This is a very special edition of my blog, aimed at the very, very many professional cyclists who read it. I write this because these are difficult, uncertain times for professional cyclists. While each and every one of you are squeaky clean, for some reason there seems to be a profusion of top-tier pros who are — unfairly and incorrectly — nabbed for doping.
When this happens, you have a choice: stay quiet and ride out the storm, or get on top of the news pronto, and let the world know of your innocence, outrage, and disappointment.
But the truth is, when you — suddenly and for no reason at all — receive the fateful call / fax / email / MMS / tweet saying that your life is about to get a lot more complicated and unpleasant, you will be in shock. With your head spinning and your blood boiling, composing and delivering a well-crafted, sane-sounding, cogent statement for the press all by yourself is just not very easy to do.
And — surprise, surprise — your agent and PR people are suddenly not answering phone calls with the alacrity you’re used to.
And that’s why I’m here (Well, not me personally, because if you get popped for doping I would prefer you don’t contact me at all, thanks. But rest assured, I believe you.). To help you get through this confusing, hellish moment and respond to those groundless accusations right away.
Statement to the Press
Earlier today, I was as astounded as you are to discover that I tested positive for [circle all that apply: Testosterone / Clenbuterol / EPO / Abnormally high levels of Diet Coke] during the [Name or number of stage] stage of the [Name of Race]. This race happened [choose one: two days ago / two months ago] and I find it highly suspicious that it has taken [choose one: The UCI / WADA] such an incredibly [choose one: short / long] time to come out and accuse me. I think that [choose one: short / long] wait indicates a highly suspicious bias against me.
For the record, I wish to state unequivocally, that I am [circle one: entirely innocent / surprised and outraged / baffled as to how it is possible that my red blood cell count got that high without my heart stopping], and that I will fight these charges [circle one: until my final breath / until my name is cleared / until my attorney discovers that I don't have enough money to retain their services].
As you all know, I have always been a strong advocate for clean cycling, as witnessed by my [circle one: years and years of testing clean / socks that say "Dopers suck" / the way I have immediately stopped any kind of association with other cyclists once they've been implicated in any scandal / subscription to Boy's Life magazine].
Further, I would like to point out that the science behind the tests responsible for the “positive” finding is [circle one: outdated / based on an algorithm commonly used in random number generators / really complicated and confusing / new and untested], and should therefore not be trusted.
When clean cyclists like myself are being accused of doping, what it really means is that the system is broken — that the tests are [choose one or more: unfair / inaccurate / inconvenient / a total witch-hunt].
I wish to point out that the amount of the banned substance for which I have been tested would [choose one: not be enough to do me any good / obviously be enough to get me caught and so I wouldn't be so stupid as to take it anyway]. As a professional cyclist, I am tested on an incredibly frequent basis; I would never be so foolish as to put my livelihood in jeopardy by taking banned substances. Other cyclists would, but I wouldn’t. Because that would be wrong.
Also, I have enemies in the sport, people who are trying to besmirch my good name and sabotage my career. [circle one: Dick Pound / Pat McQuaid] has had it in for me for years. I don’t know why he is so angry at me.
I am confident that once [circle one: the B sample / the C sample / all the evidence / the conspiracy theory I am currently concocting] comes out, I will be exonerated, and will be able to resume the sport of cycling I love so much.
Until then, I would ask you to remember that I should be thought of innocent [circle one: until / unless] I am proven guilty.
Thank you. I will not be taking any questions.