True to form here I am a day late and a few words short, but I’d like to talk about Vaughter’s NYT opinion piece in which he came clean about his worst kept secret. That is his doping past. He has hinted at this before, but it wasn’t until Sunday’s piece (which, thanks to the internet was up on Saturday) that he came right out and said it. I suspect that this also isn’t news to the companies that sponsor Slipstream Sports. Nor do I suspect that it was a big secret to the riders he’s managed. In fact, I can picture all of the team, in a scene that is probably played out at AA meetings around the world. Though knowing the team it probably ended in a big group hug with Zabriske in the middle.
Internet pundits jumped in Saturday night before the piece even hit the deck. I say that because I believe it hasn’t really come out till the print version is on the street. But that’s an aside.
One such blog was so filled with vitriol and greatness that I have to reference it. The dressing down the commentator Matt gets in this post is one that is epic in portions. Don’t get me wrong, the post is great, but the truly great content is in the author’s reply to Matt. The gist, as I read it, is this: life is fucking hard, and if you think it was a doper (or anyone else) is the one who held you back then you are diluting yourself. We like to think that the work we’ve put into what ever pursuit means that we deserve to be successful. That we should get what we want based solely on our work. That fantasy is true, but only in a vacuum.
As the Author points out, people are going to cheat period.
What I think professional cycling is at this point where all the myths are about to be exploded. People, who have been named are coming clean about what went on a US Postal, and hopefully the asshole that is L.A will soon be exposed for all he is. One thing to remember though is that as altruistic as he makes it sound, Vaughter’s confession is not for the children. It is for him. As was the confession of the five who has allegedly come out to the USDA.
Having some experience in this realm of confessing the secrets that eat away at us. Of course I’m not a doper. I’ve kept secrets that are much bigger than anything having to do with the beautiful bullshit of cycling. No, these confessions only make it easier for the confessor. No, strike that. It often makes things harder for the confessor. But it does give them something. Yes Vaughters gave up his cycling dream, but he found a purpose that I think fits him better. This confession won’t bring him peace, but it may make his life more fulfilling.