Another “I Smoked Pot but Didn’t Inhale” Confession by Bobby Julich

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Where’s the honor? I understand the issues with the drug situation. It was a jacked up choice for the riders. I fully understand that. And there are casualties. Good guys caught up in a shitty situation.

Here’s the deal guys. Everyone, and I mean virtually every one of the riders that have won major races on the road, between somewhere in the early to mid 90’s to somewhere relatively recently, took drugs to compete. Sorry, but that is just how it has to be. The facts speak for themselves. The drugs were/are too good. I’ve personally witnessed how much better these drugs make a rider and there would be virtually no way to humanly compensate and compete at that level without the aid.

So, now we can split the whole group, those riders who won events, into two groups. The riders that have been caught and the riders who haven’t. The guys that were caught were mildly unlucky it seems, unless you rode with Lance. Those that didn’t get caught, as of yet, should be thanking their lucky stars.

So, there it is. Let’s stop being surprised, there aren’t any in this respect.

What’s really bothering me now about the whole thing is the extent that these guys will go to protect their legacies. “I did it until 2006 and then it suddenly became too much to handle morally.” Huh? Can you imagine training and racing supercharged for years and then go back to racing normally aspirated? I’m guessing it would feel something like you had the flu 365 days a year training.. Plus, you would have no mental capacity to race one bit. It seems like it isn’t in human nature to allow it to work.

I already ranted about the simultaneous confessions of Lance’s team mates. Pretty contrived. Now, Bobby Julich seems to be continuing the bullshit. His issue, or problem, is that he has an Olympic Bronze medal hanging on his wall. No wait, I guess he should now have an Olympic Silver medal hanging on his wall, since Tyler gave his Gold Medal back. And I’m sure Bobby wants to keep it.

2004 Olympic TT podium.

So, the way I see it, he has to make up this convoluted timeline and excuses to do just that. I guess he confesses to doping during the 1998 Tour de France, where he finished officially 3rd. I’m wondering if he thinks this is a good trade for keeping his medal? Bobby wants us to believe that he raced “clean” from July of 1998 until he retired in 2008, during a very polluted time for our sport? He rode for Cofidis, Telekom and CSC during these years. Wow, he must have been resolute in his anti-doping decision.

Here’s an excerpt from Bobby’s Wiki page. I sure hope he didn’t write this, but I’d bet he’s read it a few times. I don’t know how he could allow it to be in print, I really don’t.

Following the doping scandal of the 1998 Tour, only 96 of 189 riders completed the race, and Bobby Julich finished third on the podium with winner Marco Pantani and runner-up Jan Ullrich. It became clear later that Julich was the highest placed rider not using performance enhancing drugs during the 1998 race and is thus the de facto if not the official winner.

I remember seeing an interview with Bobby back in 1998 complaining about why everyone is asking so much about the Festina affair when the real news is out on the road.

Anyway, this seems to be just another case of a guy that made a mistake that is trying to cover his ass. Why couldn’t he have just said, “I have to leave the Sky Team because I couldn’t conform to their anti doping policies. I used performance enhancing drugs at certain times during my career and told them such. Thus, I am not longer employed by them.”

Then he could have went on and said how clean the sport is nowadays and how he would love to be working with our young up and coming pros, which is what he was supposed to do for Sky, with Joe Drombrowski and Ian Boswell. I don’t have any idea whether he would be the right person to be mentoring these kids. He might be the perfect guy, really, but he doesn’t get a chance this time around.

Can’t one of these guys just fess up with some sort of honesty and honor. Just take it like a man. Everyone wants to get to be involved in the sport still. I don’t blame them. It is a nice way to spend it. I guess it’s up to “the sport” to work this all out and decide if it wants these guys around still.

27 thoughts on “Another “I Smoked Pot but Didn’t Inhale” Confession by Bobby Julich

  1. Bill K

    “Can’t one of these guys just fess up with some sort of honesty and honor. Just take it like a man.”

    The answer is NO.

    “Nobody wants to be part of “Sh!tstorm 2012”

    Everyone is looking for that sweet deal.

