The 2017 Tour de France hasn’t even started yet but it is already overshadowed by another doping case. Portuguese rider André Cardoso of team Trek-Segafredo was tested positive for EPO and subsequently suspended. A teammate to former Tour de France champion and convicted doping offender Alberto Contador, Cardoso asserted his innocence in a Facebook post, asking the public not to judge him prematurely.
The Tour de France, which is set to start in Düsseldorf (Germany) on Saturday, has been trying to restore its image for several years after more than a decade of doping scandal after doping scandal. As our chart illustrates, 2 in 3 winners of the past 20 years were tested positive for performance enhancing drugs or admitted to doping at a some stage during or after their career. American cyclist Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour seven consecutive times after surviving testicular cancer, was perhaps the most prominent case. Having fought off doping accusations for years, Armstrong had publicly admitted to systematic doping in a TV interview in 2013. He was subsequently stripped of all his Tour de France titles.