Remorseful or Repugnant

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

I read that Dave Zabriskie is doing Leadville tomorrow. I was kind of surprised, I’m not sure why. I haven’t seen him since I did the Mike Nosco Benefit Ride last November. He was in pretty good form then, but I hadn’t heard hide or hair from him since.

At first I thought, what I normally think, that Dave should just disappear into normal life and just leave cycling as a memory. He should be set in life, he did pretty well as a cyclist. But then I got to thinking about it and thought, shit, I like the guy and I like having him around.

I think it’s a double standard for sure. I say that Levi shouldn’t be racing, anywhere, and it okay for Dave to be doing it. I slam Levi for winning Leadville, which I still majorly disapprove of, but sort of hope Dave wins, or at least has a good race.

I realize the difference is that I really like Dave Zabriskie and don’t much like Levi. And I hardly know either of them personally. I like Dave because of his attitude and the way he’s handled his post confession days. And I don’t approve of Levi for the way he’s handled his whole career, pre and post confession.

There isn’t a line in the sand. When I wrote a post the other day about Froome training with Levi, I got a lot of mixed responses. One comment on Facebook said –” Do you guys ever really listen to yourselves. Where is all this anger coming from. Because it sure doesn’t have anything to do with common sense. Unlike some of the others, Levi seems to be doing everything right, since his admission. He donates his prize money. His gran fondo benefits many children’s charities. He didn’t murder anyone. He didn’t molest any children. He doped in a sport, that was rife with dopers. You people act like he should be crucified. Give it a break. I don’t care whether you’re religious or not. This saying makes a lot of sense. “To err is human, to forgive is divine”. Here’s a guy who hasn’t made excuses, and seems to be doing everything he can, to make amends. And all you people do is shit on him. Shame on all of you.”

There are a lot of very forgiving people out there. And each and everyone of us is different in this regard. This issue affected each and everyone of us in a different way. I do understand there is a huge spectum of different opinions, from whether to forgive and forget, punish until death, or somewhere in the middle.

I might seem pretty harsh in some circumstances, but in reality, I’m very understanding of the issue. I guess my criteria is whether I think the person is generally remorseful of his actions and actually thinks they did something wrong. Dave meets this criteria. Levi doesn’t.

My response to the Facebook comment was – “I have to respectfully disagree. Current actions don’t nullify prior “sins”. You say he didn’t make excuses??? Huh? When Floyd said Levi’s name in relation to doping, before Levi was forced to sign an affidavit, Levi pretty much called Floyd a lying sack of shit. Then he worked a deal, he negotiated keeping an Olympic medal for “telling the truth”. Olympic medals aren’t earned by negotiation. They are earned by talent and sportsmanship, both of which he lacks. How many studies would you like me to produce that shows that takng PED’s last years and maybe a lifetime after stopping? And Levi is still beating up guys racing huge races, then gets kudos from you for donating his winnings?? When one of these guys, anyone of them, tells the truth, admits to everything they did, then they get forgiveness.

Here’s a quote from an email I got from a professional rider a couple weeks ago. – Hey Steve, I read your post on Levi and thought I would share a story with you. Last year at a local race I trace, I toldat I am angry at him and that I wanted to bury the hatchet because I did not think it was fair to single him out. His response was “Why are you angry?” When I told him that he acted unfairly and cheated, h denied that he cheated anyone and went on to say that he never doped for the domestic races that he won. Either this man is delusional or stupider than he looks. All I wanted was a little apology or “I can see how you feel that way.” Fuck him

The guy isn’t remorseful or honestly trying to make, as you say, “amends”. He’s just doing what a guy does after he gets caught.”

I don’t hold grudges. I can forgive and forget. But not until there is a true feeling of remorse. No more lying. No bullshit about everyone else was doing it. Just, “I knew I was cheating and wouldn’t do it again if I had the chance to do it over”. I think Dave Zabriskie might say that. And for that, I wish him good luck tomorrow at Leadville.

Emma Knickman, Dave Z., Roy Knickman, and Rob Mesecher at the Mike Nosco ride in 2010.

Emma Knickman, Dave Z., Roy Knickman, and Rob Mesecher at the Mike Nosco ride in 2010.

59 thoughts on “Remorseful or Repugnant

  1. Jason

    This post just highlights the reality of us and “those guys”. For must of us our level of forgiveness is directly proportionate to whether or not we like the guy or not. Levi has a history of not being liked or just generally being respected as a decent human being. His path to reasonable redemption is going to be different than the others just because of that. George seems to get a lot of anger directed his way because of a ton of success that he is experiencing in business ventures he really had very little to do with, i.e hotel, clothing line, etc. Would that stuff existed if he hadn’t been successful which was in part due to doping? Who knows, but for some he is more forgiveable because he is more likeable. Personally I’m not a fan much of Zabriskie or Vande Velde because of how I perceive what I consider a lack of respect for domestic riders/races. Both have done races that they have had no intention on finishing or winning or had any personal responsibility for. Meaning they didn’t have to pay out of their pocket to get to the race or enter the race. I personally would feel the same way about them whether they were clean or not. This is my way of agreeing with you. We are more apt to forgive/forget or not based on how we feel about these guys more so than just their act of doping. As more an more information comes out about the doping era I think more and more people are beginning to accept that doping was just the way it was, but the level of forgiveness is related to whether or not we actually like the person. Kudos to you.

