The 1990s have garnered infamy in professional cycling… and having raced in that decade, I can firmly testify that such infamy is well deserved. Professional cycling was the Wild West back then; financially, organizationally, medically… It was a time of honor among thieves at best and downright insanity at worst.
The mid-1990s were probably the worst time to be a professional rider with none of the charm and gentlemanly behaviour of earlier eras and all of the commercial pressure of later eras. Combs in the back pockets? Sharing cigarettes in races? Forget about it. This was the dawn of the age of big-money sponsor and big-money contracts.