HTC-High Road Director Brian Holm talks doping, then and now
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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

HTC-High Road Director Brian Holm talks doping, then and now

by Jered Gruber at 10:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Former Team Telekom rider talks of a clean environment for current riders, unlike in the 1990s

Former Team Telekom rider, Brian Holm, came clean about doping as long ago as 2002, but in a recent interview with spn.dk, the current HTC-High Road director, discusses the climate of the 1990's further and contrasts it to the current situation.

"When I turned pro [in 1986], doping was something in Russia. Then you heard more about it though, and eventually, it became so commonplace that it felt like it wasn't banned anymore."

Holm, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in February of 2004, has taken a spot at the helm as one of the riders from the 1990's that is willing to speak about what cycling was really like at the time. His concessions are incredible, almost unbelievable when taken in our current context. Holm admits to feeling like it was in no way wrong, and in fact, considered himself a clean rider.

"Many of my generation will still have to say that they never doped, and I even argued the same for a long time, because no one that did it, ever really spoke about it. I actually think that I could have gone through a lie detector test. When I stopped, I was convinced I was clean. It was not until some years later that I came to the realization that it was probably not that way. It was such a big part of everyday life."

The rider, who raced for Team Telekom from 1993 to 1997, enjoyed a solid career as a domestique, but has now gone on to even better as an extremely successful director on an extremely successful team. Thankfully, the next part of Holm's doping story is the polar opposite of his own experiences as a racer, twenty years ago."

"Although doping is still a part of the sport, for many of the new riders, it isn't, which is a direct opposite to the situation in the 1990's."

The complete opposite nature of then and now is further underlined by a little story Holm tells that forever settles the score on how prevalent doping was in days gone by.

"During my time, there were rumors of riders who had never tried anything, but I don't think I ever got to meet anyone. Today it is the opposite. Now, one hears rumors about those who do."

While the climate was once completely and utterly doping-centric, the times have changed and while doping still exists, new riders are free to race cleanly, and the clean, young riders that are doing it right, aren't tolerant of those following the old ways.

"Of course, there are still some that dope, but the new generation of riders look down on those who use drugs as if they were a bunch of criminals. They simply do not like them."

Holm's words are in no way groundbreaking, but his comparison of the way things were then and how they are now is worth noting.

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