The PIRC (Podcast Independent Reform Commission) is a Friends Special devoted entirely to the subject of drugs in cycling. It is our response to the CIRC (Cycling Independent Reform Commission), which was mandated by the UCI to examine and report on doping in cycling since 1998.

We speak to the UCI president, Brian Cookson; to Jonathan Vaughters, who runs the Cannondale-Garmin team and spoke to the CIRC; to investigative journalist Hajo Seppelt; to Antoine Vayer, the former Festina coach who is an advocate of the analysis of power data in determining whether or not a rider is clean; to ex-rider and admitted doper Jorg Jaksche; and to Paul Voss, the Bora rider who is riding the Tour de France.

Recorded over several months, in London and at this year’s Tour de France, the podcast team of Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe discuss and debate this thorny issue. What is the sport’s current state of health? How should we define doping? Is the analysis of power data the way forward? And will the spectre of doping ever cease to cast such a dark shadow over the sport, and over some performances?