  2. Lawyer

    “He didn’t murder anyone. He didn’t molest any children. He doped in a sport, that was rife with dopers.”

    Same for me – I didn’t murder anyone. I didn’t molest any children. I just refuse to grant forgiveness to the world’s assholes. Fair and balanced. Doping/cheating, refusing to forgive – as long as we stop at murder and molesting it’s all ok right(?) – using that pricks own standard?

  3. jed schneider

    When a person is convicted of a felony, they no longer get to vote. It is not a matter of forgiveness or popularity, its just a rule. Said felon can be forgiven and a productive citizen but he/she cannot vote. To me it should be the same in cycling. Ban for life every time, the first time. In my mind these guys should never race again. It is their penance and responsibility for breaking the rules. To the point they got rich, I agree, apologies never mean much from a second home in Spain, but they can keep the home. Just leave the sport.

  4. channel_zero

    Would that stuff existed if he hadn’t been successful which was in part due to doping?

    The answer is no. Guys that didn’t dope came back to the U.S. and got by on far, far less than WT riders. Would they then be able to start a clothing line, open a hotel, sponsor a development squad? No.

    These jokers stole from clean riders and there’s little to no acknowledgement of that. Not only that, their persistence contributes to the sense there is no integrity in the sport.

  5. Tom

    How much of an advantage does Zabriskie have over his non-doping competition in Leadville due to his previous PED abuse?

  6. channel_zero

    While I applaud the intent, the reality of two strikes is a reasonable compromise.

    The problem, still, is not WADA code, but the sports administrators and promoters operating anti-doping in a consistent and more transparent way. We have the occasional promoter doing this.
    I think the guy running the Gran Fondo NYC is a good example. He tested and sanctioned accordingly. Promoters are not required to open cases.

    Meanwhile, we have the owner of Leadville who refuses to remove Armstrong and other dopers “wins” from the history books. We have the same people responsible for USPS doping running USA Cycling. USAC’s members seem to have no problem at all with the corruption. There are more parties that are part of the problem than just the athletes.

  7. fatmarc

    As a rule, I’m not a fan of dopers. I don’t refuse route for them.
    DZ seems like a good human, he does seem to show remorse. He seems like a likable guy.

    Levi on the other hand doesn’t seem like such a good guy. In fact I think he is having a documentary about how he made breakfast this morning filmed as we speak. Levi continues bask in the limelight, and further aggrandize himself. I find him repugnant.

    good blog, as clearly are both dopers, DZ sure as hell seems to show a little more character…
    As a cross fan, Berden seems like a good guy, but again he’s a doper… I won’t route for him…

    how about that Tom Danielson!


  8. Chris Uberti

    You cant fault these former USPS guys for continuing to race, they were raised bike racers and that’s really all they know how to do. But Fondo’s, Races, Froomy, and Cycling Brands should shun these guys if they REALLY want a clean sport. A mosquito only knows how to be a mosquito, you just have use bug spray to keep them away and swat them if they bite you.

  9. Linda

    And what about Jens Voight? Never caught (correct me if I’m wrong) but has had a long, successful career riding in the doper age. How does he fit into this debate?

  10. Gordon

    IF you read DZ’s responses to Velo News it is the most honest, non-spin comments from any of the riders from the USADA testimony (in my opinion). As such, I feel a lot like Steve in that I’ve always been okay with, and actually excited for, DZ both pre and post retirement. Maybe it is a double standard, but it is hard not to make judgements based on riders public comments. I personally don’t give a shit about Levi, predominately because of the way he seems to handle himself in the public.

  11. Larry T.

    I don’t think ANY of the confessed (forced or otherwise) cheaters have offered to a) give back the prize monies or salaries they unjustly received or b) share the ill-gotten gains with those who played by the rules but were cheated out of their chance to win the $$. All the “I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I’ve learned my lesson” statements don’t go very far in righting the wrongs. Anyone who got screwed over by these pricks who can now forgive them is a bigger man than me. I admire that, but can’t condemn those who remain bitter while watching these cheaters enjoy their ill-gotten wealth and the opportunities it brought

  12. Evan

    Give back the defrauded money. Forgiveness follows. No giveback. No sympathy. Accountability. Otherwise we are all chimps.

  13. donkybhoy

    I’ll cut DZ a break if does something to try and make amends for a career of doping (no i dont believe Garmin ride on bread and water)…

  14. Steve

    Steve, Until you tell us all about the elephant in the room (Jim Ochowicz), anytime you attack a former doper or tell us your thoughts about doping in general, one word comes to mind. HYPOCRITE!

  15. Levi

    Ya well all this he said, she said shit is stupid. The rules are the same if you’re a nice guy or a huge douche bag. Some think I’m a huge douche bag, lots more think Lance was. Tyler was known as the nicest guy in cycling until he got popped. It all turns on a dime. Floyd was a total nut job, but seems to have gained fandom by giving cycling the double middle finger. I think that’s probably the best attitude of all. Cyclist think of triathletes as huge dorks, well here’s a news flash, the rest of the world doesn’t differentiate. Any guy in spandex, especially if he has a gut, or is riding in the middle of the road is a huge douche and an embarresment to the general public. That will never change in the USA. If you think the public views you differently because you’re fast, you’re wrong. Very wrong.

