Tour de France Director, Christian Prudhomme, said the basic format of the event would remain the same with “riders” completing each stage in a bus and then walking down a finishing chute where they would be tested for testosterone, EPO, and human growth hormone. The leading pharmacologist at the end of each stage would hold the prestigious “yellow syringe”.
“It has been obvious for many years that riders have attempted to beat the system by boosting their testosterone levels with intense cycling, while trying to cover their tracks by riding in big bunches” said Prudhomme. “To catch riders using bicycles we have developed a radical new test called ‘opening our eyes’.”
Not everyone is convinced that the renewed focus on cheating will make the Tour cycling-free, with drug commentators pointing to the example of Lance Armstrong who managed to win the Tour seven times in a row with record breaking amounts of illegal substances in his system.
“We all suspected Lance wasn’t winning on pharmaceuticals alone – but he covered his tracks with the ‘It’s not about the bike’ book and the cancer story that meant people thought he wasn’t capable of cycling” said retired drug competitor Ben Johnson. “Those steps, combined with the frankly tedious nature of the Tour, meant that no one noticed the tell-tales signs of cycling including hideous Lycra, a rash on his bottom, and monologues about split times and optimal tyre pressure.”
Diehard cycling fans are pleased the Tour is going back to its drug-fuelled roots and have really got into the spirit of things by dressing up as sports doctors and peeing into water bottles.
“I can’t wait to see what embarrassing and unusual side-effects appear this year” said English fan Dr Clive Evans. “Though it will be hard to top Bradley Wiggens’ sideburns and apparently he wasn’t even using drugs.”