It's the 'different drugs' aspect that's changed the game though. Of course there was doping back then, all sorts of nefarious stuff to get you to the finish line and start the next day. But, as Hinault said, "You can't turn a carthorse into a racehorse", meaning that GT contenders were born, not made. The lists of winners for all three GTs up to the late 80s bear this out.
Blood manipulation, most famously via EPO and transfusion, changed that completely. Does anyone really think that Bjarne "Mr 60%" Riis would have been a genuine GT contender in the 80's, even if the superstars like Hinault, Fignon, Lemond etc had been missing? Yet he can afford to drop back 10 places and scope out the opposition at the bottom of the climb to Hautacam, then drop them all for dead including the likes of Indurain, Chiapucci, Pantani etc., with a turn of speed that Cancellara would've been proud of in Paris-Roubaix. Or how about the stage up to Sestriere in the 1999 Tour where the select group are braking, crit-style, going to corners while climbing?! Or the frankly breathtaking drop in times for the ascent of l'Alpe d'Huez since the famous Hinault-Lemond duel in 1986?
That's just three famous examples and I don't want to get bogged down in details of all the the rest in the 90's and 00's. My point is that not all doping is equal and so the old "They've always been at it, all of them" shouldn't be generalised to dismiss the EPO-era and attempt to make it marginally more acceptable. How many times did you read about young neo-pro racers dying of cardiac arrests in their sleep prior to the early 90's? The potential rewards of EPO use are enormous and clear to all, so much so that impressionable athletes are pressured into accepting huge health risks without being fully (and in some case, probably not even remotely) aware of the dangers.
If LA did indeed dope in the matter that has been suggested in order to win, then he created an extremely dangerous example for younger riders. If you find yourself thinking "If I take enough stuff, then I can win anything", it can very quickly turn itself around to "I need to take all this stuff in order to stand a chance of winning". If you have too many carthorses under the illusion that they can turn into racehorses after all, then the knacker's yard is in for a very busy time.
My tuppence worth anyhow. I know I've glossed over Tom Simpson and Fignon's cancer to name just two, but they're not really relevant to the current issue surrounding LA/US Postal etc.
just as much testing back in the day just not as sophisticated and they used different drugs mostly steriods or HGH.The sport is slowly being cleaned up for the good but there will always be sombody that cheats.Just makes me laugh the public only think its cycling and not some of the other top sports