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Study finds “alarming” sudden increase in cycling doping

The number of cases among professional elites has nearly doubled

Cycling is the most tested sport in Canada.

Since 2007 Mouvement pour un Cyclisme Crédible or Movement For Credible Cycling (MPCC) has been fighting for clean cycling. Last year, MPCC announced that the number of reported doping cases in cycling had remained steady, while an ever-increasing number of cases were revealed in other sports. In stark contrast, this year MPCC found a sudden increase in cycling doping cases. The number of cases revealed in 2019 amongst cycling’s professional elites has nearly doubled and cycling has risen from 13th to 5th in the list of sports most affected by doping. “Since the creation of our credibility barometer six years ago, cycling figures have never been this alarming,” said MPCC in their statement. “This year, we’re noting a clear break with the recent past. This sudden increase was equally observed in men’s and women’s cycling.”

The cases were spread across discipline and gender. Photo: MPCC

Track and field, weightlifting, baseball and American football were the only sports with more doping cases than cycling. MPCC has a number of theories on why there was such a sharp increase (thirty-two cyclists caught doping) in 2019. Seven of these cases were a result of Operation Aderlass, a police operation carried out with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which revealed an international blood doping network involving several sports —cycling in particular. MPCC also credits a renewed interest in doping and better targeted doping tests for the increase in doping cases this year.

Photo: MPCC

In 2019, Canada ranked 15th in the world for doping cases. The United States tops the list, in large part due to the staggering number of doping cases in american football (39 cases) and baseball (27 cases). 2019 also marked the year WADA banned Russia from all major sporting events for four years due to doping violations, as they racked up 21 doping cases and 9 cases of fraud from executives in athletics and 16 doping cases in weightlifting.