Well, actually I've been sanctioned but it's nearly spelled the same. And why can't I believe that this has all happened for a larger purpose? I have agreed to a 2 year sanction from cycling today. Ouch, that hurt my gut. Even when my friends and family know that I am not a cheat, it still hurts to write this and it really hurt to send that fax today. However, I believe this to be my best course of action and I'll try to explain why. Nothing has really changed: I will still continue to have testing done to try and figure out how this all happened in the first place and I still won't be racing. The only difference is that by accepting this sanction, I may actually gain a little credibility with USADA. I really am trying to work with them so we can make sure this doesn't happen again. And if I can walk away from racing forever, maybe people will be more willing to listen when they know I have nothing to gain personally. I'm not lobbying for change to save my own career, I'm lobbying for change to save the next clean athlete's career. In the meantime, I may actually be able to move on with my life and start this next chapter that I've talked about.
So, I guess there will be some sort of press release from USADA announcing my acceptance of the sanction. Then I can only assume there will be much back-slapping and smiles all around as another doper has been purged from sport. Ugh. This anti-doping system in place is....how can we be diplomatic here?...needing serious reform.
Hang with me here, folks. I'm trying my best. I'm not turning my back on cycling and I'm not giving up. As my new friend Sarai pointed out, "Cycling can save the world!" So I guess I can suck it up and help make it better.