Chris Horner – It Ill Behovees You to do Interviews

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Chris Horner did exactly what I wanted him to do. That is to say that he isn’t rider #15 in the USADA report. The problem is that he did it so badly that it did nothing but detract from his believability. I think it would behoove Chris to just stay silent until the UCI gives everyone a get-out-of-jail-free card.

In this article at Cyclingnews, Chris says what he should have said originally a couple weeks ago. When asked whether he is the redacted rider #15, he answers, “Nope”. Then he proceeds to go and make a mess of the rest of the interview.

He goes and contradicts himself a few times about whether doping and drugs were prevalent when he first went to Europe. He uses the explanation that he was only 25 years old and didn’t speak French as the main reason that he didn’t go to the dark side. His quote here is beautiful, “But there is not the option as a 25-year-old kid who doesn’t speak the language in France to just go do EPO. But really you think of it as you weren’t given the option more than you didn’t take the option.”

He pretty much sticks with the, no one gave him the option 15 years ago when I was “young” and naïve, so that means that no one in the last 15 years presented it again, reasoning.

He talks of his early bad results and says, “I had a difficult time in Europe. It’s difficult to say whether the drug problem was there or it wasn’t there, and that was the reason. I was 10 pounds overweight; that was one of the reasons.”

Difficult to say whether the “drug problem was there or it wasn’t there? Chris, obviously, you haven’t read enough about it on Cyclingnews, since that is where you get all your doping news, because nearly anyone reading this can attest to the fact that there was a serious drug problem going on in cycling during those years. And all the years after. Maybe he was too busy racing bicycles and missed the last decade + of doping news in cycling?

Maybe just a tad amount of outrage would make it seem more plausible. Just a little bit. I guess we were just trying to stay on topic?

Maybe he is right and it was just a weight issue. I wonder why all these guys listed below, had to use drugs to win races? I think I’ll skip lunch.

The pictue is of Tour de France top 10 finishers that have either tested positive, admitted to doping or been sanctioned by an official cycling or antidoping agency.

22 thoughts on “Chris Horner – It Ill Behovees You to do Interviews

  1. Gibbs

    I am right with ya on the idea that Chris should talk, but the things about him that have gotten him to where he is at today, namly his laid back let’s just roll with mind set are gonna bury him and make him even more toxic than he currently is(his agent should get him a PR person)….right Chris is looking to become the alltime poster boy on who got harshed the most in the post Lance fallout.

  2. RadRenner

    I have to disagree with you, Steve; I found Horner’s responses to be very credible. Essentially, you seem to be calling Horner a liar (not outright, certainly), which doesn’t seem to be merited. Given everything that’s happened in the last 20 years, we’re all inclined to be suspicious, but without a substantive rebuttal or contradiction of Horner’s claims your comments seem little better than gossip (at best), or (at worst) character assassination.

  3. Joe Herget

    It’s sad that most us us now have the attitude of “guilty until proven innocent”. That’s because almost every one of our favorite elite athletes steadfastly denied everything until the facts made it impossible to continue the lies. Friends have looked friends directly in the eyes and lied. Many times. Sad times for our sport… I’m afraid this won’t end until we have a revamped governing body in place and the entire generation of athletes associated with the EPO era are gone (including the Team Directors/Managers, officials, and organizers who have been complicit and/or complacent).

    It Matters…
    Hank Aaron – True all-time leading home run hitter
    Roger Maris – True single season home run record holder
    Greg LeMond – Only American winner of the Tour de France

  4. shaun w

    Myself, i don’t see anything suspicions in that interview. You know sometimes if you happen to think that clouds look like a certain object, that’s all you see when you look at them.
    With so many people having no reason left to not tell the entire truth of what was going on 10 years ago, I’m confident the truth will finally surface on all riders without us having to to try and read between the lines of a rider’s own comment. Those riders who WERE clean deserve our respect as much as those who got ahead by cheating deserve to be sanctioned.

  5. Steve Tilford Post author

    RadRenner- I disagree completely. What is credible by making contradictions? Chris was contradicting himself in the interview. Saying he had no knowledge, and still doesn’t, of the drug problem early in the interview, then later on saying, “clearly we know there was a drug problem”. Either he has knowledge of it or he doesn’t. It doesn’t go both ways.

    He answers his reason for not answering whether he was #15 originally was that he was tired and didn’t want to do an interview. Then adds the question of why the writer asking the question didn’t “do the research” about why his results were getting better. That wasn’t the question. The question was whether he was named in the USADA report. Nothing about why you are getting better results racing bicycles.

    It’s answering apples when he is being asked about oranges.

    Cyclists get paid to race bikes. To have results. For endorsements. You don’t answer the very serious question from an important publicaton like Cyclingnews – whether you are the redacted rider #15 in the USADA report, two weeks later and then give the reason why you have improved so much throughout the years.

    I don’t think it sounded credible at all. I had no intention of any character assissination. He’s doing enough of that himself.

