Italian Anti-Doping Agent Ettore Torri: Doping in Cycling Is Unstoppable
"I'm not the only one saying it. Lately, all of the cyclists I've interrogated have said that everyone dopes," the 78-year-old Ettore Torri told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
"The longer I'm involved in this the more I marvel at how widespread doping is," Torri said. "And I don't think it will be eradicated. Because it just evolves continuously. There are new substances coming out that can't be tested for."
Because so many cyclists are doping, Torri said that legalizing doping would be an alternative if it didn't harm the health of the cyclists.
Torri also noted that it is unfair anti-doping authorities prosecute only a small amount of the offenders, while the majority of those who dope are not prosecuted. "It's not fair when we single out one rider in 100," Torri told the AP.
For instance, seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has come under a great deal of federal scrutiny in recent weeks. Armstrong is being investigated by Food and Drug Administration agent Jeff Novitzky before a federal grand jury in Los Angeles.
Additionally, details emerged on Tuesday that three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador had abnormally high levels of plastic residues in a recent urine sample. This could indicate that he received a transfusion of his own blood during this year's race, an individual with knowledge of the test results reported to the AP.
"He can blame it on a filet he ate but that's not enough," Torri said of Contador's recent claims that something he ate caused the positive test. "He needs to prove it."
American cyclist Floyd Landis agrees with Torri. The cyclist, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title because of doping, recently noted at a conference in Australia that more cyclists need to be honest and talk about doping because the use is widespread.
Landis, who first denied doping, said that if he told the truth about the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs and cheating in cycling after admitting to his own use, he would not have been believed back in 2006.