Although my indiscretions are of a different nature (I lied about PR's and running accolades for a few years to pretend I was much faster than I really was) I can understand how easy it is to make choices like this. After I told people what I had done I was humiliated, chastised and scorned for years (and still occasionally get a harassing comment almost 10 years later). Nonetheless, I think I can also understand how hard it was for him to come forward and admit the truth. No, I never did drugs, but, I know what it is like to have something deep and dark you hide from the world. The longer you have been living this dual life the harder it is to come clean. Am I condoning what he did? By no means. Just as what I did was wrong, so, too was what he did. Nonetheless, I think the big picture here is that he can start to work on the real issues that led him to make choices like this. THAT is the important thing here. Forget the sport. Forget the races. Forget the money. A real person can now get real help for something that has probably damaged him more than anyone else. He will live with this the rest of his life. In a month, after everyone else forgets about this and some other story has "broken" Christian will still be recovering from the aftermath of trying to right a wrong. And six months. And a year. And a decade later. My hope is that he comes to grips with what really led him to take the road he took and that he finds healing for his wounds, both the old and the new. I will probably get attacked for my position, but, I can probably relate to what he is going through a little bit better than others...in my own distant, tangentially related way. Does it suck? Yeah. I, like a lot of others, really thought he was doing it for real. Nonetheless, in the end, he came to crossroads in life and made a second, good decision. While the first decision was anything but honorable, I think the second one needs to be recognized as well. Very few of us are in a position like he was, capable of making a choice like his due to either lack of talent, lack or resources or whatnot, so, it is hard to relate to what he did or why he did it. Regardless, I really hope people see past the opinions and stories and help this real person put his life back together. I am no one in Christian's life, a remote spectator. Yet, I hope the best comes out of this situation and some deep, permanent changes for the better are made. Knock me as you feel necessary, but, I am praying for you Christian that this would be the first step on your road to recovery.
Under no auspice of anonymnity,
Will Steele - the cancer guy (firstname.lastname@example.org)