    Dave Z….. meh, just another doper. Nice guy? OK sure. Who cares what he does now? Is anyone writing blog posts about Rafael Palmero or Roger Clemens, or 10 billion other athletes in every sport imaginable. This is how it has worked for a long time and will continue to be forever or until they just legalize it all.

    Can’t you see, the dopers win? They’re millionaires, they ripped it all off, but its not even punishable by law. If you rob a bank and get $5,000.xx but later get caught, you’re going to federal prison. Cheat at sports, get fame, fortune, pussy and CASH. In the end they steal from clean athletes, so very true. But that’s who they are, criminals. So why act surprised or so pissed off after the fact? That’s how it works. Cheaters are rich and famous and clean athletes are chumps with a lot of anger. We didn’t start this shit, cycling and all sports have been filthy forever. You think Merkx or Indurain or Hinault were clean? Lemond? No way in hell! Pull your head out of your ass! Lemond still has the fastest average speed for a TT in the HISTORY OF THE TOUR DE FRANCE! There’s been so much doping, that we don’t even know who won most of the tours. People think he was clean because he spoke out against Lance. Shit man he was jealous. Nice guys get jealous too you know, just like they dope and lie.

    Horner tried for a while, then said fuck it, I’m gonna cash in here before its too late. The rest of them made bank, why shouldn’t I? And good for Chris, he’s a hell of a good guy too! He spanked Levi in the TOC once, won the Vuelta at age 42, dropped Nibali et all. Shit man, heres how it works in pro sports. If you turn on your TV and see an athlete competing in a sport, chances are much, much greater that that person is on the dope, especially if it has anything to do with, speed, strength, or endurance. Tennis, swimming, running, cycling, baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, motocross, weightlifting…..etc. are all filthy. Some are good guys, some are douche bags, that’s the part that matters the least!

    Good guys cheat, and dope and lie. Not everyone likes everyone. Like you plainly state here, you don’t like me, and that’s fine. Everyone is different so everyone shouldn’t like everyone, but this is your blog and therefore your readers, who obviously like you, are gonna agree with you. But for every pro guy there’s thousands of little jock sniffing wanna be’s that wallow around beneath us. We all have our minions and they’ll all speak on emotion at times, (on the interwebs of course). So all of my followers think you’re a douche just like all of yours think I am. So where have we gotten? I’m a millionaire, I never have to work another day in my life. I live in an awesome place where the weather and riding are perfect just about year round. I can fly off to anywhere and do whatever I want whenever I want. I have tons of Pro Tour buddies who also have come to grips with the situation and we train together all the time. Froomey is only one of hundreds. I have a hot wife too. You live in Kansas and drive around the country getting yourself fixed from crashing constantly, and telling us all for the 1000th time that you won the first ever mountain bike nationals. That and anti Levi posts or anti anyone you don’t think handled the doping right, on this blog of yours….. Ya, I’m the loser!

    Shit man, just let it go. WE ALL doped. The entire peleton is on dope still today, and if they’re not they aint getting, shit for results.

    Jens Voight…. Cmon man! Great guy, Great Doper too. Get over it.

  16. WC

    This is why all doping violations must have a lifetime ban, then dopers can’t reappear in the sport. Dave Z may be a great guy. He may have not wanted to dope because of his father’s history with drugs. He may have cried the first time the needle went in. But once he doped he lost the right to race a bicycle, forever, period.

  17. markK

    Levi, for real?….Probably not, unless he was delusional and out of his mind when he wrote this… “He spanked Levi in the TOC once”….oh wait, let me rethink this… Yeah, I guess it could be Levi.

  18. channel_zero

    Shit man, just let it go. WE ALL doped.
    No and no. You did. Some other idiots did too. Clean guys mostly went home or suffered while you were stealing their careers. That’s on you and it’s not going away.

    The entire peleton is on dope still today, and if they’re not they aint getting, shit for results. … and we train together all the time. Froomey is only one of hundreds.
    Thanks for that. A Phil Gaimon fan is giving you the bird right now! Can you guess who?

    and telling us all for the 1000th time that you won the first ever mountain bike nationals.
    Yes, and what will your stories be like in 10 years? 20 years? “Another time when I was pulling for Lance and rolled in 15 minutes after the leaders….” Yeah, cool story.

    Ya, I’m the loser!
    Bingo! Stay classy San Diego…

  19. Seth

    “How many studies would you like me to produce that shows that takng PED’s last years and maybe a lifetime after stopping? ” Please produce the “studies” where it shows that the positive effects of EPO lasts “years” after stopping related to performance. Or any anabolic steroid for that matter. I will lie in wait.

