Or so it seemed, in cycling as it was at that time: in fact, Delion recovered at what the majority of doctors would consider to be a normal, natural rate and began racing again in good time, albeit far slower than many other cyclists. What made Delion different was that he loathed cheats, especially dopers, and refused to have anything to do with doping whatsoever. It took him a while to build up his strength after illness for that reason; his opponents could simply increase the dose of EPO and become competitive almost immediately.
In 1996 - right in the midst of what would probably have been his best years had he not have faced rivals he refused to match, he turned his back on cycling forever as an expression of disgust at doping. It was, he said, widespread throughout cycling and all the French teams were involved with it; and as is the case with all the riders who did well in his era without turning to drugs, we must ask ourselves how well he might have done had the playing field been level.
Delion was one of the signatories of "100 pour 2000," a manifesto that called for greater transparency and "humanistic" ethics in sport so that "the human would become the central concern." Among others, from a wide range of sports, to sign the manifesto were Willy Voet, the soigneur at the centre of the Festina Affair, Antoine Vayer who had been the Festina team coach, Christophe Bassons who, like Delion, was an outspoken opponent of doping, and five-time World Champion track cyclist Félicia Ballanger.
May Britt Hartwell, born in Sola, Norway in this day in 1968, won four Junior and thirteen Elite National Track Championship titles between 1984 and 1995.
Tim Johnson, born in Middleton, Massachusetts on this day in 1977, is arguably the USA's most successful male cyclo cross rider of all time with six National titles to his name: Junior in 1995, Under-23 in 1999 and 2000, Elite in 2001, 2007 and 2009. He has also won 43 cyclo cross races and numerous road events. In 1999, he came third in the Under-23 Cyclo Cross World Championships and remains the only American male to have stood on the podium at the official UCI Championships (Katie Compton, born in Delaware, has done so three times). Johnson is the husband of Canadian professional cyclist Lyne Bessette.
Other cyclists born on this day: Alejandro González (Argentina, 1972); Giovanni Cazzulani (Italy, 1909, died 1983); Jean Van Den Bosch (Belgium, 1898, died 1985); Saleem Farooqi (India, later Pakistan, 1940); Jean-Pierre Paranteau (France, 1944); Peter Vogel (Switzerland, 1939); Lucien Didier (Luxembourg, 1950).