2000 Mountain Biking World Cup 2000 Mountain Biking World Cup
2000 Mountain Biking World Cup
2000 Mountain Biking World Cup 2000 Mountain Biking World Cup
2000 Mountain Biking World Cup 2000 Mountain Biking World Cup
2000 Mountain Biking World Cup





MountainZone.com Marketplace


MountainZone.com Auctions



Check out:
2000 Schedule
'99 World Cup





 
click for:  »Race   »Photos   

It's True Mountain Bikers Take Drugs
Houffalize, Belgium: April 30, 2000

Back to Story: Huffin' It in Houffalize

The industry is all abuzz over '96 World Champion Jerome Chiotti's recent confession that he used the performance-enhancing drug EPO to win his rainbow jersey, and thus this weekend took on a strange vibe in the race pits. Until now, denial is the best word to describe the mountain bike community's head-in-the-sand attitude toward performance-enhancing drugs in competition, yet Chiotti seems to have changed everything with the release of the May issue of France's Velo Vert Magazine.

Chiotti wasn't in Houffalize, his team explaining that he's a bit overwhelmed by the reaction to his interview and stayed at home this weekend. No wonder, as the famous French sports newspaper L'Equipe sent three reporters to the race, and publications around the world pick up the story of mountain biking's loss of innocence.

The French cycling federation now controls much of Chiotti's destiny, and can impose suspension among other sanctions in the next weeks or months. Only then will the UCI take any kind of official action, which could include stripping the French rider of his World Championship title after the fact.

Regardless of any official action or reaction, the proverbial cat is out of the bag, and things are changing already. Riders are coming under increased scrutiny as they speed by the timing towers on course, and observers wonder what long-term effects Chiotti's official acknowledgement will have on their beloved sport. For now, one effect is the questioning of every fast rider's performance on the track, whether that scrutiny is deserved or not.

There are no simple solutions or answers to the issue of drugs in sport. Yet it is a topic of which fans and spectators need to be aware, and this weekend may be the signal that some changes are in the air for the sport and how it is perceived from this day forward.

Ari Cheren, MountainZone.com correspondent

[World Cup Home] [World Cup Schedule]
[Mt Biking Home] [MountainZone.com Home]