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Doping in Cycling: Past and Present

In: The Economics of Professional Road Cycling


  • Hans Vandeweghe

    De Morgen)


As soon as sports were organized, competitors started looking for ways to improve their performances. Organized sports competitions were born in mid-nineteenth century, and pretty soon, it was said that there were “means” that could be used for special performances. Cycling was on the wrong track right from the start. No other sport would turn out to be more outstanding in impossibly hard races than cycling. As a result, doping and professional road cycling have a long intertwined history. In this chapter, first an overview of the most important doping products that were used throughout the twentieth century is presented, such as amphetamines, anabolic steroids, corticosteroids, and growth hormones. By the end of the century, a new wonder product came on the market. The introduction of EPO completely reshaped doping use in cycling. This chapter also illustrates the progress that has been made recently in testing doping as well as the difficulties that are still encountered. We conclude with an evaluation on where cycling stands today in its continuing fight against doping use.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Vandeweghe, 2016. "Doping in Cycling: Past and Present," Sports Economics, Management, and Policy, in: Daam Van Reeth & Daniel Joseph Larson (ed.), The Economics of Professional Road Cycling, edition 1, chapter 0, pages 285-311, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:semchp:978-3-319-22312-4_13
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-22312-4_13

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