I think there is a little truth in this, but there are definite limits on how many scandals and positives people can accept. 2006-08 was impressive, to a point, from an anti-doping point of view, but by the end of the '08 Tour it was starting to do significant damage to the sport, its following, TV deals, and its already battered reputation.thehog said:Doping has never really impacted the sport of cycling in terms of viewership. Since Cookson liked to pretend it didn’t exist th sport has lost some of its edge. Now when we see Sky do as Sky do there needs to be this absurd narrative to justify that’s not doping related. Probably some of the reason people are turning off. A doping scandal here and there was always good for the sport.
Lance coming back in 2009 was part of the reason for the change of tact, but I think as well the UCI and ASO were just fed up with being the doping pariah of the sporting world while pretty much every other sport did nothing, and suffering as a result. A pity they didn't stick it out, but really it's understandable that they didn't - why should cycling bear the brunt on its own?
Yeah cycling has probably been less 'sensational' and gathered less cheap headlines since, but I'm not sure that that extra attention really was a net benefit for the sport in the long run.