As the Tour de France sped into Paris on Sunday many were left wondering what fate lies in wait for the sport of cycling. As Spaniard Alberto Contador slipped on the yellow jersey the organisers of Le Tour must have been left shaking their heads wondering how another race lay in tatters, another drug scandal dominating the headlines?It should never have been the case. Measures were put in place before the race even began as cycling bosses declared war on the dopers. Before the race all the teams were forced to sign a landmark anti-doping pledge. Many complained, but they all signed. The move had most convinced that the Tour would be clean. But that pledge was always going to be tested and the 2007 edition of cycling?s most famous race was put under pressure early when it was revealed that tour leader Michael Rasmussen had been given formal warnings for missing two random doping controls this year. It was the last thing the Tour de France needed after the Floyd Landis debacle in 2006. But a couple of days later, the race had lost all credibility when pre-race favourite Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for blood doping. He and Rasmussen were booted from the tour, but the damage was already done. Contador also finds himself under suspicion, but cycling has been battling a bad reputation for years, and there is not a single rider left on tour who can compete without the dark cloud of doping hovering nearby. When a rider has a good day few praise him without wondering whether or not it was done naturally. It is a sad indictment not only on cycling, but on sport in general. There are a lot of people on their soapboxes at the moment spouting off about ?clean? sport, slamming cyclists that dope and calling for an end to the Tour de France. But if Le Tour is cut from the global calendar we are destined to see the end of most big sporting events because if you are looking for ?clean? sport, you are going to be in for one hell of a search. The coverage of the current doping scandal engulfing the Tour de France is well documented. Indeed, we are all aware of the problems involving doping across all sports. Football, rugby, athletics, tennis, swimming ? even cricket and golf ? have had their share of problems. But if you think it is only the pros using performance-enhancing drugs, you are sadly mistaken. Cycling may be getting it in the neck this time around, but the cesspool that lies beneath it runs deep. I personally know a number of regular gym-goers that will stop at nothing to get as big, and strong, as humanly possible. I have heard of bodybuilders using insecticide to heat up their cores in an effort to promote vascularity ? a key to picking up points on stage ? while growth hormone, steroids and much more is commonplace in gyms around the world. Last year when the Landis story broke I spoke to Dr Shuaib Manjra, CEO of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport, and along with the usual horror stories, he highlighted some frightening insights into school children taking drugs to improve their chances of making the A team. Looking to pack on the muscle, oblivious to the effects that the drugs have on their bodies and desperate to stake a claim in a lucrative career of pro sports, kids across South Africa ? and the rest of the world ? are increasingly turning to un-natural means. More disturbing is the growing trend of where they get the drugs from ? their parents and their doctors. With sponsorships up for grabs and big money contracts with the unions on offer, parents are pushing more than just supplements on their children. Drugs are being peddled in the gyms, while some doctors readily provide patients with performance-enhancing drugs. Testing has already begun at Craven Week, which only serves to highlight the growing problems in sport. If we need to test our kids, it is clear we are losing touch with the very essence of sport. Cycling seems to be fighting a war it cannot win, but it is not alone. Sporting bodies across the globe are battling to curb the blight of doping, but it seems they are always three steps behind. Mail me all your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.