  6. timmer

    unfortunately the word “doper” is actually not in the dictionary.. it is in the good old urban dictionary but stereotypes the wrong people. so here is how I define doper:

    A liar who cheats to further his performance by using alternative performance enhancing means.

    a nice little package deal putting said “doper” in both the ‘cheating’ and ‘lying’ category with one word.

    pull your fucking heads out of your asses if you think these fuckers tell the truth.

  7. jrmy


    Where exactly does he say he had no knowledge of the drug problem? Specifically that he still doesn’t? I read back through it and didn’t find that statement… He references that early in his career he was not in the know and it was likely due to his lack of speaking a native language. Fairly early in the interview he flat out says; “Was there a drug problem in sports? Yes, everybody knows that. Of course there was a drug problem in sports. ”

    That basis for his argument is that he did not have first hand knowledge of doping. He knew that it was somewhat common and later in his career learned how wide spread it was. He then addresses his thought process about his performance increasing over the years. The argument is that it could be due to the PED use, the fact that he lost 10 pounds, or a combination of both. He cannot every know.

    I would appreciate it If you could find quotes that are contradictions. Specifically while still in context.

  8. Steve Tilford Post author

    jrmy – Chris’ statement was – “I had a difficult time in Europe. It’s difficult to say whether the drug problem was there or it wasn’t there….” It is a current interview and I’m pretty sure that he is saying, he doesn’t acknowledge whether drugs were a factor on his results. He put more emphasis on his weight than if drugs were an issue early in his career.

  9. Terri Thater

    Steve is right on. Chris Horner needs a PR guy in the worst way. And good for Chris not going back to RadioShack. What kind of pro team lets the media call you without any notice of an interview?

    Did anyone yet figure out why it took Chris 48 hours to travel from somewhere only nine time zones away? Was he traveling by bike?

  10. jrmy


    To me, what he seems to be saying is, he didn’t know much about the drug situation at that time. So he can’t really claim that the true cause for his poor results where from a drug problem or due to him being overweight. I think we somewhat agree on that. I think in context this doesn’t really contradict him. We know what the drug situation likely was back in 97/98/99 but we don’t know the truth. If he is like us, not in the know at the time as he claims, he wouldn’t have much more info on the facts than we have. So in that way, he can’t really claim there was a drug problem. If he did, people would want him to spill the beans.

    I think we also have to read his replies in the context of trying to answer all the skeptisims about his performance. Hence he goes off topic a lot.

  11. Just Crusty

    Wait a minute guys. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

    You’re isolating the phrase “difficult to say whether the drug problem was there or it wasn’t there” as a separate statement and comparing it to other statements where he said “Was there a drug problem in sports? Yes, everybody knows that. Of course there was a drug problem in sports. ”

    As I read it, the “difficult to say” phrase was his reluctance to blame all of his troubles in 1997-2004 on the fact that everybody else was using PEDs. However, he does imply that he better results as he lost weight. He also states clearly that as the drug testing got better the speeds got slower and his results improved. , the speed of the racing slowed and his relative performance seemed to improve.

  12. mike crum

    bet a $100.00 he gets caught in the next few years, then cries on the podium saying he’s sorry.. WTF pro at this level rides clean?

  13. Ken

    There were only 5 Americans that could be Rider 15 (they were at the Tour de Suisse in 2005): Bobby Julich, Guido Trenti, Chris Horner, Jason McCartney, and Freddie Rodriguez. I’m guessing Julich’s name wouldn’t have been redacted, so pick one of the 4. McCartney rode for Discovery. I only know about Horner’s injury in 2005, but one of the others could have been. I’d like to hear what Steve has to say about the rest of these guys.
    That said, interpreting what Chris says in an interview without benefit of actually hearing him say it is akin to the mess that can be created when trying to interpret what someone intends to say in an email. I, too, gave Chris the benefit of the doubt assuming his intent was that he didn’t know if the reason he did poorly was lack of EPO or being overweight. Chris is not the smoothest or the most precise with his use of the English language. That can be problematic. Much as it can be with poorly written works.

  14. chuck martel

    Why do the clean riders, whoever they might be, deserve our respect? If cycling fans that are in other countries are convinced that riders are doping then surely any supposedly clean guys must be very much aware of the fact. If indeed there were clean riders competing against doping riders they were lending legitimacy to contests that they had no chance of winning . That would be the case with Horner himself, he would be just as guilty of cheating by enabling the dopers to beat him. Clean riders should never have competed against dopers.

  15. channel_zero

    I read the same steadfast denials during Armstrong’s fraudulent years. Chris is a much nicer guy, but not convincing at all. It looks like either he is demanding a salary no one is willing to pay or the sport has put him on the blacklist.

    Spare a thought for that crackpot Matt DeCanio. He’s a crazy, but it turns out right about quite a bit.

  16. Steve Tilford Post author

    Guys- Here’s the deal. It all sounded like gibberish. And Chris Horner isn’t a dumb dude. And his whole interview sounded fucking ridiculously stupid. Learned all his doping from Cyclingnews? Come on. I assume he was trying to do damage control, after the fact, but it didn’t pass muster. He would have been better off just not talking. It isn’t helping his cause.


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