MPCC signals sharp rise in the number of doping cases

They say the number of cases has almost doubled in a year

The MPCC (Movement For Credible Cycling) has said 2019 saw a sharp rise in doping cases, bucking a recent trend of not being amongst the sports most troubled by doping.

In the MPCC’s ranking of sports affected by doping, cycling rose from 13th to 5th and now sits behind only track and field, weightlifting, baseball and American football.

>> Struggling to get out to the shops. Buy the latest issue of Cycling Weekly here, or try 6 issues for just £6 <<

2019 saw Operation Aderlass implicate a number of cyclists in the alleged doping practices of  German physician Mark Schmidt.

The MPCC have said it “is not out of the question” that further names will soon be revealed in connection with the scandal, but that also this specific investigation alone does not solely account for the increase in the number of cycling doping cases.

The organisation cites two hypotheses they currently have that explains the increase. The first is that 2019 saw an increased interest in doping from those involved in the sport, and the second is that better-targeted doping tests are now available.

>>> ‘Doping is still really bad today’: Former Belgian champion reveals own blood doping past in gritty autobiographical film

In their statement, the MPCC said: “A year ago, we were writing that data for cycling doping, from one year to the next, was not suggesting any real trend in the medium term, unlike other sports where an ever-increasing number of cases were revealed.

“This year, we’re noting a clear break with the recent past. This sudden increase was equally observed in men’s and women’s cycling, whether it was track cycling or road cycling (all things considered). While cycling had kept plummeting in the list of sports most affected by doping, it rose again from 13th to 5th in the span of just one year.”

The other big doping stories of 2019 included Juan José Cobo being stripped of his 2011 Vuelta a España title after he was found guilty of doping.

The retired pro was also suspended from racing for three years and Chris Froome was handed what is now his first-ever Grand Tour victory.