“Doping has been around since the beginning of time, but these are not the same products they use now” - French ex-pro sensationally accuses Tadej Pogacar

Given cycling's somewhat murky past in regards to doping, there will always be those who question when a rider begins to dominate. Tadej Pogacar, after his comprehensive victory at the Giro d'Italia is now coming under fire from those doubters.

“I saw them in the passes that I also climbed. It's amazing what Pogacar did. He's not tired, he goes up climbs laughing," says French ex-pro and former teammate of Laurent Fignon, Philippe Saudé in a sensational allegation of the UAE Team Emirates leader's doping in conversation with RMC. "Soon we will have to put bales of straw on the climbs.”

Although he has no proof to back up these allegations, Saude is clear in what he accuses and makes no bones about it either. “Doping has been around since the beginning of time, but these are not the same products they use now,” the experienced Frenchman continues. “And what will happen in the coming years is scary.”

At the 2023 Tour de France, Jonas Vingegaard too was in the midst of a doping allegation storm after he destroyed the field, Pogacar included, in an individual time-trial and after the then-Jumbo-Visma dominated at the Vuelta a Espana. Saude has back-up in his allegations on Pogacar if not proof, with former Festina coach Antoine Vayer calling the performance 'Inhuman.'

“The other best riders in the world have 10-15% less watts and are no longer trying to keep up," Vayer says, adding fuel to the fire of the doubters. "If we are not complicit or intellectually dishonest and if we are clear, we will understand the extent of the underlying deception that we know all too well in this sport.”

In the end, Pogacar took a dominant victory by just short of ten minutes at the Giro d'Italia ahead of Daniel Martinez. Currently the Slovenian is resting up ahead of the second leg of his Grand Tour double at the Tour de France later this summer.

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