Thursday, June 11, 2009

Two time Tour de France champion Laurent Fignon said he can’t 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" interview program 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, has been diagnosed with an advanced cancer that has spread through his gastro-intestinal system and has metastasized in his pancreas as well. Fignon recorded the TV interview to publicize his forthcoming book, "We were young and unconcerned."
The book describes the life of racing cyclists in past years, including the range of stimulants and corticoids 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 Milan-San Remo in both 1988 and 1989.


30 Cent Bike said...

I remember reading a quote from Fignon that was something like:

I did what I had to to win le tour, if I die when I am 50 that is my problem...

Bart said...

Will the threat for Fignon result in a scenario reminiscent of Micky Mantle's death?

gpickle said...

Okay, I found the very quote, Cycle Sport America November 2003, Part Two of The Living Legends Two Part Special:

(Page 84)

Tour Winners Laurent Fignon Winner in 1983 and '84

Interviewed on Thursday February 27 2003. Saint Maurice, France

"The whole world thinks that we are all doped our whole lives, which is totally false. They can say what they want. Perhaps I was doped, but that is only my concern. I endured, I was serious and I did what I had to. If I die when I am 50, that's my problem."

It is a sad business, whether or not his doping contributed to his current health issues, he was certainly aware of the glory and the consequences.

the mostly reverend said...

thanks for the research, g pick. he is as tough now as he has always been: he recently said, "it's not good for me, i don't have long to live." and then on to say "i'm going to beat this."
he certainly made for some great racing. i'll be watching him on my analog tv and dvd and video tape machines.