Oh, George Hincapie, what have you done?
This entry was posted on October 10, 2012.
It is being reported by Bicycling magazine that George Hincapie has admitted to doping during his pro cycling career and has worked with federal investigators in their case against the US Postal Service team.
I recently read The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton, and throughout the book I felt pretty convinced that everything he was saying was the truth. Yes, the book was much more of a Lance hate-fest than I had anticipated, but the level of detail outlined by Hamilton left little doubt in my mind about the doping going on in pro cycling. As a big baseball fan, I have a bit of a déjà vu feeling about all of this. I have been down this road before with athletes that I admire for their ability to play a game. I want to believe that pro cycling has done a good job at cleaning up the sport, but they need to be sure with all the big names that are still riding.
Hincapie has been reported as saying, "Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them. I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologize to my family, teammates and fans."
From what I read in The Secret Race, I tend to agree that at the time it was probably impossible to be competitive at the highest level of cycling without doping, which makes me wonder why it would be any different now. I can say that during my day spent at the Tour of Utah I saw no signs of doping from any of the teams (not that I was really in a position to, but hey, I was there right?).
As time goes on I am certain that we will continue to see all the riders from that era confess to doping. Will Armstrong ever admit to it? I don't think so. Does it change the way I feel about him as a racer? I still don't know. But I do know that I still wear my yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet, not in support of Lance, but in the support of the fight against cancer that has touched so many lives, including my own.