Vaughters' Doping Confession
Jonathan Vaughters confesses to doping, but is he the victim or the Jedi Master of Spin?
closed ranks to avoid the wrath of the patron of the peloton at that time, Lance Armstrong.
However Landis did take a different approach to his confession. Like I mentioned, Landis named names, gave dates, what he used, who he bought it from, and that was the end of Landis. He went scorched earth.
In his article Vaughters doesn't name anyone else involved. While I applauded his article and am glad that he finally came clean, he comes off as a victim - which is part of the spin by Jedi Master Vaughters.
In his article he talks of early morning training rides and sacrifices he made to get noticed in order to make the next step in his development as a rider, which included not having a homecoming date. Then he says he was given advice from a coach that he needs to cheat.
"If you just said no when the anti-doping regulations weren't enforced, then you were deciding to end your dream, because you could not be competitive. It's the hard fact of doping," is what Vaughters writes as to why he took the step to cheat.
I believe him when he says he wasn't hell-bent on cheating - that's how the system was set up. The rules weren't being truly enforced. Like Vaughters said, "it's like fudging your income taxes in a world where the government doesn't audit. Think of what you would do if there were no Internal Revenue Service."
To me Vaughters comes off as a victim. Instead of people getting angry, because they thought Vaughters was a clean rider who was fighting the good fight, they were lied to. But hardly a bad word was said to him. Me included. I tweeted to him that I was happy he came clean. The burden must have been tremendous. But Vaughters is skillful with the wording and timing of this announcement - the UCI is unlikely to take any action against him and he's seen as someone who was a victim of the professional European racing system and we should feel sorry for him.
Vaughters admittance was a step in the right direction, but upon further reflection I admire riders like Frankie Andreu who stepped up when it wasn't popular and faced the consequences of his actions. What would have happened if Vaughters had also stepped forward in California and come clean too? Perhaps this ongoing USADA, WADA, UCI alphabet soup of investigations would have been resolved, but I'm guessing in a manner that wouldn't have been good for JV.
In his article Vaughters says, "They were punished for following their moral compass and being left behind. How do they reconcile the loss of their dream? It was stolen from them."
"A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality," is how Ayn Rand describes morality. Vaughters' code of values was to cheat and leave behind his compass because he needed a level playing field.
But who is the "standard" that we can hold ourselves up too? Vaughters isn't saying that it's him and frankly