  20. Levi

    Ya, I did, and so did EVERY other cyclist that raced in Europe who’s name you know. On me? OK fine, I’m a criminal that got away with crimes that paid off immensely. Is it on Big Mig, Johan Museau, Mario Declerqe? How about Pantani, the biggest doper ever? He’s famously celebrated to this day. Doping is how it’s done son. These guys and thousand more are celebrated heros. You can cry from your little perch in a dingy computer cave all you want, we made millions! Do you really think we care about you? No, and we never did, we were out for ourselves and it worked out just grand! Tom Boonen had been caught for Coke twice and he’s raping 15 year olds, and he’s Belgiums National Hero. YOU GUYS JUST DONT GET IT. DOPE WORKS!!!! There are no consequences.

    It’s not going away? Great! I love being rich and famous. Even a bunch of sponsors still give me free swag. Someone must think I’m a nice guy. Like I said we all have our crew of followers, for every upset reader here, there probably 10 in my corner saying atta boy, or I miss seeing you race.

    My stories in 10 or 20 years? Hmm lets see, Olympic glory, Winning the TOC three times, hanging with Arnold, being on the world stage and being adored by millions. Winning the USA PRO challenge, winning Leadville. Completing more grand tours than I can recall. Seeing the most beautiful parts of the world from a bike while I got paid millions of dollars and a team of professionals looking after me with a team bus, mechanics, free bikes, free food, free hotels, free everything, Dr’s to juice me up, saugneirs to give me free massages daily….etc, etc. The list goes on for me. What are yours Mr. Zero (appropriate name)? Writing a weak ass post or two on your hero’s blog? Tsss. Comical!

    On me? Ya right, me and every Pro cyclist that ever won anything. Phil Gaimon? Who the hell is that, another Bastons or whatever his name was? Isn’t he a construction worker now or something? Ya but he has his pride. HA!!!! Fuck pride man, I’m RICH!!!! And I’m actually proud of it too, it worked out great. Look at George. Another Millionaire, smoking hot wife, beautiful family, hotels and other business ventures. Never has to work, can ride every day. You think he’s remorseful? You think any one of us have regrets? We say we’d do it differently now if we could go back, and we would. We’d start doping even sooner because those first few months or years when we tried to do it clean were a complete waste of time and effort!


    When you watch a movie with a big heist, who are you rooting for? The cops? No! The bank robbers, Bonnie and Clyde, Butch and Sundance, The Italian Job. You root for the guys who had big enough balls to try a huge rip off and you hope they get away with it. It’s like that, only you wanna be that little nerd that tells the cops where we hid the loot. Good for you… didn’t work!

    Dope works! It’s the ticket to success, and all your dreams. Dope works! I owe it everything!

  21. channel_zero

    Do you really think we care about you? No, and we never did,
    Right back at you.

    DOPE WORKS!!!! There are no consequences.
    Yes, quite true. And that’s the crux of the problem. A federation unwilling to sanction every doper.

    Now, when do you start the kids? 13? 11? How much HGH/Test do run with the EPO? You get to do the injections. C’mon now tough guy. Dope works! Give it to the kids. Am I right????

    No health consequences for you or your pals? At all? Are you sure?

    Hmm lets see, Olympic glory, Winning the TOC three times, hanging with Arnold, being on the world stage and being adored by millions.
    All stolen. All sports fraud. All of it. How does that feel?

    What are yours Mr. Zero (appropriate name)? Writing a weak ass post or two on your hero’s blog?
    I have an ordinary life, lived with integrity. It’s a good life. No one can ever say that I’ve stolen or committed fraud. You and your compatriots however, will always be associated with cheating and fraud as long as history remembers.

    Thanks for destroying the integrity of the sport. I fully realize between Hein, Pat and Thom there isn’t any, but, you sure didn’t do the right thing.

  22. channel_zero

    EPO in particular, my limited understanding is the question of long term benefits to carrying more oxygen is leaning towards not meaningful.

    However, what doping does do, is permit very rapid recovery. Imagine being able to recover 10% faster than the next person over 24 hours. Now imagine those benefits over 90 or 120 days or a year. Those are permanent benefits.

  23. WC

    “But I’ll leave you with this: You might want to ask Floyd about his old boss. See if that leads to your doorstep?” Jonathan Vaughters

  24. Larry T.

    Thanks Levi (or whoever you are) for letting us into the mindset of the cheaters. I’ll be hoping karma will one day come around and bite all of you guys in the a__.

  25. Levi


    Congratulations. You’re starting to get it. There is no integrity in the sport, so what kind of foolish idiot would try to take part in it with integrity? Who did I steal from? Lance, George, Frankie, Floyd, Tyler, JV, CVV, Horner, Dave Z, Danielson, TJ, DiLuca, Rebelin, Van Petegem, Schlecks, Contador, Cadel, Menchov, Vino, Boonen, Gilbert, Mancebo, Ullrich,…etc.?