  2. Rad Renner

    Should we be so surprised that people who lived a lie so completely and for so long would be essentially incapable of simply telling the unvarnished truth?

  3. Bernd Faust

    These guys have been on serious drugs, most likely they are braindead..see Lance, he never doped, he does not know what happened to him, same for Bobby etc…..they are just fucked up like they guy who smokes or does crack, cocaine , you name it…..
    Those former doped cyclist are retards…worst scenario would be heartfailure and sudden death…
    poor Souls,
    Life is to short to drink cheap beer!

  4. channel_zero

    Thom Wiesel is the guy responsible for that 2-3 podium shot. Wiesel has a long, long track record of close ties to dopers and dope suppliers going all the way back to “coaching” from the infamous Eddie B.

    it’s as if the U.S. federation at the most senior level, like the UCI and Lance’s fraud, had nothing to do with the doping. When the Sky doping/race fixing scandal breaks in a couple of years, maybe it will change.

    Bottom line here is the media strategy is to blame the riders and act as if the UCI and various national federations had nothing to do with the widespread doping. They’ve been using this for 20 years and it’s worn out.

    Finally, there’s lots of good people way down the org chart with good intentions inside USA Cycling. The executive level is poisoned.

  5. channel_zero

    Sorry, that’s a 1-2 podium shot. Too much coffee!

    Bobbie’s “confession” is a fail. The sad thing is the way guys like Bobbie and teams like Sky are treating fans of what’s left of the sport. Lies upon lies upon lies.

    Hey Sky, how about firing Lienders???? You know, the guy that ran Rabbo’s voluntary doping program?

    Entertainment Wresting has more credibility than Pro Cycling.

  6. timmer

    the problem is there are tons of talented athletes waiting to fill the gaps that racers leave when they retire from the sport.. TONS! why not give the sport a huge enima, clean it’s bowels, and give the new young kids a fresh start in a clean sport.. then have a life-time ban for first time offense to scare the shit out of all of them.

  7. JIm

    Steve, glad you call BS on these guys. it means more when you do it. Now if Julich ends up as a coach at Saxo after all of this, we’ll know why he “didnt inhale”.

  8. The Cyclist

    How do you mean “between somewhere in the early to mid 90′s to somewhere relatively recently”!? Do you mean that b4 90’s cycling was clean as fresh snow. So, Simpson never died on Mt Ventoux and Anquetil never used amphetamines and Eddy never took painkillers or whatever was available back then… and so on into oblivion. Right.

  9. Touriste-Routier

    Steve, while I appreciate your no BS approach, I think most people expect too much from these guys. Let’s face it, it is a no win situation for them. Regardless of what these guys say, they/it will be picked apart.

    While I would love it if Bobby had said what you proposed, most people would be clamoring for details. So he tries to take control of the story (a good PR move, notwithstanding the truthfulness of his statement), release some details and people assume he is not telling the whole truth (not that these thoughts are unreasonable). Clearly there was a beginning and an ending to anyone’s use of illicit substances/methodologies, but people are always going to doubt whatever these guys say.

    At least he fessed up, knowing he was going to be fired. Perhaps he is addressing his demons on his own, perhaps he knew he would be outed by others. He may have danced around a bit, but he took it on the chin, and doesn’t have his head in the sand like Yates. If he didn’t tell the whole truth, maybe someone will investigate him, and he’ll have to answer to it later.

    It will be interesting to see who on Sky’s staff remain, and who leaves (last year vs. this year), and who gets bounced after lying about their past. It is great that Sky wants a clean break from the skeletons in the closet, but it is a freakin bone yard out there, and the best staff, even those with an illicit past, will eventually find spots on other teams. And just because they did something in the past doesn’t necessarily mean they are part of the current or future problems. Sometimes it takes a thief to catch one.

  10. Jef

    These dopers remind me of an ancient wisdom passed down through the ages by the Greeks;

    “There’s no such thing as sucking a little bit of dick.”

    The dopers are all saying the same thing now, “it was only that one time at summer camp and it was just the tip… I never heard from him again.”

  11. SalRuibal

    For sure. Sickening that the medals from the 2004 Olympics ITT are handed around from one user to another. Declare the race results null and void. Black-out the names from the books, just as the Tour de France is leaving the Lance years blank. It really takes some big balls to claim the last doper standing gets the gold.

