In “Draft Animals,” I repeated a rumor that’s well-documented and many years old, and I presented it as such. I stand by my opinion, but it’s exactly that, and anyone who actually opened the book would know that what I said was far from an “accusation.” Put a gun to my head and that’s what I believe so I’d be a liar if I left it out, but I claim no revelations or proof, so I don’t see it being “taken off the shelves” except by the folks buying it. Ironically, that part in the book is dismissing conspiracy theories about motors today as clickbait, and it’s now been turned into clickbait.
My friendship with Tom Danielson is a big part of the story, so usually when I get hate mail, it’s calling me a hypocrite for not being enough of a “doper hater.” I didn’t expect my summary of motordoping to be pulled out of context or turned into mudslinging, and I’m sorry for anyone who’s wasted time or energy on it. That’s not how I wanted to sell books, and it’s not worth this headache. There were some things I had to get off my chest, but if a juicy tell-all is what you’re looking for, don’t bother buying it. I don’t reference any scandal you haven’t heard before, and I’ll probably show empathy towards dopers that you want me to hate. I expect that type of reader will be disappointed.
The story I want to tell is about what it means to follow a dream to the bitter end: how hard I worked, how good I had to get and what I chose to put myself through, ultimately to suck at the highest level of cycling and make peace with it. I would have loved to tell that story without any reference to wrongdoing, but unfortunately that’s not the world I was in. Navigating the post-EPO era physically, socially, and emotionally was a big part my life as a professional cyclist, and it wouldn’t be possible to tell readers how it felt to win and lose if I didn’t also provide context and history–factual, assumed, or rumored–of what and who I was up against. Every word is true to my experience and I put a lot of time and emotion into it, but I have opinions that won’t be popular and I say some things that I felt needed to be said, which I understand will make some people angry. I hope a few of you will read past the noise and enjoy “Draft Animals” for what it is.
As always, shoutout to everyone who gets it, everyone who takes the time to read the book (instead of a misleading headline about a sentence that someone tweeted) before they judge, and I’m going for a bike ride.