Turn Over A New Leaf


10 October 2012

I never liked talking about it.
The accusations, speculations, assumptions.
I assumed a lot, like so many of us, but always
tried to focus on the positive sides of the sport.
However, it is an unavoidable topic in the world of cycling.
You can pretend it is not there, but it is.
It was brought up once more, today, on the 10th of October 2012.
The day that USADA provides us all with ‘the evidence’.
When I was still a young, naive, teenage cycling fan, I felt like hiding
under the covers when one of my favourite riders got caught.
But you can never close your eyes and pretend it is not there.
However, we know that some people did so for many years.
Riders who pretended that nothing was going on.
Maybe even believed themselves that nothing was going on.
There were riders that used doping. More than once. For years.
There were sports directors, doctors and staff members who
knew about it. Helped out. Made the world a little darker.
Over the years, many of them got caught.
And every case provided us with the same questions:
How? When? Where?
But especially why. Why did they do it?
How can you be the first to cross the finish line, throw your
hands up in the air and smile, when you know you cheated?
Does winning not feel like losing when you cheat?
Does the idea that ‘everyone did it’ really make it okay?
Did they ever think that something good could come out of it in the long run?
We all wonder, but no one can really explain it.
Sometimes people get caught up in a spider web and there is no way out.
You can put a tag on someone: guilty. not guilty.
But in the many books written about and by riders who were involved in a doping story, you come to understand that things are not clear.
Doping will probably never become something that is clear.
Today some of the truth may come out, but what is the truth?
We can only hope that this mess will eventually help clean up cycling.
That young riders will learn from other riders’ mistakes.
That one day we can close the doping chapter
and we can finally turn over a new leaf.

© The Sacramento Bee

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