After testing positive for the veterinary steroid clenbuterol in 2010, Alberto Contador offered a bad-meat defense and then lashed out. “I believed in the anti-doping system,” he said. “I no longer believe.” The controversy didn’t prevent him from racing in the 2011 Tour, but it did earn him a spot on our list of the most insane excuses for doping in cycling history.—Chris Keyes
1983: Adri van der Poel
WHO:Dutch Tour de France Rider SUBSTANCE: Strychnine EXCUSE: His father fed him pie made from euthanized pigeons.
1992: Alexi Grewal
WHO:1984 U.S. Olympic road-race gold medalist SUBSTANCE: Opiates EXCUSE: He’d gorged himself on poppyseed muffins.
2002: Frank Vandenbroucke
WHO: Belgian wunderkind SUBSTANCE: Possession of EPO, morphine, and clenbuterol EXCUSE: They were medicines for his anemic dog.
2002: Edita Rumsas
WHO: Wife of Lithuanian Raimondas Rumsas, who finished third at that year’s Tour SUBSTANCE: HGH, EPO, and a dozen other banned materials found in her car by French customs agents as she was leaving the country EXCUSE: They were for her mother.
2004: Tyler Hamilton
WHO: 2004 Olympic gold medalist SUBSTANCE: Caught with somebody else’s DNA in his blood EXCUSE: The DNA came from his chimeric twin, which had died in utero and been absorbed by Hamilton.
2006: Floyd Landis
WHO: Dethroned Tour champion SUBSTANCE: Testosterone EXCUSE: General manliness and whiskey were to blame for above-normal T levels.
2007: Björn Leukemans
WHO: Belgian journeyman SUBSTANCE: Testosterone EXCUSE: Hey, he was having sex when the drug testers showed up unannounced to take his urine sample.
2010: Alberto Contador
WHO: 2010 Tour de France winner SUBSTANCE: Clenbuterol EXCUSE: His steak was contaminated.
2011: Riccardo Ricco
WHO: Tour de France stage winner, expert climber SUBSTANCE: Rushed to a hospital after self-administering a blood transfusion EXCUSE: He gave himself a shot of "iron solution."
2013: Sylvain Georges
WHO: Tour of California stage winner SUBSTANCE: Heptaminol EXCUSE: His homeopathic remedy was tainted.
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