Ex-Tour champion questions cancer-doping link

Laurent Fignon's link between his advanced cancer and doping

1986: Laurent Fignon of France in action during the World Cycling Championships in Denver, Colorado, USA

Former double Tour de France champion Laurent Fignon cannot rule out a link between his advanced cancer and doping, according to a French TV interview to be broadcast on Sunday.


The retired winner of the Tour in 1983 and 1984, told the “7 a 8” programme there might have been a connection between doping and the advanced cancer affecting his digestive system, even though doctors assured him this was unlikely.

Fignon, who tested positive for illegal substances twice in the late 1980s, recorded the TV interview to publicise his forthcoming book, “We were young and unconcerned”.

The book describes the life of racing cyclists in past years, including the range of stimulants taken by riders.

“In those days everyone was doing it,” he explained. “But it is impossible to know to what extent doping harms you.

“Whether those who lived through 1998, when a lot of extreme things happened, will get cancer after 10 or 20 years, I really can’t say,” added Fignon, who also won the 1989 Giro d’Italia and the Milan-Sanremo classic in both 1988 and 1989.


© AFP 2009