Why There May Be No Official Winner of the Tour de France From 1999 to 2005

4281180447_11a57c0e3c_bLance Armstrong. Photo: PoweriPics/Flickr

"Twenty of the 21 podium finishers in the Tour de France from 1999 through 2005 have been directly tied to likely doping through admissions, sanctions, public investigations or exceeding the UCI hematocrit threshold. Of the 45 podium finishes during the time period between 1996 and 2010, 36 were by riders similarly tainted by doping." USADA Reasoned Decision Against Lance Armstrong

When news outlets, including Outside, published articles on the recent United States Anti-Doping Agency's report on Lance Armstrong, one of the most referenced lines was a stat: 20 out of the 21 podium finishers had been directly tied to "likely doping." The obvious question was, Who was the one person not tied to "likely doping"?

I emailed and called the USADA to get an answer, but haven't heard back. They are understandably busy. So, I did the next most obvious and slightly more time-consuming thing. I went back through news reports and the Tour de France standings to see who the 21st man might be.

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