Secrets in the Blood

Secrets in the Blood


Doping is a huge problem in competitive cycling

More from this series

  • Part One
    Is chaos reigning in the world's anti-doping systems ahead of the Beijing games?
  • Part Two
    Matt McGrath investigates cycling's sordid history of drug abuse.

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In the run up to the Beijing Olympics, Matt McGrath sets out to expose corruption, drug use and cover-ups at the highest levels in sport in this two-part investigation.

Part 2 - Cycling

For many people cycle racing has become a dirty sport, its athletes have been accused of being systematically fuelled by performance enhancing drug.

Despite the years of scandals and the promise of reform in cycling, some observers believe that doping and money are still corroding this most damaged of sports and tainting the Olympics themselves.

In the second part of this investigation, Matt investigates cycling's sordid history of drug abuse.

Documents given to him indicate that the scale and organisation of doping in the sport has reached crisis levels.

He speaks to one member of cycling's governing body, who says it can no longer be trusted to do its own anti-doping.

He shows how efforts to develop a coherent anti-doping strategy have been undermined by political in-fighting.

So contentious has the issue of anti-doping become that many of the leading European players in the sport are on the verge of forming a breakaway organisation.

It was once said of the Olympics that taking part was more important than winning but for many people this just isn't enough of a reward.

The investigation also calls into question the way in which sports like cycling are selected to be part of the Olympics.

Is it possible to buy your way into the Games?

Listen to Matt as he investigates if the reputation and respect of the Olympics is being ridden away.

First broadcast on 28th July 2008.

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