    Don’t tell me I stole from your hero ST. There are 2 kinds of people in cycling, those that doped and had a career, and those that didn’t and are mad. Mad at what? You bad mouth me and then say hey Dave Z. I hope you win Leadville. Fucking hypocrite! If you don’t like someone just say that, don’t crucify one and forgive another for the same crimes because you just end up looking like a fool. You even admit as much. I think the ones who are mad are mad because they didn’t have the balls to do what anyone at the top did….DOPE. And now we’re rich and famous and they’re poor and bitter. Choices. I made my choices and I’m happy with the results. They made theirs and they’re not. CVV has a nice job post doping, he’s a doper commentating on dopers, makes sense to me. JV too, Frankie as well. There are thousands of examples. What don’t you understand? Doping is the normal way in cycling. If we got rid of every doper and ex doper in the sport there would be nothing left….NOTHING. And don’t be hypocritical, we loved it when it was exciting in the mountains in the tour. The Lance years were awesome. Ya he’s a huge arrogant asshole, but so were other guys, Villain against Villain. Great stuff! Now you wanna watch an hour and a half of Andrew Talansky off the back, crying? Pah-Lease. Ya that was good TV.

    Did you ever go over the speed limit? Are you 100% honest on your taxes? Ever look a hot young chick and have a little day dream about her? Are her tits fake? Is it a stolen experience from a flat chested chick if you’re turned on by it? No, its your experience, just like all of mine are mine. I didn’t steal shit, everything I won was fair and square against other dopers. Don’t be mad at me if some guys chose not to dope, thats a knife at a gun fight all day long.

    Ever smoke a little weed as a kid? How bout you Tilly? How ’bout nowadays? Blaze a spleef now and again? When you were little did you ever try to sneak around doing it? Well we crawl around on the floor hiding behind couches with our wives or girlfriends when the vampires are at the door. No different, we’re trying to not get caught.

    Theres more association by the author of this blog with dopers than just about anyone else in the US. Och, Cadel, George etc. Trudi is a sognieur for BMC…..BMC (Cadel, Gilbert, Ballan and more). You don’t think she’s in the know about some “stuff”. He speaks of Grewal and how he kidded about how his drug test wasn’t gonna go so well. Now he comes out and says I hope Dave Z wins Leadville. You followers must feel some kind of confused and conflicted.

    Its funny that you think you can make criminals feel bad about themselves using words like honor, or character, or doing the right thing. Gimme a break. If you could piss off a handful of people and become rich and famous and beloved you’d all do it, especially when those people are complete strangers. My friends and family still love me, they get it. They understand the way of the world.

    Keep crying foul, maybe the whole world will say “Hey Channel Zero is right, lets switch it up”.
    If you live an honest hard working life and you’re happy, I admire you. You’ve found happiness which is the key to life. I’ve found it too, I didn’t steal from you. Maybe you can find it in your heart to visualize the choices I had to make in life and be happy for me as well. But I doubt it. Oh well, I’ll carry on somehow.

  26. mark - Bici Italia Cycling Tours

    a lot. I’d love to see a study were somebody dopes for a year, gets fit as hell, then stops the drugs and starts racing “clean” again. I’m sure they will be a faster “clean” rider than they would have been otherwise.

  27. Ducky

    Alas this post continues on one of the primary topics of the day in cycling. Doping. This topic takes a close second to race results in the frequency of media and blog reporting. I think it is fair to say many cycling fans are tired of the topic, but it just does not seem to go away, nor will it. And why… Because it is such an emotional subject to so many people. Just read all the name calling in the responses here, heavy hitting. I think and read about it a lot. And so here are my random thoughts on the topic of the era.

    I understand why folks choose to dope, because it works and they want the success that it brings. In society in general people lie, cheat and steal all of the time to achieve things. Not everyone, but many people do, myself included. I consider myself a fairly honest guy, but often fiscal motivations will tempt me to the dark side. The problem is that once you have cheated for a gain, you have to live with it. I have some long held guilt for all kinds of silly little misdemeanors. I have empathy for the deep guilt that is no doubt in the minds of many current and former pro cyclists. I do not envy their position, as guilt is an ever present downer and really really hard to escape from. If money, fame, and pretty girls are the rewards of the “success” that comes from cheating, then I would argue you can have it, because the payback of many years of guilt is just not worth it. Give me poverty and obscurity, and a loving family, friends and good honest reputation any day. So, on Monday I will return to my blue collar existence, and tomorrow I will do my little old man crit in the Cat 4’s and I will be quite content. Meanwhile those with the “guilt” have tainted forever what is for many readers of this blog their one true love, riding their bike. I would not wish that fate on my worst enemy.

    Thanks Steve as always for your provocative blog.

  28. James

    Ever look a hot young chick and have a little day dream about her? Are her tits fake? Is it a stolen experience from a flat chested chick if you’re turned on by it? No, its your experience, just like all of mine are mine. ” ‘Levi’ that’s some funny shtick there. A prevailing theme with you…pussy. Is that an after effect of the T or what?

    No seriously, I am curious about this oft touted residual from doping. I would think it would be a mental let down to be +10% on EPO, then say +5% again from T/HgH and then bam no drugs & ‘slow.’ Was/is it like having a bad day everyday? And wouldn’t there be somewhat of a phycological ‘addiction’ to using?

  29. H Luce

    Well, “Levi” is a criminal and a psychopath. Normal people feel guilt and shame if they cheat other people, psychopaths don’t. Not a trace, not a single bit. Dumb psychopaths end up in jail; I’ve represented a few and they have the same attitude as “Levi” shows in his postings above. It’s your fault for interacting with them, for competing against them, whatever. They don’t know fault or guilt. A lot of smart psychopaths end up as millionaires or billionaires – in fact most of them end up as raging successes in life, if you count success in possessions, money, and power.

