“I’m serving a self-imposed life sentence.” – Rick Crawford

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Rick Crawford did an interview with Cyclingnews talking about his situation with the sport of bike racing and his participation in procuring doping products for athletes he “coached”. I’ve already written a post about this. But, it still pisses me off to no end.

There should be no statute of limitations for a “coach” that distributes doping products to athletes. He should have been charged criminally as a drug dealer.

At the end of the article linked above, Scott Mercer, former Postal Service rider and Crawford’s boss at CMU, was quoted “I will say this though: I read a tweet from Danny Pate a while back and I think it said that ‘a half-truth is the most cowardly of lies’.”

I agree with Danny’s reasoning. And I think it is appropriate to apply it in this situation. I think Rick Crawford is telling half-truths. I think he is protecting other athletes he “coached”. Like I said below, what are the chances that he supplied drugs to only two guys that happened to get caught later on in their careers? Very small. Rick got one thing right and I agree with him on this quote – “I do believe I deserved a lifetime ban,” Crawford admits.

Here is my first post, from nearly a year ago, in whole.

Whatever – Rick Crawford

You know, nothing really surprises me much anymore concerning doping in the sport of bicycle racing. This Rick Crawford thing isn’t a surprise at all. It was so apparent. It stunk so long ago that it doesn’t smell all that bad now.

Rick Crawford isn’t a bad guy. Whenever I’ve run into him, he is super nice, super friendly, a real hard worker. But, that doesn’t offset the issue that he supplied drugs to guys to race bicycles. Plus, he sat on that information until he got busted, thru testimony, from USADA.

Racing bicycles and taking drugs to do so is one thing, but supplying drugs to the athletes that you train is something completely different. There are no peer pressures there. You’re just not trying to keep up with the other guys that are taking drugs. You’re in it for notoriety and money. Can’t be for any other reason. So, he’s a complete asshole, in my opinion, and shouldn’t be allowed to do anything in the sport ever again. Sorry, but there are plenty of knowledgeable people out there that can help our young riders progress, but Rick Crawford shouldn’t be one of them. He had his chance and threw his chip in. When it comes down to it, Rick Crawford is/was/whatever, a drug dealer.

I find it very hard to believe, nearly impossible, that Levi and Kirk O’bee are the only athletes that Rick supplied EPO to. Obviously, he didn’t have any problem or moral issues with supplying drugs to those athletes, so I don’t understand why it would stop at just two out of ?????, maybe 100′s? Isn’t it so convenient that Rick would “come out and volunteer” the names of two athletes that he helped dope. Levi, the guy that probably ratted him out to USADA, and Kirk O’bee, a rider that has already been suspended for life. He probably should have thrown in Phillip Zajicek, Nathan O’Neil, or even Dewey, to add credibility.

I personally know a lot of guys that Rick has coached. So now, even to me, their names and results seem much more suspect than they did before. They can all thank their “coach” for that. But, in reality, all our results are suspect. It is one of the very bad by-products of this whole doping issue.

I’ve already written about Tom Danielson. Rick was the guy at Fort Lewis when Tom rose to stardom. I know that Rick swears he had nothing to do with Tom. I know Tom confessed, and it is to no ones benefit here, to have Tom’s and Rick’s testimony to clash. Even USADA doesn’t want that. But, come on, seems pretty coincidental. Maybe it’s not related at all, but it seems screwy.

Anyway, Colorado Mesa U* is sending a very bad message keeping Rick around. Hopefully, USAC will step in and give Rick a nudge towards the exit. Maybe, legally, the statue of limitations have expired for any sanction by our sport, or legally, but I’m sure that the head guys at our governing body have enough pull to help set a standard here of no tolerance. Especially by the guys/coaches supplying drugs to the athletes.

Here’s a post Rick made on Facebook a few days ago. It is such a shame he didn’t act previously like he is talking now.

Interesting that no one is talking about what happens to a young American rider going to Astana, a team rife with lots of sketchy history w/ Vino and Bruyneel etc. Do we want our young riders on this path… NO! Evan should be in college still, maturing, learning, developing a wisdom base, and racing. This fast track has been the doom of many a prodigy. And we need to examine the entire devo system. There is a fine collegiate cycling establishment… it’s clear to me this is the future. It’s more important to develop good educated citizens than to put our young people in lucrative contracts before they are mature enough to make good decisions with absolutely no safety net. I’m sure Evan is super ambitious, scared, and excited… he’s in the frying pan now. This development path needs to be more structured with the well-being of our youth in mind, rather than the tool of a corporation and/or corrupt gov sponsored team.

*CMU did eventually fire Rick Crawford.

Rick and Lance.

Rick and Lance.

6 thoughts on ““I’m serving a self-imposed life sentence.” – Rick Crawford

  1. Gnate

    The first emotion I have for these cheaters is pity; I feel sorry for their bad/selfish/shortsighted choices. Sometimes I see Dewey around town, or in the shop and he just looks sad and lame, much like I would hope most cheaters would. You are right, the reasons to cheat must be the money and ‘success’. I wonder where the cheaters and Rickster from your post here lost the love of the bike? The feeling of ‘one of those days’ where the legs are just endlessly powerful, breathing easy and light without slamming drugs? The morality to do the right thing instead of the easy thing?
    I enjoy going fast and knowing that any incremental improvements have come from hard work, the support of my wife and daughters, desire, and concentration. Please cheaters, just go away. Nobody believes a word you say.

  2. Glen

    I sent the CN article to my buddy (former pro)
    This is what he said…

    Crawford tried to hook me up in 2001 . He’s full of shit! Two guys my ass!

    He told me this years ago when he quite cycling. And he told me the cost was somewhere around $30,000

    I wanted to vomit when I read the CN article too.

  3. Julie

    Steve–what bothers me most as a parent is we send our children to these coaches for “coaching”. And…we trust this is what they are getting–“coaching!” I would be soooo pissed if I found out my child’s “coach” was pushing drugs on them. A coach is a person in the position of trust. As parents we need to be able to truly TRUST the people who work with our children.

  4. channel_zero


    Hopefully, USAC will step in

    That’s a fantasy.

    Thom Wiesel, owner of USAC ran a globally coordinated doping program with USPS. That is the head of a National Olympic sports federation doping athletes into the WorldTour Before that, coordinated doping on smaller teams he had financed.

    Sure, they’ll go after minor guys like Dewey, no problem there because it’s a nice show. WorldTour roadies that Thom hire “never test positive.” Levi? Armstrong? No way.

  5. Paul Sumner


    Thanks for writing this. This is IMHO why any “Truth and reconciliation” process is deeply flawed. Not only does it add insult to injury for the riders who rode clean, it leaves people like Rick with the option of staying involved in cycling as staff, etc. Most of the Pro Tour teams today have tainted staff members. Does anyone in their right mind think that they’re the best people to lead us towards a cleaner tomorrow?! Why not just get rid of them all and replace them with x-riders who raced clean against all the dopers, who most likely had to race smarter and who made the correct choices. Some of these guys who doped can basically retire on their “Earnings.” Its like forgiving someone who stole from you and saying go ahead and keep that.


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