With American cyclist Lance Armstrong being stripped of all his seven Tour de France titles as well as all the records and prizes that he has held over the years after being sanctioned by the US Anti Doping Agency, Australian cyclist Cadel Evans may now be seen as the ‘moral’ winner or at least the runner-up of the 2005 edition of the Tour de France.
Although Evans finished the 2005 edition of the Tour de France, all the seven cyclists in front of him have been banned, investigated or sanctioned for doping offences at some point in their careers.
However, it will not be considered as official as none of the cyclists tested positive for the use of banned substance during that particular edition of the Tour de France itself. Armstrong made it clear in a statement that he will not be seeking arbitration against the charges of doping brought against him by the US Anti Doping Agency and a statement from the agency has already confirmed that all his titles have been stripped and he has been banned for life.
And although the Australian Cadel Evans has not been available for comment, it can be stated clearly that for a cyclist who went about his job with his head down, it may be considered as a justified and moral victory for the 35 year old veteran. Evans came close to winning the Tour de France on a couple of occasions after the 2005 edition, but he failed to succeed before finally securing the title last year in 2011.
With the world of professional cycling courting regular controversies with doping allegations, a moral victory for Cadel Evans, one of the cleanest athletes the sport has ever seen might be seen as a victory for the sport and the fans overall too.