Redemption. Learning. Becoming a better human being through competition – even after an athlete has strayed from the path of fair competition, realized his or her mistakes, and decided to re-enter sport as a clean athlete as an example to others.
It sounds pie-in-the-sky and perhaps horribly naive, considering the doping scandals of the last four years – BALCO, U.S. baseball, the Tour de France, Marion Jones, and all the rest. But when somebody stands up and says “I made a mistake – and now I want to be one of the good guys,” it’s high time to listen, and support that vision.
Today’s New York Times includes the story of British cyclist David Millar, who has walked this path. Caught doping with EPO during an illustrious cycling career that included stage wins at the Tour de France, he now rides for the Slipstream/Chipotle team, which has taken perhaps the strongest anti-doping stance any professional team has ever taken, monitoring its athletes 24/7 and getting them to buy into the idea that a clean athlete is the only kind of athlete who will be able to save cycling after the revelations of doping in the past few years, including at this year’s Tour, that have pushed the sport to the brink.
Disgraced rider and new U.S. team take the lead against doping (New York Times)