Cycling moves down sports' doping list three places to 8th, with 18 recorded cases in 2020

The MPCC says that hope cycling is getting cleaner should be met with caution

(Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Cycling had the eighth-most doping cases in 2020, according to the Movement For Credible Cycling's 2020 'credibility barometer'.

The sport has dropped three places, from fifth the previous year, and up from 13th in 2018, in the MPCC's annual ranking of doping cases by sport.

There were 18 recorded doping cases in cycling in 2020, compared with the 113 in track and field that topped the list, and the 50 of second-place weightlifting.

These 18 cases in cycling is nearly half last year's total of 32, the MPCC saying 2019 was a "brutal year" for cycling, having seen its cases double from 2018's figures.

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Equestrian, MMA, tennis and baseball were the other sports that registered more doping cases, with cycling topping football, rugby and swimming.

The MPCC also showed the cases by country, with the USA recording the most, 76, followed by Russia with 42, while in Europe Italy and the UK were the two countries most affected by doping in 2020.


The MPCC says the drop in positives should be met with caution, as the coronavirus pandemic made it harder to organise doping controls than last year, and therefore adds complexity to how their latest barometer, published for the seventh consecutive year, is interpreted.

As well as the World Anti-Doping Agency and national federations not being able to carry out as many out-of-competition controls as in previous years, the large number of cancelled events also saw the number of in-competition tests decrease. This led to a 18.6 per cent fall in positive tests across all sports compared to 2019, and down 30 per cent on 2018's number.

There is some good news, however, with 2020 seeing the lowest number of WorldTour positives since its inception in 2005.

"Let us conclude this 2020 report with an encouraging figure: among the suspected doping cases, only three riders (men) belong to WorldTour Teams or ProTeams (there were 8 last year)," the MPCC said. "Not since the creation of the WorldTour 15 years ago has this number been so low."

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.