A heartfelt take on doping in sports from a former professional cyclist and admitted doper.
For whatever reason, cycling was (still is) the only professional sport I’ve cared to follow. It’s the only sport I’ve ever participated in, actually felt like I belonged, and even had a brief modicum of success in. I never aspired to be a professional and never was faced with the choice between doping or dropping my dream. But I’ve had other dreams in my life that I’ve pursued with similar stubbornness and, while I’d like to think I’d make the hard choice and walk away clean, I worry that I wouldn’t have.
I love this sport, and I hate the argument that doping is just a part of it—something to be accepted—because it makes me think of the few times in my life that I’ve felt pressed into holding secrets or living lies, and I don’t want young athletes in the sport to be faced with that choice for something they love.