  12. Rich

    Yes, I think Julich is trying to cover for not only himself but for the riders he raced alongside in recent years like Sastre.

    Its tough to tell how much of a gain is kept when a rider stops doping though. I imagine there’s a long lasting effect when somebody has been riding around at 25% of their natural sustainable threshold for a couple years. I think you could potentially have a hardcore doper stop doping and still be above their natural realm as long as they dont stop racing.

  13. jerry

    I really hate to say it, but these guys are nuts to admit doping. The trend now is to fire these guys when they fess up. Julich, Matt White, several others are now on the streets after they fess up. If omerta is going to end, you can’t nuke the guys that come clean and throw them out of the sport. Why would somebody come clean? How are they going to make a living now? If omerta is to end, the sport needs to listen, forgive, and move on.

  14. channel_zero

    The buffet of stimulants, “pot belge” and the like are child’s play at best compared to oxygen vector doping.

    Equating Julich’s doping to Merckx’s and others, pre-EPO PED’s does not sufficiently convey the overwhelming efficacy of EPO for responders.

    Let’s not forget the number of cyclists that died most likely due to EPO induced heart attacks very early in the experimentation phase of the introduction of EPO to athletics. That number is somewhere between 6 and 16.

  15. Ted Lewandowski

    If I could chime in…I am surprised that no one found any other way to boost performance other than with EPO…because there is a way to increase your blood cell count without using drugs. This is not my opinion but a medical FACT!

    In 1986 I participated in part of a thesis for a Brown University PhD program in Biology for two students who invented this method…you can call me their lab mouse if you will 🙂

    This was just after the blood-doping scandal from the 1984 Olympics which essentially put all of this in motion to today’s epidemic. If I remember correctly, word got back to Eddy B. how fast Eddy van Haute (sorry if I misspelled) was in the Pan Am Games trials the year prior so with Ed Burke and Eddy B. devised a way to replicate this with the US Olympic Cycling Team – but not everyone participated…again does this sound familiar?

    In any case, these two Brown University graduate students devised a way to achieve the same ‘performance enhancements’ without the use of steroids (which was not used at this time – I am referring to EPO) or ANY other drugs or ‘herbs’ or even caffeine (which was not tested at this time).

    I can’t call it natural method because it required INHALING something (I cannot say what it is at this time due to the dangers associated with this if done without medical supervision as I do not want anyone experimenting with this) but the method worked. I seen a drastic difference as I was only training 25 miles per day (due to my college schedule) and not doing any training races and I was winning criteriums including many stages of SuperWeek including nearly beating Mark Whitehead in a sprint that ironically was lead out by Danny van Haute.

    In any case, I almost told Ed Burke about this method back in 1987 as we stood outside the Olympic Training Center talking one evening but I did not and really this is the first time this is in print.

    At the time I thought vainly that my own natural abilities did this – it was only years later that I associated my results to this program which only lasted a few weeks in the Spring of 1986.

  16. Gerald

    Don’t forget that there is a ‘sweetener’ for dopers confessing on Sky. If they confess now, they get let go, but with some financial compensation, being (in the words of Brailsford) “looked after”. Lie now, and be found out later, and you get kicked out with nothing.

  17. chuck martel

    Anyone racing at an elite level had to have been aware that doping was taking place, even in the unlikely event that they weren’t on some sort of drugs themselves. Ergo, in the staging of these sham events, they were conspirators in the fraud and in a way just as guilty as the dopers by unsuccessfully giving an air of legitimacy to the proceedings. Simply competing at that level, even if ostensibly clean and thus destined to finish in the back, would have been reward enough to some riders. Wouldn’t you love to have an at bat with the Yankees, even if you knew you were going to strike out? This fact alone makes any supposed innocents pirates on the pirate ship rather than victims of the pirate captains. There are no real innocents in big time cycling.

  18. big jonny

    @ The Cyclist – Cheating is cheating. But the manner employed is the point. EPO is not in the same league as other drugs such as ephedrine, though they are both banned PEDs.


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