How far back should one go?
The acceptance of drug-taking in the Tour de France was so complete by 1930 that the rule book, distributed by Henri Desgrange, reminded riders that drugs would not be provided by the organisers.
Fausto Coppi of Italy admitted in a television interview in 1952 that he used 'la Bomba' as there was no alternative if you wanted to remain competitive. This referred to amphetamines, which had been developed for military use during World War II to keep aircrew, merchant seamen and submariners awake, alert and energetic. After the war they found a ready market among endurance sportsmen. Coppi also said, "One day I will take the wrong pill and pedal backward." He also joked on camera that he only took drugs when absolutely necessary, which is nearly always.
Jean Malléjac of France collapsed on Mont Ventoux during the 1955 Tour de France; it was widely attributed to drug abuse. Ten kilometres from the summit he was: "Streaming with sweat, haggard and comatose, he was zigzagging and the road wasn't wide enough for him... He was already no longer in the real world, still less in the world of cyclists and the Tour de France." Malléjac collapsed, falling to the ground with one foot still trapped in a pedal. The other leg pedalled on in the air. He was "completely unconscious, his face the colour of a corpse, a freezing sweat ran on his forehead. He regained consciousness after 15 minutes attention, oxygen, water, and an injection of solucamphre (a decongestant). In the ambulance he insisted that he had been drugged against his will and that he wanted to start legal proceedings. He denied wrongdoing right up to his death in September 2000."
Etc etc. Ain't no such thing as a clean "winner" (except, MAYBE, Bartali). Degrees of dirty undoubtedly. Bigger the team budget, the cleverer the product/administration. The asthma trick always amuses me - "hey, I suffer breathing problems, I know I'll take up extreme endurance sports!" Personally, it doesn't worry me. Many people take risks to achieve their ambition/get wealthy. Recreation drugs only for me.
Now we have something / quite-a-lot to discuss and celebrate.