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Impossible to win Tour De France titles without using drugs, says Indian cyclist
The recent interview with Oprah Winfrey in which Lance Armstrong admitted the use of performance-enhancing drugs during his successful career has disappointed his fans in India as well. Amit Kumar, a cyclist who has represented India at various international tournaments, could not believe the cyclist when he admitted the use of drugs.

An ardent fan of Armstrong, Kumar, however, believes that nobody can contest the fact that Armstrong is talented. “Even with drugs, it is not possible to win seven Tour De France titles. We cannot forget the talent and the skills of Armstrong,” Kumar told this citizen journalist .

Tour De France is one of the biggest cycling events in the world, which stretches over more than 20 days. It is an ultimate test of a cyclist, and not all can cope with it. It stretches the cyclist to the hilt.

During the interview, Armstrong also stated that it was impossible to win Tour De France titles without using performance enhancing drugs. When Amit was asked the same, he replied, “To some extent, he is true.”

The Tour De France drains out the cyclists’ right from the first week, where they are expected to ride in difficult conditions, which also includes a ride uphill and the route is not an easy one. In the process, it takes a toll on the cyclists. In order to stay alive in the competition, the cyclists adopt various methods, but when nothing works many use performance enhancing drugs. Many use this as the last resort to re-energize themselves. “There is a certain limit that a body can take but when it exceeds the limit, some cyclists use performance enhancing drugs,” Kumar said.

The use of such drugs dates back to 1903 and still the game has been poisoned with it. With Armstrong's doping confession, the game has come into a bad light and many people are degrading the sport as well for the regular use of doping in Tour De France.

But, Kumar does not think on the same lines. “There have been so many match fixing scandals in cricket, but still the game of cricket carries on and the same will happen with cycling too,” Kumar hoped.

One fact that cannot be overlooked is that the game is under serious threat as it may also face ban in Olympics. Cycling in India has been a growing sport, but we have not heard about doping among Indian cyclists. Kumar said, “It is very rare among Indian cyclists. But there are chances that the sport may witness an increase in doping because of the increase in the number of cycling competitions taking place.”

Kumar fears that doping may affect India sport as well. “The cyclists should be made aware. The competition should have a stricter rule. Blood doping tests should be conducted regularly from time to time,” he suggested.

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