Moreni. Rasmussen. Vinokorouv. Mayo. Basso. Ullrich.

Ring a bell? No? OK, then, how about-

Landis. Hamilton.

Still no bell?


All of them, save the last, have been caught doping (or are under severe suspicion) in Le Tour.

Testing is crooked. I forgot to turn in my training log. The fall caused a false positive. A twin who never developed caused a false positive.

Those are the excuses. We can thank Tyler Hamilton for the last one, which is downright insulting.

Most of the men above have either won a tour or have been touted as podium-worthy. In other words, these are the LeBron James, the Tom Bradys, the Michael Phelps. the Curt Schillings, and the Tiger Woods of cycling. And all of them, except for Rasmussen and Armstrong, have tested positive. In the last two years.

There goes my hero worship. There goes my awe of the men who, over three weeks’ time, ride over 2,000 miles and through two mountain ranges. But my love for the two outweighs my disgust and disappointment at the players, and this too shall pass.

The Tour de France commentators who, earlier in the tour, jubilantly referred to stage winners as champions and full of heart scrambled (albeit soberly) to regroup, to make the Tour still relevant.

Consider Lance’s seven wins. Those chasing him, Ullrich and Basso, tested positive. This either makes the cloud of suspicion hover over him or makes his feat that much more incredible.

And the cyclists themselves? Well, no-excuses American rider Chris Horner, is glad to see cycling getting cleaned up: “The controls are working.”

I hope so.