They say hindsight is twenty-twenty; it is only with the knowledge gained through experience that we are able to reframe the past in its proper context. Bike racing in the 2000’s will forever be known as the blood-transfusion era, the 90’s the EPO era, and the 80’s that of steroids and amphetamine.
Hopefully we don’t let this tarnish our experiences and jade us for the opportunity to spectate a clean sport.
But one fact has become tragically obvious with the recent emergence of lumberjack hipsters is that sideburn doping was rampant in the 70’s. Omerta appears to be alive and well; the stars of the era are suspiciously tight-lipped about whose ‘chops were natural and whose were follically enhanced. The Prophet Eddy Merckx and the Gypsy Roger de Vlaeminck were unavailable for comment.
Perhaps we will never know.