    If they achieve political power, they’ll destroy nations and the people in them; if they achieve corporate power, then they’ll destroy the people they employ, and they’ll end up with the money, the trophy wives, and the possessions. They’ll leave destroyed and ruined lives in their wake, and they won’t feel a trace of guilt or shame, because they’re incapable of it. Hell, they’ll even boast about it. That’s why dumb psychopaths end up in jail, they boast about their crimes and someone gets pissed and rats them out.

    The same goes for psychopaths in sports, they’ll do the same kind of stuff, and they’ll do exactly as “Levi” did above. Dumb ones get caught out early, smart ones get the fame and fortune. And the smart ones will end up running the game, if people let them do it. And that’s what appears to have happened in cycling.

    The only way to deal with psychopaths is to either get them sent to prison where they can’t interact with more than a very few people, or to not interact with them and shun them – totally. And get away from organizations which cater to them or are controlled by them. It’s a kind of moral, as opposed to mental, retardation, it’s lifelong, and it’s absolutely incurable.

  30. joriverdog

    Levi…If this is truly you here on this site…..Wow! That is the most cynical diatribe I have read in a long long time. Incredible. I got news for you son…all that money, the hot wife, etc…Well as the song goes…”that flag decal don’t get you into heaven anymore. ” You like everyone will age and you will only be left in the end only with How Much Love you have sown…that’s it…$$don’t mean shit. Peace Out.

  31. Gordon

    DZ finished 36th more than an hour behind Todd Wells. So much for the lingering benefits of EPO in his system.

  32. James

    None. The body reverts to homeostasis. Always, there is no exception to this.
    I’m a medical doctor, my brother is in school for exercise physiology.
    Think of it like this: you’re body is a VERY well functioning machine. You can tamper with it for the SHORT term, but at the end of the day any exogenous chemicals like PEDs will negatively alter the functioning of the body. EPO and oxygen vector drugs can harm the metabolism. Endocrine disrupting drugs like anabolic steroids have much more complicated side effects ie sexual disfunction, injury from overuse, etc.
    In short, the only long-lasting effects of PED use are NEGATIVE ones. If you develop a greater muscle density, it will disappear as you have no way of supporting it.
    You can have a hematocrit of 50 for a time, but for too long you can end up like too many cyclists, soccer players, etc. that have died from heart failure/congestion.
    Hate towards ex-dopers is ridiculous. I would feel very sorry for them and the fact they unknowingly put their health on the line for a salary. There is a real human tragedy for these folks. Ex-dopers are good after bans because they work so gosh darn hard/have so much talent! Jealousy is a terrible thing…

  33. James

    Why don’t you talk to the management first :). That would be better than the staff at the lowest rungs of the latter, ie the athletes and mechanics.

  34. channel_zero

    You bad mouth me and then say hey Dave Z. I hope you win Leadville.

    I didn’t say that Lance.

    What about the kids under your “it’s inevitable every athlete dopes” meme? Dope em’ up! Everyone does it. Right? When do you do your first injection on a teenager? What’s the doping program for an 11 year old? When do they learn to do the injections themselves? Blood bags. When do those start? 15? 17? 19?

    If we got rid of every doper and ex doper in the sport there would be nothing left….NOTHING.
    You had a much closer seat to Festina and that was supposed to be “the end of cycling.” But, it wasn’t. Clean racers and probably a few administrators who might (that’s might as in maybe) bring some integrity to the sport.

    Its funny that you think you can make criminals feel bad about themselves using words like honor, or character, or doing the right thing.
    Nope. I don’t. I can only control my own actions and words. Really. But, here’s my big idea. Take the dope out of cycling and then the sport becomes about what’s happening on the bike, not in the hotel room/bus. That’s all. Imagine if all we had to argue about was what you did on a bike? Just like Lemond’s career. But, it didn’t go down like that.

    I didn’t steal from you. Maybe you can find it in your heart to visualize the choices I had to make in life and be happy for me as well. But I doubt it. Oh well, I’ll carry on somehow.

    Lance, you personally, I wish you the best. Be clean and sober, raise the kids so they can enter the world as adults and maybe help end some suffering on the planet in any little way.

    I don’t buy your excuses. None of it. You made years of choices to steal and commit fraud and now you have to deal with some minor consequences.

    You and I both know the problem is at the UCI/IOC level. How about campaigning for a lower T/E ratio? Or how about granting WADA/NADOs the power to open sanctions? You can do something meaningful in sports administration reform. I cannot.

  35. channel_zero

    And the smart ones will end up running the game, if people let them do it. And that’s what appears to have happened in cycling.

    This goes back too many years, but members gave up their ability to direct the federation a long time ago. As mentioned a while ago, it’s not just elite athletes with a doping problem.

  36. H Luce

    Then non-cheats and non-psychopaths stop supporting the federation. Take your money and walk away. Start your own federation, do your own races, that’s the only thing to do, hit them where it hurts, in the financials. As long as they can continue to leech off suckers, they’ll do so, without a trace of remorse or guilt. And “suckers” is exactly the word to describe what they feel about honest riders, people to be stolen from. Deal with crooks, and expect to be victimized, because that’s precisely what will continue to happen.

