Cav keeping it clean

Cycling is shaking off association with drugs, says Cavendish

Last Updated: 13/12/11 9:57am

Cavendish is annoyed by drug claims

Cycling sensation Mark Cavendish has launched a vehement defence of his sport and is hopeful of restoring its reputation after years of drug-related controversies.

""When I put all that work and someone says: 'Cycling is just dope.' No it isn't. That winds me up, it really does.""

Mark Cavendish

Quotes of the week

The 26-year-old, who seized the green points jersey at the Tour de France this year, scooped another major award on 7 December with the Sports Journalists' Association Sportsman of the Year Award.

Cavendish has enjoyed a breakthrough year in which he won the Road World Championships in Copenhagen and was awarded an MBE.

Stringent

The Isle-of-Man-born star has used his increasing exposure to emphasise the honour of true cycling competition, telling Sky Sports: "The last three years, I've had over 60 dope tests per year. I was the most tested athlete on the planet in 2008/2009.

"Because of what people have done in the past, cycling does not want that again. People say: 'Oh look, there's been a positive test in cycling.' Well that's because they're doing things to catch them!

"When they are catching them, they don't care about the image or the franchise of the sport, they care about making a cleaner and a fairer sport so they make an example of these people."

Progress

"I've raced with these guys every day and since I started racing pro in 2005, I've notcied a difference in the sport. There are bigger groups at the finish and everybody's on their hands and knees. Nobody's bouncing around, fresh as a daisy after a stage any more.

"It's such a hard sport. It's so frustrating because we work so hard. I ride 50,000km a year. I train and less than half of that is racing so I have to do the rest training to make sure I'm good for those races.

"When I put all that work and someone says: 'Cycling is just dope.' No it isn't. That winds me up, it really does."