Recently there has been a lot of talk about age group drug use. We currently have a guy in our age group who has been banned from professional cycling at its highest level because of EPO and other banned substance use. Lucky for all the guys in my age group he has decided he would spend his time now racing us... Awesome...
I was told some people were curious as to how I would weigh in on what as “at stake” and what I think I about doping. Ironically Scott Iott and I just talked about this situation on our podcast.I have respect for just about everyone who cares enough on this forum to participate on it so feel like I want to respond for them, not because I think people want to hear me babble.
First what is at stake for me? That’s easy. My integrity. My ability to look at anyone else on the start line who has made all kinds of sacrifices to try to earn a spot, or whatever. My word to anyone and everyone who has ever believed in me, or supported me and continues to do so.I was a terrible age grouper back in the mid 90’s. I had to work really hard to accomplish whatever gains I have and wouldn’t trade the journey for anything. Any unfair shortcuts would have severely diminished my enjoyment of the sport or satisfaction gained. I have spent a lot of time, money and effort hiring the best coaches I can find, reading books, building relationships with some of the best people I had access to and continue to learn as an athlete and also learn what I can do to help other athletes. If I was holding a big secret that I cheated that would in affect be stealing from anyone I have ever charged to coach with the expectation I had real knowledge to help them with the current situation they are in.
My professional relationships with people like my main mentor Joe Friel, and every other coach I work with would be risked in every possible way. All for what? The ability to do Kona again? I don't think so. If I am not deserving of the spot, the guy who is should go - period.
Lastly, my health and wellbeing simply aren’t worth it.