Gutted. No other way to describe my reaction to the news overnight that Stuart O’Grady has admitted using EPO before the 1998 Tour de France.
Rather than a blaze of Tour glory, like so many before him his legacy is now shrouded with shame.
The writing was on the wall yesterday afternoon and has now been confirmed. Just like the cheating Texan, the golden haired boy (perhaps appropriately bald these days) of Aussie cycling for so long has been lying to us for 15 years. That’s what rankles the most. Not that he did it, lots did it. But, despite being filled with regret and remorse this morning, that he lied about it for as long as he thought he could get away with it. Which turned out to be pretty much an entire career. He deceived us all, and for all intents and purposes he got away with it. He made his name. He made his millions. He wore winners’ jerseys. He stood on podiums with medals around his neck. Heck, he even kissed a paver. All the while with a dark little secret like so many of his peers.
As for never touching the stuff again as he assured the world in his confession, can we really honestly believe him? Or is it just that, as of right now, nothing has emerged that could pin him to more doping violations? I hope he’s telling the truth. I really do. But how can anyone be certain? Time will tell.
I can’t believe I’m writing these words. Just 48 hours after paying glowing tribute to the stellar and untainted career of a rider I’ve always admired so much. Like I said at the start, gutted.
Begs the question, who’ll be the next green (and gold) bottle to fall?
5 thoughts on “O’fark, not you too Stu”
Can’t say its too surprising. It would have been better if he admitted it earlier because it would make his statement that it was the only time he did it more believable, rather than an explanation for the one time he was caught.
We mustn’t forget that doping was legal until the 60’s. We don’t see Eddy Merckx career as being tainted even though we know he was fully juiced for much of his racing. The blame for doping extending though to the 90’s and early 2000’s can be laid squarely with the UCI, who simply allowed it to continue. By sanctioning doping the UCI made it very difficult for riders not to.
Interesting what you say about Merckx. I’ve been wondering how Armstrong must feel seeing him (and even others like Coppi and Anquetil) feted as legends whilst his generation are hung, drawn and quartered???
There is becoming a fine line of wether it is best for some of them to come forward or not. It maybe a selfish reason but this morning I wish I did not know this. Gutted is about the best description Pete. Somehow though we will again be forced to put this into perspective and realise that the sport is better with this knowledge!
Makes me laugh how lots of those up in arms about Armstrong last year now seem happy to makes excuses for poor Stuey. He’s an Aussie legend and he only did it one little time and no one else was involved. Honest Mr School Principal. Cane him I say. 10 cuts across his boney sth aussie arse.
Armstrong’s case and Stuey’s case are completely different, so our reaction is different.