Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic are undoubtedly the stars of this 2020 edition of the Tour de France.

But these incredible performances and the liabilities of the Slovenian riders lead some to raise the possibility of a recourse to doping.

Our special envoy to Slovenia carried out the investigation.


Unmistakably, the impressive performances of Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic on the Tour de France 2020 arouse suspicion.

The former is the youngest Tour winner since 1904 when the latter displayed sparkling form throughout the competition, finishing second.

The doping spectrum hangs over the Great Loop.


- Tour de France 2020: Slovenian Tadej Pogacar winner

These suspicions also stem from their nationality: Slovenia has a very heavy liability in terms of positive checks of its riders.

The figures speak for themselves: 8 of the 19 Slovenian riders who turned professional at the highest level between 2009 and 2019 were suspended for doping, or 42%.

Last year Slovenia was the second country with the most runners tested positive behind Colombia. 

Recently, the repercussions of the Aderläss affair led to the suspension of Slovenian runners and sports directors, suspected of having done business with the German doctor Mark Schmitt who organized a vast network of doping by blood transfusions.

His trial opened last week.

"It disgusted me with cycling"

Some young people openly denounce the harmful influence of rotten managers.

Izidor Penko, 24 today, was vice-world champion in the youth time trial but never turned professional: "I have always been clean and I didn't want to risk my health, I didn't I didn't want to do certain things ... So I didn't want to deal with certain managers. I had good results, but suddenly none of the influential managers wanted me. It made me feel disgusted with cycling, "says the young man who decided to stop cycling in 2018.


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If he denounces the great influence of managers when he himself was running, a few years ago, Izidor Penko says he does not suspect the two Slovenian stars of the Tour de France of doping.

He raced in the same team as Tadej Pogacar in youth and, like many coaches, he assures that the new Tour winner was already above the rest.

Too big a problem for the Anti-Doping Agency

The Slovenian cycling authorities are carrying out prevention work with young people, in clubs, schools and with parents, to try to get to the root of the problem.

For its part, the Slovenian Anti-Doping Agency conducts hundreds of controls at the highest level, but its boss Janko Dvoršak draws a bitter observation: this year, out of the 500 tests carried out among the pros, only 1.5% were tested positive, a figure comparable to the rest of the world.

"This raises the question of the effectiveness of our tests: the scientific aspect today is the weak point in the fight against doping", affirms Janko Dvoršak.

"It's very hard for me to say because it's my job ... but it's too big a problem for us."

In any case, he recalls that Roglic and Pogacar have been followed very closely since the start of their journey, and that their name has never been associated with the slightest anomaly.