6. The Stories They Tell

Cycling history’s most inventive alibis for drug scandals

Doping Tour De France cyclists

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 won't prevent him from racing in this year’s Tour, but it did earn him a spot on our list.

1. 1983
Adri van der Poel
Dutch Tour de France Rider
SUBSTANCE: Strychnine
EXCUSE: His father fed him pie made from euthanized pigeons.

2. 1992
Alexi Grewal
1984 U.S. Olympic road-race gold medalist
EXCUSE: He’d gorged himself on poppyseed muffins.

3. 2002
Frank Vandenbroucke
Belgian wunderkind
SUBSTANCE: Possession of EPO, morphine, and clenbu­terol
EXCUSE: They were medicines for his anemic dog.

4. 2002
Edita Rumsas
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.

5. 2004
Tyler Hamilton
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.

6. 2006
Floyd Landis
dethroned Tour champion
DRUG: Testosterone
EXCUSE: General manliness and whiskey were to blame for above-normal T levels.

7. 2007
Björn Leukemans
Belgian journeyman
DRUG: Testosterone
EXCUSE: Hey, he was having sex when the drug testers showed up unannounced to take his urine sample.

8. 2010
Alberto Contador
DRUG: Clenbuterol
EXCUSE: His steak was contaminated.

Filed To: Sports, Events, Road Biking, France
From Outside Magazine, Jul 2011

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