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Posted February 12, 2008
Cyclists have used drugs to improve their performance almost since the invention of the bicycle. At first the pharmacopoeia was primitive: ether, wine, cocaine, strychnine. The riders used anything they thought would ease the misery of the impossibly long distances that characterized racing in the early twentieth century. Over time, as the drugs grew more effective, the riders adopted them. In the 1930s amphetamines were synthesized, followed by steroids, EPO and now human growth hormone. Almost always the riders have stayed 1 step ahead of the detectors. Going back to nineteenth century original sources, Les Woodland has put together a riveting and distressing chronicle of cheating in bicycle racing. His discussion of the 1998 Festina scandal is simply superb. As with all of Woodland¿s books, it is written with style and authority. This man knows the sport as few others. - Bill McGann, Author of The Story of the Tour de FranceWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.