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The Wiel's-Groene Leeuw affair – At the stage from Luchon to Carcassonne of the 1962 Tour de France, twelve riders fell ill and said 'bad fish' was the cause.Tour doctor Pierre Dumas realized they had all been given the same drug by the same soigneur.
The report did allow that in this period it was common practice, and not illegal."The administration of or use by a competing athlete of any substance foreign to the body or any physiologic substance taken in abnormal quantity or taken by an abnormal route of entry into the body with the sole intention of increasing in an artificial and unfair manner his/her performance in competition.When necessity demands medical treatment with any substance which, because of its nature, dosage, or application is able to boost the athlete's performance in competition in an artificial and unfair manner, this too is regarded as doping." In 1886, a Welsh cyclist is popularly reputed to have died after drinking a blend of cocaine, caffeine and strychnine, supposedly in the Bordeaux–Paris race.In 1963, the Council of Europe gave a definition of doping."Doping means to make use of physiological substances in immoderate quantity or abnormal method from healthy people whose only aim is to obtain an artificial increase of the performance during the competition".Systematic blood doping at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The transfusions were to increase red blood cells in riders' blood. They received the blood of others with similar blood types. Steve Hegg, won a gold and a silver; Rebecca Twigg, Pat Mc Donough and Leonard Nitz won silver medals.
The practice, instigated by national coach Eddie Borysewicz, was not against Olympic rules although Games medical guidelines discouraged it. The others were John Beckman, Mark Whitehead and Brent Emery.
The increased thickness of the blood (above 70% red blood cells) increases the risk of blood clotting which can block blood vessels causing a heart attack or stroke, especially in the middle of the night when the heart's rate is lowest.
Doctors and blood specialists concluded that the drug could have been implicated in the deaths of as many as 18 European professional bicycle racers between 19.
Recombinant EPO is a bio-manufactured copy of a hormone normally produced in the kidney and was not detectable by any test at the time.
EPO stimulates the bone marrow in order to increase red blood cell production and thus the body's ability to carry oxygen.
The following is an incomplete list of doping cases and recurring accusations of doping in professional cycling, where doping means "use of physiological substances or abnormal method to obtain an artificial increase of performance".