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Tue 12th Nov 2019
A doping 'confession'...
Posted by: JohnLevison
Posted on: Friday 12th October 2012

Tags  Doping  |  John Levison

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In the spirit of the week's announcements from George Hincapie, Michael Barry and others like Christian van de Velde, I feel it only fair to make a statement myself and to come 'clean' on the subject of doping.

Triathlon has been a part of my life for, well, more than half of it, and throughout that time I've tried to be the best I can be; you know, working hard and striving to be 'towards the front of the mid-packers' / slightly above average / 'pretty good for a club athlete'. Hell, I've even had dreams of winning a race (provided I can find one small enough which few people have heard of yet). Tough tasks which have taken dedication, the use of plenty of annual leave to have some of the best laughs ever on training camps and, mostly, the ability to not get wasted every Friday night because Saturday morning usually begins with a swim session... and it's hard enough already without adding a hangover to the mix.

That has taken serious sacrifices. At times I've had to give up watching “Location, Location, Location” of an evening so I could make it to the pool. I remember times when I've gone outside in the rain wearing tights and running shoes rather than wellies and an umbrella. There have even been times (not many, I grant you...) when I've said “no” to a second coffee at the café stop , as we really do need to fit in another 20km on the bike because that Ironman is getting closer…yes, that's true commitment.

But I'll admit, the temptations have been there, I could have been drawn to the dark side. The prospect of winning a free water bottle, six gels and a plastic trophy to add to the cupboard full I've got already (gels and bottles, not trophies) was a big one.

And so, I'll admit it. I gave in to the pressure and I took… some High5 Energy Source and a ZipVit energy bar. Was that wrong? Perhaps I should have use Torq and SiS?

I hope you can forgive me… but I'm afraid my desire to see how far I could go just wasn't, and isn't, great enough to start injecting crap into my body. Tough to admit I know, but I'm afraid my need for dope free competition is infinitely greater than my desire to win. A shocking admission, but it's true – I really don't want to win that much (!) - and while I'm prepared to go the extra couple of hundred metres, the ‘extra mile' is out of the question! ‘Fast enough' is ok for me, winning isn't everything. At least, I don't think it is – not having won I wouldn't know.

Sorry to say, but a 2:53 marathon is as good as it's going to get… but I'm proud of it, even if the wider world couldn't care and I won't be featuring on any all-time lists. I'll always know – because the race had course measurement certification (it wasn't in a triathlon after all…), that on at least one day in my life, I ran a half marathon below six minute mile pace. Only just (it was 5:58.4)… but that's still ‘Sub-6' in my book. I even finished third and got a trophy!

Perhaps in time you'll forgive me. I am, after all, a cancer survivor and I've raised a fair amount for charity too.

But the truth must come out, and so today I admit it publically – I haven't taken performance enhancing drugs!

If that means that my race results can't be removed from record then so be it. If that means I can't pretend I didn't come almost last in my first ever duathlon all those years ago, I'll accept it. And yes, my wife did beat me in the last triathlon I did at Emberton Park. I'm not too proud to admit it, it's true. (The fact that she - a 'swimmer' - ran past me does hurt my ego though, I can't deny that!!).

If you doubt I'm telling the truth, just check out my race results - they prove I wasn't doping...

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