  37. Tom

    But Steve has numerous studies that show the benefits of taking PED’s last years and maybe a lifetime after stopping.

  38. Steve Tilford Post author

    James-I think you might be wrong somewhat. I understand the short term affects of EPO, but the HGH and steroid issues are different. Here is a piece from a study in Norway-

    According to a study conducted by the University of Oslo and published in the Journal of Physiology, even brief exposure to anabolic steroids can create lasting effects in muscle fibers. Researchers discovered that muscles that have been exposed to steroids develop a “memory” that allows them to build more muscle mass even years after the initial exposure.

    “Mice were briefly exposed to steroids which resulted in increased muscle mass and number of cell nuclei in the muscle fibers,” said Professor Kristen Gunderson. “Three months after withdrawal of the drug (approximately 15% of a mouse’s life span) their muscles grew by 30% over six days following load exercise. The untreated mice grew insignificantly. The results in our mice may correspond to the effects of steroids lasting for decades in humans given the same cellular ‘muscle memory’ mechanism.”

    If these results prove true in humans there are so many questions related to steroid use that will need to be addresses or reexamined. For one, what will the Anti Doping Agency make of these results? If an athlete is found using steroids, or is known to have used steroids ever, will he/she be permanently banned because any steroid use is now an advantage no matter how long ago a person took them?

    Here’s a link –

  39. Race Radio

    Of course it isn’t really Levi who is writing here but he using the doper talking points.

    “Everyone was doing it” is nonsense. Everyone was NOT doing transfusions. In 2000, when the EPO test finally was approved, USPS was the only team using transfusions…..and even then it was only 3 riders, not the whole team.

    Dave Z never did transfusions. VDV was left off the Tour team because he did not do transfusions.

    Dave Z was pushed into doping. Levi never had to be pushed, he was already doping long before he went to Europe, long before he met Johan. By 2007 teams wanted nothing to do with organized doping. Even Johan was scared, but Levi wasn’t. Levi pressured Johan for months to start a team administered doping program, said he would not do it unless the team was involved. Johan finally caved before the Tour. ……..think about that for a minute. Johan had to pressure Dave Z to dope, while Levi pressured Johan to dope.

  40. James

    Dear Steve,
    Thanks for the article, I was able to read the whole thing via my college library website.
    I would say the following about that and the few related articles: I’m unsure how related this is to the cycling world. The article you shared was neat. However, the rats in question are exposed to anabolic agents that put their values well above the “normal” range. The subjects are also put in a situation where they are commonly building muscle through “over-load” exercise, where the muscle is stressed until failure or thereabouts ie weightlifting. These two facts make it seem to me at least a bit irrelevant. I understand that cyclists, in the past, never intentionally went over or near the top of the normal range and that as a cyclist myself, I’ve avoided such exercise. As I understand, the value of such agents is in recovery (to bring the body back to “normal” more quickly) which, is a very different matter altogether. Furthermore, no one makes the claim that increased myonucleic density is advantageous in endurance sports, although I imagine it would be. Increasing the cross-sectional area of muscle fibers, ie putting on mass, I think most people would say is not advantageous at all in endurance sports, a detriment in fact. Finally, human beings are much much more diverse physiologically than bred Norway rats. There is a very wide spectrum of muscle density, nucleic density, etc. In short, even if there were any great long lasting effects, which does not seem to me to be the case for cyclists, the athlete would still be at the lower end of normal for all the values mentioned in the study. Frankly, the Samoan american football linebacker at the local highschool would be at the greater end of normal, and knock all of us cyclists out of the park in that regard. Physiological findings like these are notoriously difficult to make conclusions from. Especially from rodents, who do not experience much decreasing bone density with age, for example, like us humans. In the absence of any reliable conclusions re endurance sports (the rest are pretty solid), I would suggest we try to be inclusive and appreciative to our fellow man. I’ll never have the natural ability of a top pro cyclist, nor my kin and progeny, but that shouldn’t make my cycling any less enjoyable!!!

  41. Skippy

    This comment from Levi contains NO SURPRISES !

    No doubt i am at the back of the queue offering to lend the postage needed to return the Olympic Medal ? Ever visited the ” Veteran olympic Club ” , ll , guess you would be as unwelcome as your dog’s poo ?

    Couple of Tweets that should motivate you to act quickly :

    skippy mc carthy ‏@skippydetour now
    @BrianCooksonUCI @Uci YOU think you do a Good JOB? Cop this … … L ow L ife give YOU the finger!
    View photo Reply Delete Favorite Buffer More
    skippy mc carthy ‏@skippydetour 1m
    @iocmedia @wada_ama YOU think you do a Good JOB? Cop this … L ow L ife give YOU the finger! ACT

    That you are able to give ALL the middle finger , is no surprise , but , you have now tarred the WHOLE USA Olympic Movement , with your brush , will i hope have results you had not contemplated !

    Remember when you stopped on Passo Tonale on the rest day for Lunch ? When the Aussies walked into meet Alberto , you made yourself scarce ! They didn’t know who you were , so it didn’t matter to them ! NOW , i guess they would be pleased that they did not relate a story about meeting you ?

