For the year 2020, our credibility barometer places cycling as the 8th sport worldwide in terms of number of suspected doping cases. The previous year, it was ranked 5th.

The pandemic and its negative effects on the organization of doping controls this year make it more complex to interpret our credibility barometer, which we are presenting for the 7th consecutive year.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as well as many international federations confessed that they had not been able to carry out as many anti-doping tests as in previous years, especially regarding the “out-of-competition” tests. As a large number of events were cancelled or postponed (such as the Tokyo Olympics), the number of “in-competition” tests logically decreased as well. Therefore, it is no surprise to notice a significant drop in the number of publicly disclosed cases in 2020 compared to previous years: it went down by 18.6% compared to last year and by almost 30% compared to 2018 (all sports combined).

In such circumstances, the 113 cases revealed in athletics come as a surprise since this is the most doping cases ever recorded for the sport according to our barometer. Inversely, only 19 cases were sanctioned in baseball in 2020 compared to between 60 and 108 cases in other recent years for the US Sport. However, due to the pandemic, only 60 of the 162 scheduled MLB games have taken place, which may arguably be the main explanation.

Nonetheless, the United States still remains at the top of our ranking (for the 5th consecutive year), ahead of Russia, whose ban from all major events for the next two years was confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in December. In Europe, Italy and the United Kingdom remain the two countries most affected by doping cases for the year 2020.

Generally, in large part due to the global pandemic, the sports that are usually the most affected by doping have seen fewer cases in 2020. This is notably true for cycling, which experienced a brutal year back in 2019, with a record of 32 revealed cases (more than double the previous year’s number).

In 2020, 18 procedures have been opened in cycling for high-level athletes (all disciplines and genres combined). Although this is far less than the previous season, the number remains significant given the context of a season shortened by several months and with a significantly lower number of tests.

Let us conclude this 2020 report with an encouraging figure: among the suspected doping cases, only 3 riders (men) belong to worldteams or proteams (there were 8 last year). Not since the creation of the WorldTour 15 years ago has this number been so low.