The Tour de France concluded over the weekend -- and I don't think it's an overstatement -- in a smoldering heap of rubble.

A Spaniard riding for an American team won the race. Alberto Contador, of the Discovery Channel team, earned the yellow jersey. Cantador (right) beat an Australian, Cadel Evans, by just 23 seconds. An American, Levi Leipheimer of the U.S. and also riding for the Discovery Channel, finished third.

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But this race was riddled with scandal, which is simply unimaginable considering the Tour's recent history with performance-enhancing drugs and doping.  For a while, it appeared that some kid on a Schwinn might have to be declared the winner by default.

The leader at one point, Michael Rasmussen, was kicked out by his own team under doping suspicions. Rasmussen was joined in expulsion by riders Alexander Vinokourov (suspicion of blood doping), Cristian Moreni (admitted use of drugs to lift his testosterone level) and Patrik Sinkewitz (tested positive for abnormal level of testosterone before the Tour). Some European news outlets simply gave up covering the event.

You may recall that last year's apparent victor, American Floyd Landis, is awaiting a decision from an arbitration panel about his own case involving performance-enhancing charges.

So consider this, as cycling celebrates Contador's win in the 2007 Tour de France, it still isn't sure who legitimately won the 2006 race.

Photo credit: Associated Press

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