In recent years, and even in maybe the past 10 years, sports committees are cracking down on the dopers. Cheaters, liars, deceivers. They seem like heroes, but they got there by cheating. There will always be large controversies and outrages, removals from the Hall of Fame and records torn down because they wanted to win by drugs. I understand the drive to win, and I understand how incredibly powerful it can be. But I would never let myself take drugs to win. Losing is the motivation that fuels you to be better, to train harder, and to eventually succeed. There is no feeling like coming in first place, knowing that you and you alone were the one that made it happen.
And that's where I want to bring up a wonderful article written by Bradley Wiggins, during the time he was riding the Tour de France this year. Being in that sort of position, as in, riding with the yellow jersey, blowing away the competition in the Prologue; put simply, being one of the best, you will always have conspirators that wonder if you are doping. For those athletes that stay clean and have never touched drugs in their life, this can be incredibly frustrating. It speaks volumes to the kind of world we live in where someone with superior athletic skill is first suspected of cheating before being given due credit for their talent.
In this day and age, it seems that anything goes. If you can get away with it, do it. If you need money, steal it. If you want to win, take drugs. Where is the sense of ehthics, morality; where is the conscious mind when you need it? Fact of the matter is, if you are at the top, there will always be people for you and people against you. Some will have a deep hatred and others will proudly mount your face on their living room wall. To some you are a hero, and others an absolute villain.
Athletes can say what they want when it comes to sports, how they were pressured by this person or that person. But when it comes down to it, there's only one real person who can make the decision to take drugs and that's yourself. Wiggins is proud to say he has always been against doping and, given his achievements, never would want to take drugs. There are too many things to lose (records, titles, fan support), things that people like Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador are struggling with now. Even if it turns out you only did it once, the number of people you may upset could be a number of epic proportions.
And so the whole point of this is that I read an article recently that was actually written by Bradley Wiggins, during the time he was racing the Tour. He expresses his disdain for doping in any sport, but of course specifically cycling, and the reasons why he refuses to take part in such illegal activities. I'm really happy to see that someone with such a sense of honour won the Tour this year. These are the kind of people that are champions; heroes.
So Congratulations again, Bradley, on a well-deserved, drug-free win.