Bad Blood: The Secret Life of the Tour de France
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Jeremy Whittle’s journey from unquestioning fan to Tour de France insider and confirmed skeptic is the story of how a sport has been corrupted by commercialism, scandal and drugs. In effect, Whittle claims, the sport is destroying itself from within.
message to pass on is never drink with Olympic-level athletes – many of them are also Olympic-level drinkers … I liked David Millar immediately, perhaps because he was so different to other athletes that I had met. He was irreverent, intelligent and funny, with a big smile, angular good looks, and an open nature. He was interested in the world beyond his sport, and beyond The Race. Even now, four years after he was banned for doping in 2004, I can’t help but feel protective of him. Perhaps it’s
the pills into my mouth. I can, in the style of Richard Virenque in a French courtroom, plead innocence and say I didn’t know what I was taking, but that would be disingenuous. It would also be a lie. Maybe it was the overall cheapness of the trip that caused my moral compass to spin out of control. But I can’t really blame the snoring and farting in our pre-race dormitory accommodation for my fatigue, nor my sacrilegious choice of the Italian national champion’s jersey for race day, which led
hard to deal with people when I go back.’ Paul ran into some old acquaintances on the 2006 Tour. They were awkward encounters. It wasn’t easy coming face to face with those who, in team cars and behind microphones, were propping up a system that he now despises and wants to tear down. ‘Most of the guys I raced with I’m now on pretty good terms with, but when I see the status attributed to other people who are held up as icons, some of them complete and utter fucking liars, it really drives me
and I said nobody believes anybody any more. They don’t believe that cycling – or any international federation – will police its own sport properly. They don’t believe national authorities will look after their own athletes properly and they don’t believe in the IOC any more. So we needed an independent agency, which led to the creation of WADA. In the process of all that, I was asked to run it, but I didn’t know anything about doping, and I’d damn near killed myself doing the Salt Lake City
almost disbelievingly, on the Paris podium in 1989 after he won his second Tour de France by eight seconds from Laurent Fignon. The American is wide-eyed, exultant, near hysterical with joy. A morbid Fignon, ponytail lank with despair, stands beside him, lost for words for once, his face blank with shock, beaten by an American in his home city. LeMond’s success that year remains the narrowest victory margin in the Tour’s history. That win was all the more incredible because he had been close to