-enhancing drugs were found in the car, which she said were for her mother-in-law. Rumsas failed a doped test for EPO at the 2003 Giro d’Italia, where he was sixth overall. He was banned for a year

6 ROBERTO LAISEKA (Spain)

7 FERNANDO ESCARTIN (Spain)

8 CARLOS SASTRE (Spain)

9 MASSIMILIANO GENTILI (Italy)

10 HAIMAR ZUBELDIA (Spain)

2001

1 ANGEL CASERO (Spain)

2 OSCAR SEVILLA (Spain)

Named in the Operacion Puerto documents. Sacked by T-Mobile. Sevilla initially retired but is now riding for Rock Racing

3 LEVI LEIPHEIMER (USA)

4 ROBERTO HERAS (Spain)

5 JUAN MIGUEL MERCADO (Spain)

6 DAVID PLAZA (Spain)

7 JOSE LUIS RUBIERA (Spain)

8 KLAUS MOLLER (Denmark)

Served a six-month suspension in 1999 after a positive test

9 AITOR OSA (Spain)

Named in Operacion Puerto documents

10 FERNANDO ESCARTIN (Spain)

2002

1 AITOR GONZALEZ (Spain)

Banned for two years after failing two tests in 2005 for an anabolic steroid

2 ROBERTO HERAS (Spain)

3 JOSEBA BELOKI (Spain)

Named in Operacion Puerto documents in 2006. Denied involvement. No sanctions taken. Retired

4 OSCAR SEVILLA (Spain)

5 IBAN MAYO (Spain)

Tested positive for EPO at the 2007 Tour de France. Initially the B Test was negative. However, later in the year, a French laboratory confirmed the positive test. The case, though, is still in limbo

6 ANGEL CASERO (Spain)

7 FRANCESCO CASAGRANDE (Italy)

Twice tested positive for testosterone in 1998, banned for nine months

8 FELIX GARCIA CASAS (Spain)

9 MANUEL BELTRAN (Spain)

Tested positive for EPO at the 2008 Tour de France. Sacked by Liquigas

10 GILBERTO SIMONI (Italy) *

2003

1 ROBERTO HERAS (Spain)

2 ISIDRO NOZAL (Spain)

Failed a haematocrit test in 2005. Named in Operacion Puerto documents in 2006. Denied involvement, cleared by Spanish Cycling Federation. No sanctions taken

3 ALEJANDRO VALVERDE (Spain) *

Alleged to be the rider referred to as Valv.Piti in the Operacion Puerto documents. Vehemently denies he was involved and is allowed to race on

4 IGOR GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO (Spain)

5 FRANCISCO MANCEBO (Spain)

Named in Operacion Puerto documents. Sacked by Ag2r. Retired

6 MANUEL BELTRAN (Spain)

7 MICHAEL RASMUSSEN (Denmark)

Expelled from the 2007 Tour de France while wearing the yellow jersey after it emerged he had given false information to the anti-doping authorities concerning his whereabouts in May and June of that year. There were also allegations he had asked a friend to import banned drugs to Italy for him, hidden in a shoe box. Rabobank sacked him for breaking the team’s internal code by lying about his whereabouts. Banned for two years, a suspension which ends in July 2009

8 FELIX CARDENAS (Colombia)

9 UNAI OSA (Spain)

Named in Operacion Puerto documents in 2006

10 LUIS PEREZ (Spain)

2004

1 ROBERTO HERAS (Spain)

2 SANTIGO PEREZ (Spain)

Tested positive for a banned blood transfusion technique

3 FRANCISCO MANCEBO (Spain)

4 ALEJANDRO VALVERDE (Spain) *

5 CARLOS GARCIA QUESADA (Spain)

Named in Operacion Puerto documents in 2006. Released by Unibet.com. Retired

6 CARLOS SASTRE

7 ISIDRO NOZAL (Spain)

8 ANGEL GOMEZ (Spain)

9 LUIS PEREZ (Spain)

10 DAVID BLANCO (Spain)

Note Immediately outside top ten were Stefano Garzelli, Marcos Serrano, Manuel Beltran

2005

1 ROBERTO HERAS (Spain)

Stripped of this victory after testing positive for EPO. The win was awarded to Menchov

2 DENIS MENCHOV (Russia)

3 CARLOS SASTRE (Spain)

4 FRANCISCO MANCEBO (Spain)

5 CARLOS GARCIA QUESADA (Spain)

6 RUBEN PLAZA (Spain)

Named in the Operacion Puerto documents in 2006

7 OSCAR SEVILLA (Spain)

8 TOM DANIELSON (USA)

9 MAURICIO ARDILA (Colombia)

10 JUAN MIGUEL MERCADO (Spain)

2006

1 ALEXANDRE VINOKOUROV (Kazakhstan)

Tested positive for a banned blood transfusion at the 2007 Tour de France. Banned for one year by the Kazakh Cycling Federation, despite the mandatory ban being two years.

2 ALEJANDRO VALVERDE (Spain) *

3 ANDREY KASHECHKIN (Kazakhstan)

Left the 2007 Tour de France in the wake of team-mate Vinokourov’s positive test, along with the rest of the Astana team. Was visited by out-of-competition dope testers while on holiday in Turkey and tested positive for a banned blood transfusion

4 CARLOS SASTRE (Spain)

5 JOSE ANGEL GOMEZ MARCHANTE (Spain)

6 TOM DANIELSON (USA)

7 SAMUEL SANCHEZ (Spain)

8 VLADIMIR KARPETS (Russia)

9 MANUEL BELTRAN (Spain)

10 LUIS PEREZ (Spain)

2007

1 DENIS MENCHOV (Russia)

2 CARLOS SASTRE (Spain)

3 SAMUEL SANCHEZ (Spain)

4 CADEL EVANS (Australia)

5 EZEQUIEL MOSQUERA (Spain)

6 VLADIMIR EFIMKIN (Russia)

7 VLADIMIR KARPETS (Russia)

8 IGOR ANTON (Spain)

9 MANUEL BELTRAN (Spain)

10 CARLOS BARREDO (Spain)