    Enjoy your wealth , as long as you have it , you can expect people to bow & grovel , but we ALL know of more deserving people who contributed to their Community & Country , that died in obscurity , because they did not try to justify their existance by taking short cuts ?

    As to those that you have named here , what part of your relevations have not been trotted out elsewhere ?

    Never paid a cent to ride with the likes of you , but always willing to have a free lunch . That is what is so great about the Cycling Tours , easy access to ALL , even those that claim to be ” Lilly White “!

  42. Chad hartley

    There will always be debate as to whether PED’s have lasting effects. Frankly it doesn’t matter. What most accurately describes what doping can really do for you is what Malcolm Gladwell talks about in Outliers and Canadian hockey players and their birthdays. The jist is the majority of players have jan, feb, mar b days and almost non have dec b days. It goes back to pee wee hockey age cut offs and when basically a child has almost another year of development they are mistakenly seen as more talented. They get put on better teams, with better coaches, more ice time, more practice. And soon the small advantage of age has turned into true greater talent. I think this relates very well to cycling and doping. An athlete uses drugs to perform slightly better and gets picked up by bigger teams, more money, more training camps, better races, more care, until far enough down the line they are genuinely stronger and faster. But the only reason they were afforded these luxuries was because of cheating.
    This is perhaps the difference between Levi and dave, Levi used drugs to get into the party, dave was good enough and only offered once inside.

  43. Truthi Truth

    Pushed into doping? Yeah, right. This is a guy who begged his team to hire him for $15K/yr. He would have done anything to continue racing. It is very convenient to blame everything on Armstrong and Bruyneel, including a sob story for USADA, but the truth is that Dave Z. needed to dope to obtain the level of performance necessary to race in the European environment. That is the bottom line. After he went to CSC he did not stop doping. He doped even more so he could challenge and even beat Armstrong at time trials.

    The Armstrong case gave dopers like Dave the chance to blame someone else instead of taking responsibility for their own decisions. They would have doped no matter what European team they went to.

  44. channel_zero

    H Luce,

    Just to complete the picture, USAC itself can never die. Part of it is funded annually by the USOC. They have a government granted monopoly so it’s impossible to stop them.

    The way forward is to get local promoters to switch from USAC to either their own event insurance, or get event insurance from NABRA. It has to be a concerted effort. The promoter needs to know racers will show up and the racers have to show up!

  45. Bolas Azules

    All I’m sure of is that karma is indeed a beeotch. A big mother f-ing beeotch. Lance and his drug use in his teens and getting his nuts cut off and his skull sliced open. The rest of them and their health problems… I will say back in the old days the 7-Eleven boys stole from us every weekend and somehow I like to think in the middle of the night when they wake-up with an itch, an elevated heart rate, night sweats or whatever I can’t help but wonder if they think back to the crap they shot in their asses 30 years ago and how maybe, just maybe it is having a negative health consequence on them today. And me? I just roll over and go back to sleep.

  46. Everyone who has a brain

    People, this guy posting is NOT Levi Leipheimer. Do you really think Levi refers to cyclists as “wearing spandex” as this troll does in one of his comments?

    He is merely an internet troll just trying to get people agitated. Ignore the troll and he will go away after his meth hit wears off.

  47. Levi

    So H Luce,

    You’re a lawyer? And you represent psychopaths, trying to get them aquitted from crimes you’re pretty sure they committed and you’re speaking about feeling guilt? Are you friggen kidding me? Thanks for making this so easy by making my point! You guys are a laugh a minute!

    I took some EPO and got some race results. No one got hurt, if I didn’t, I’d just be another guyt that got cheated. Cheat….. like everyone else in the entire peleton, so you’re on equal footing, or get cheated and be one of the people you all so passionately defend here. You on the other hand have worked hard with your lawyering skills to get psychopaths off so they can go back out into society and commit more crimes. How many murdered after you got them off?

    How dare you compare the two!!!! Why are there so many “Lawyers are scum jokes”? Because it’s true. Mine did a good job for me in fact!

  48. George Samian

    It’s actually not true that felons are not able to vote. It is only in the minority of 11 of the 50 states that felon voting rights have the potential of being barred permanently. In fact in the states of Maine and Vermont, convicted felons are entitled to vote while still in prison! Most states (39 states) allow felons to vote after they serve their sentences and some have the additional requirement that they pay off their fines first.

  49. Daniel

    For one thing, Dave Z’s last several years in the pro peloton were a greatly toned down version of his former self. You could even say a shadow of his former self – still a very good time trialist but not crazy stupid fast and climbing as you’d expect for his weight. There’s every reason to believe that when he made the switch to Slipstream/Chipotle/Garmin, he was either doping much less or not at all.

    On the other hand, Levi’s last couple of years in the twilight of his career cut short by his prosecution were some of his best. You can say that’s because everyone is doping less or with less performance enhancing effects these days with lots of out of comp controls and biopassport but he’s pushing 40 years old and, no, it didn’t make any sense – just like Horner’s Vuelta last year. My speculation is that a highly refined microdosing program made the difference once things were toned down. He has his PR polished but it’s really just a polished turd. A “nice guy” who doped to the gills? Say it isn’t so.


Comments are closed.