Doping and sports - 1965


In April 1965, the use of doping in sports competitions became punishable by law in Belgium and France.


An American physician from Bloomington, California, published a study in which three different commercial brands of anabolic steroids were given to young football players from the American tenth and eleventh class.


On June 1, 1965, France passed the Law 65-412, better known as 'la Loi Herzog', named after Minister of Youth and Sport Maurice Herzog (1919-2012). The law led to the first doping tests in the Tour de France in 1966. When the cyclists heard this they went on strike and asked doctor Pierre Dumas (1920-2000) to test if he had not drunk too much wine himself and if he did not take aspirin to make his job lighter. Further tests would also mean the end of the Tour 1966, was the threat. The professional cyclists considered it a violation of their personal freedom, and public opinion was behind them. The sanctions imposed by law were not light: a possible prison sentence of one year and a fine of five hundred euros.


'L'Union Cycliste Internationale' reacted with little enthusiasm to the doping tests. Later English sports journalist William Fotheringham (1964-) wrote about this in the British newspaper 'The Guardian':

"In 1962 the UCI rejected a motion from the Polish federation to give the UCI the responsibility in the doping battle. If there were measures against doping in cycling, they came from the Italian, Belgian, Swiss and French police, who considered the actions against athletes as an extension of their operations against drug executives and also acted accordingly. The first anti-doping operations in cycling races were rough, had nothing to do with cycling and lacked any credibility. "


The controls carried out in 1965 among Belgian cyclists showed that 37% of professional cyclists and 23% of amateurs had taken amphetamines while it was reported from Italy that 46% of professional cyclists tested positive for doping.

Dutchman Peter Post (1933-2011) admitted later that he had doped in the 1965 Tour de France.

Spanish Luis Santamarina (1942-2017) was disqualified in the British 'Milk Race' because of doping. In protest, the entire Spanish team went home.

French amateurs Andre Bayssière (1943-) and Charly Grosskost (1944-2004) collapsed during the Tour de l'Avenir, later they confessed the use of amphetamines.