Dr Hutch: The absurdity of doping excuses

This week Dr Hutch underlines the absurdity of the excuses made by the world’s fastest drug cheats

(Image credit: chris catchpole)

In all the excitement running into the Vuelta a España, you may have missed some charmingly old-school news. A dope-control sample provided by Spanish veteran and 2008 Olympic road race champion Samuel Sánchez disclosed the presence of an illegal human growth hormone. He’s denied any wrongdoing, and requested the testing of the B-sample.

This used to be what cycling was about. Dope tests, B-samples, and Googling pharmaceutical websites to check impossible spellings. A typical reporter at the Tour de France used to spend the race’s rest days like a coiled spring, waiting to pile into a car and race to the site of the latest denial of wrongdoing.

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Michael Hutchinson is a writer, journalist and former professional cyclist. As a rider he won multiple national titles in both Britain and Ireland and competed at the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. He was a three-time Brompton folding-bike World Champion, and once hit 73 mph riding down a hill in Wales. His Dr Hutch columns appears in every issue of Cycling Weekly magazine