André Greipel: “The fight against fraud and ill-gotten success must be continued!”
  August 19, 2014 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

André Greipel: “The fight against fraud and ill-gotten success must be continued!”

by Ben Atkins at 10:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
German sprinter writes of his disgust over the extent of the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy

andre greipelWith many still preferring to stay silent, André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) has become the latest rider to speak out over the Lance Armstrong scandal. On his personal website, the German sprinter - nicknamed “the Gorilla” - wrote of his disgust over the revelation of the full extent of the doping conspiracy around Lance Armstrong, recently uncovered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Despite this though, he holds on to his dreams that one day cycling could truly be a clean sport.

“The events of recent days around Lance Armstrong and Co. are also an issue in my vacation,” he wrote. “I have to admit, it leaves me cold and I can’t get it out of my head.

“This great swamp that has come to light is a few years old. Today we know that there are some cheats that have managed, and still manage, to race in cycling. I find it appalling, especially the extent to which we were systematically deceived, and how.

“That's why I am of the opinion that the fight against fraud and ill-gotten success must continue!”

Greipel took more wins than anybody else in 2012, with a total of 20 in all - including three stages of the Tour de France - the fact that he did this as part of a Belgian team can surely, at least partly, be attributed to the many doping scandals that have rocked the sport in the past. Largely thanks to the exposure of widespread doping on the Deutsche Telekom team in the 1990’s, and the Gerolsteiner team of the 2000’s, sponsors in Germany have shied away from cycling, with the result that the country has no team in the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour.

In his blog, the 30-year-old sprinter from Rostock, in the former East Germany [which was also the birthplace of 1997 Tour winner Jan Ullrich - ed] wrote of growing up as a young rider with dreams of international glory, and also the need to allow the similar dreams of young riders to flourish in a clean environment.

“Ever since I was eleven years old, I lived cycling and dreamed of one day becoming a professional cyclist,” he wrote. “There were few moments when my friends and I in the cycling club were not dreaming of the Peace Race, the Championships and Olympic Games.

“I am committed to a new and clean cycling in racing,” he added, “and to show the youth and the people out there that there is another way: fair and, above all, honest!”

So far there have been relatively few riders that have spoken up about the Armstrong case, with Greipel’s compatriot Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) another to have voiced his displeasure via his Twitter page. Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) spoke to VeloNation yesterday about his commitment to racing without recourse to any pills whatsoever, while young Belgians Tim Declercq and Laurens De Vries (both of Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) - the latter of which finished second in the recent Paris-Tours - told Belgian media outlets Het Nieuwsblad and Sporza respectively that they race without even recourse to food supplements.

The tide appears to be turning among many of the sport’s young riders but, as Greipel’s words testify, there is still some way to go.

-------------------------------

André Greipel’s open letter in full (translated from the German):

Dear cycling friends

The events of recent days around Lance Armstrong and Co. are also an issue in my vacation. I have to admit, it leaves me cold and I can’t get it out of my head.

This great swamp that has come to light is a few years old. Today we know that there are some cheats that have managed, and still manage, to ride in cycling. I find it appalling, especially the extent to which we were systematically deceived, and how.

That's why I am of the opinion that the fight against fraud and ill-gotten success must continue! Already, this struggle for honesty and fair sport was worth it, even if it the reputation of cycling always seems to be harmed.

Anyway: Some cheats have now taken responsibility for the situation and confessed. Let's hope that these are the right signals for the future.

I find it very sad that the investigations of the various authorities have lasted so long, because otherwise the "new cycling" today, would perhaps be a big step further on. But some of the incredible events surrounding the investigations of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency USADA also make it clear why it has taken so much time.

Ever since I was eleven years old, I've lived cycling and dreamed of one day becoming a professional cyclist. There were few moments when my friends and I in the cycling club were not dreaming of the Peace Race, the Championships and Olympic Games. I always had one goal in mind: to cycle!

I had, and have, great passion for movement, for community and also for success. This is a passion for me, no one needs to explain the boundaries and the sacrifices. Yet for all the passion and struggle for success, it was always clear to me that there are taboos.

In 2005, I signed my first pro contract and now, for more than 20 years, cycling has been a big part of my life. But to achieve sporting excellence and success with unfair means is not only taboo, but fraud.

There are clear rules and laws, and those who do not keep to them is a deceiver and should sanctioned in accordance with the rules!

After seven years in professional sports, tens of thousands of hard training and racing kilometres, and over 100 victories, I feel powerless before the face of events. Although I have achieved a lot, there still remains a lot for me to do. Diligence, hard work, the confidence of my team, honesty and down-to-earthness have rewarded my cycling dreams with sustainable results.

No cheats can take this from me, but it frustrates me again and again, to confronted with these issues as a cyclist. But it's the price I pay for the cheats.

And to also to emphasis this: I am committed to a new and clean cycling in racing, and to show the youth and the people out there that there is another way: fair and, above all, honest!

I would like to bring these opportunities for emotion and passion, for the struggle for every millimetre, for community and friendship, to many children and young people in the future, because it's worth it.

My dreams of the Peace Race, the Olympic Games, the Championships, and the Tour de France have now been fulfilled. It's an indescribable feeling to hear the cheers of millions of spectators along the routes of professional bike races.

I still have many athletic goals, but above all a dream: for one of the toughest sports in the world - my cycling passion - to be a fair competition!

For this, it is worth fighting!

With honest and sporting regards,
André Greipel

      comments




Subscribe via RSS or daily email

WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW
  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC