The Decade in Doping: Drugs in Cycling 2000 - 2010

Marc Biver

Marc Biver, Astana manager, announces Vinokourov's positive test in 2007


  • Former Giro winner Evgeni Berzin prevented from starting the race after failing haematocrit test.
  • Same fate awaits Serguei Ivanov, Andrej Hauptmann and Rossano Brasi before the Tour.
  • EPO test introduced in time for the Sydney Olympics.
  • Richard Virenque, a member of the 1998 Festina team, finally admits doping to a French court.


  • Dane Bo Hamburger is the first rider to fail the EPO test. He is followed by Riccardo Forconi, Pascal Hervé, Roland Meier and Niklas Axelsson.
  • Police raid team hotels in San Remo during the Giro d’Italia. Dario Frigo is kicked out and the 18th stage is cancelled.


  • US Postal Service sack Gianpaolo Mondini after it is revealed drugs were found in his room during the 2001 Giro.
  • Stefano Garzelli tests positive for masking agent probenicid during the Giro and is ejected.
  • Gilberto Simoni also leaves the Giro after testing positive for cocaine. He says it was in sweets his aunt bought in South America. He is later cleared.
  • Police raid Frank Vandenbroucke’s home and find drugs, including EPO. He says they were for his dog.
  • Brian Holm admits doping in his autobiography.
  • Raimondas Rumsas finishes third in the Tour de France but his wife Edita is stopped by border police as she heads back to Italy. EPO and growth hormone are found in her car. For her mother, she says.
  • Philippe Gaumont lifts the lid on doping in his book.
  • Belgian police investigate Johan Museeuw, Chris Peers and Jo Planckaert.
  • Rumsas tests positive for EPO after finishing sixth in the Giro


  • Jesus Manzano, who collapsed during a stage of the 2003 Tour de France, tells a newspaper it was because his Kelme team injected him with a bag of his own blood that had not been stored properly.
  • Dave Bruylandts and Oscar Camenzind positive for EPO.
  • Cofidis Affair erupts. Britain’s David Millar is arrested in Biarritz and confesses under police questioning. He is later stripped of his world time trial title.
  • Danilo Di Luca is prevented from riding the Tour de France as he is under investigation in Italy.
  • Tyler Hamilton tests positive for a banned blood transfusion after the Athens Olympics, where he won gold in the time trial. The B sample was frozen and so he was allowed to keep his medal. However, another positive test at the Vuelta a Espana was confirmed and he was banned. His Phonak team-mate Santiago Perez also positive for a blood transfusion after finishing second in the Vuelta.

Bernhard Kohl - Drugs in Cycling

Bernhard Kohl: caught after King of the Mountains win


  • Francisco Perez tests positive after each of two remarkable stage wins at the Tour of Romandy.
  • During the Tour EPO is found in a car driven by Dario Frigo’s wife.
  • Roberto Heras tests positive for EPO after clinching his fourth Vuelta win. He’s stripped of the victory.
  • Former Vuelta Espana winner Aitor Gonzalez tests positive twice.


  • Frankie Andreu, the former US Postal Service domestique and team-mate of Lance Armstrong, admits using EPO to prepare for the 1999 Tour.
  • Operacion Puerto – a Spanish investigation into organised doping at a Madrid clinic run by Dr Eufemiano Fuentes – erupts. Liberty Seguros team boss Manolo Saiz is arrested. On the eve of the Tour de France a list of riders who were clients of Dr Fuentes is revealed. On it are the two outstanding favourites, Ivan Basso of CSC and Jan Ullrich of T-Mobile, plus a string of high-profile riders.
  • Floyd Landis wins the Tour after an epic attack to Morzine to recover almost all of the 10 minutes he'd lost at La Toussuire. A few days after the race it's revealed Landis failed a dope test, recording a highly unusual ratio between testosterone and epitestosterone. There was also evidence of synthetic testosterone.


  • Former Deutsche Telekom riders Bjarne Riis, Erik Zabel, Rolf Aldag, Brian Holm, Christian Henn and Udo Bolts are among those to admit using EPO. Riis said he used it to prepare for the 1996 Tour, which he won. No sanctions are brought as the offences are outside the eight-year statute of limitations.
  • The biological passport is introduced by the UCI.
  • Di Luca is said to have the hormone levels of a child in the Giro.
  • Patrik Sinkewitz (testosterone), Iban Mayo (EPO), Lorenzo Bernucci (weight control drug), Matthias Kessler (testosterone), Jose Antonio Pecharroman (finasteride) are some of the riders to fail dope tests.
  • Alessandro Petacchi is declined a place in the Tour de France after exceeding the limit of asthma drug salbutamol permitted by his therapeutic use exemption form.
  • T-Mobile announces it is to withdraw its sponsorship of the team after a succession of scandals.
  • Cristian Moreni tests positive for testosterone at the Tour de France and his Cofidis team pulls out.
  • Alexandre Vinokourov tests positive for a banned blood transfusion and Astana also withdraw. After the Tour, UCI testers visit team-mate Andrey Kashechkin and he tests positive too.
  • Michael Rasmussen is pulled out of the Tour by his Rabobank team after it is revealed he lied about his whereabouts. Further revelations allege he once asked a friend to bring some bovine haemoglobin back to Europe from the US in a shoe box. Rasmussen pulls out of the Tour at Rabobank’s insistence.
  • T-Mobile sack Serguei Gonchar for registering unusual blood values at an internal test.
  • Patxi Vila (testosterone) is the first of a number of positive tests.
  • Former world champion Igor Astarloa is sacked by Milram for abnormal blood values.
  • It is reported Tom Boonen tested positive for cocaine at an out-of-competition test. Even though the drug is not banned out of competition, Boonen is prevented from riding the Tour.
  • Liquigas rider Manuel Beltran tests positive for EPO at the Tour de France, followed shortly after by Moises Duenas of Barloworld.
  • Riccardo Ricco of Saunier Duval tests positive for a new version of EPO, CERA, after winning two stages of the Tour.
  • In July, in an out-of-competition test Emanuele Sella is positive for CERA.
  • Further retrospective testing on Tour samples, using the new CERA test, catches stage winner Stefan Schumacher and King of the Mountains Bernhard Kohl. Their sponsor, Gerolsteiner, pulls out and the team collapses.
  • Dmitriy Fofonov is positive for heptaminol. Eddy Mazzoleni is banned and retires. World Hour record holder Ondrej Sosenka tests positive.

Jan Ulrich

Jan Ulrich leaves the Tour in 2006


  • Tyler Hamilton, back in action, tests positive for a steroid.
  • Davide Rebellin tests positive for CERA, shortly after winning Flèche Wallonne.
  • Katusha riders Christian Pfannberger and Antonio Colom both test positive for EPO.
  • Tom Boonen is positive for cocaine again, but this time he is allowed to ride the Tour.
  • Danilo Di Luca is positive for CERA at the Giro d’Italia.
  • The UCI and French anti-doping agency, AFLD, heal their rift and declare their intention to work together at the Tour.
  • A retrospective test on samples given by Thomas Dekker in 2007 are positive for EPO.
  • Mikel Astarloza tests positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test in late June but before the result is announced he wins a stage of the Tour de France.
  • Isidro Nozal (CERA) and Gabriele Bosisio (EPO) are positive.
  • The UCI and AFLD fall out again, with each party accusing the other of lapses in procedure.

Recommended Reading
What’s changed in Cycling? 2000 – 2010

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1