I hope this finds you all doing well.
First of all, sorry for sending this out as a group letter. If there was any way I could come visit each of you individually, I would. I hope we are together soon.
There’s no easy way to say this, so let me just say it plain: on Sunday night you’ll see me on “60 Minutes” making a confession that’s overdue. Long overdue.
During my cycling career, I knowingly broke the rules. I used performance-enhancing drugs. I lied about it, over and over. Worst of all, I hurt people I care about. And while there are reasons for what I did — reasons I hope you’ll understand better after watching — it doesn’t excuse the fact that I did it all, and there’s no way on earth to undo it.
The question most people ask is, why now? There are two reasons. The first has to do with the federal investigation into cycling. Last summer, I received a subpoena to testify before a grand jury. Until that moment I walked into the courtroom, I hadn’t told a soul. My testimony went on for six hours. For me, it was like the Hoover dam breaking. I opened up; I told the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And I felt a sense of relief I’d never felt before — all the secrets, all the weight I’d been carrying around for years suddenly lifted. I saw that, for me personally, this was the way forward.
The second reason has to do with the sport I love. In order to truly reform, cycling needs to change, and change drastically, starting from the top. Now that I’m working as a coach, I see young people entering the sport with hopes of making it to the top. I believe that no one coming into the sport should have to face the difficult choices I had to make. And before the sport can move forward, it has to face the truth.
This hasn’t been easy, not by a long shot. But I want to let you know that I’m doing well. The coaching business is more fun and fulfilling than I’d ever imagined, and Tanker and I are loving our Boulder life. I recently turned 40, and my friends threw the best 80’s themed surprise party in the history of the world (hey, most of you were there!). Life is good.
Again, I just want to say I’m sorry, and that I hope you can forgive me. What matters to me most are my family and friends. I’m deeply grateful for all your support and love through the years, and I’m looking forward to spending time with all of you again, hopefully soon. My Mom and Dad always told me that the truth would set me free. I never knew how right they were.
I've got some thoughts on it too.
I presume everybody who raced pro in the era you came up in, raced on dope. I suspect that very few avoided it; even anti-doping advocates like Jens Voigt are cagey, and admit they came their current position because they didn't like the other path, or slippery words to that effect. Yeah, Lance probably doped. So did everybody during that period. I'm more or less over it. He's an ex-racer who runs a cancer foundation, as far as I care at this point. I don't exactly follow him, or carry a vendetta for the dirty racers of that time period, I'd rather we expend resources cleaning up cycling now, than hashing over crimes from back when UCI turned a blind eye to the problem.
Many were caught, and many denied doping during your era. Yet few attacked their accusers - including 'accusers' who weren't actually accusing but citing doping convictions, facts - with the vindictiveness that you and those close to you used. Lance, who hasn't been busted, goes around personally attacking people who accuse him of doping, making a good point - you'd better be able to make the accusation stick in a court of law. Yeah, it's bullying, but it isn't the personal attack your buddies and family launched on people, and he doesn't go around telling outlandish lies about his phantom twin being the cause of the test failures. You have been caught at least a couple times that we know about, and a few years back I remember reading in Bicycling how you used your family and friends as attack dogs to personally abuse anybody who so much as raised a whisper about doubting you, including people you had known for years and who considered you a close friend. That makes you a buddy fucker, Tyler. And buddy fuckers are lower than whale shit.
You're like Floyd in that sense; you preyed on credulous others to get them to pay for your legal defense, knowing all the time that you were a damned dirty doper. Lance is probably a damned dirty doper too, but he hasn't made personal appeals to me or my friends to pay for his grand jury defense costs, based on his "innocence."
Doping is bad enough, getting caught is worse, then mounting a 7 year campaign to impugn those who caught you, is even worse than that. Now I guess we're supposed to absolve you because you confessed to make yourself feel better, or some bullshit like that. Like the phantom twin story, it strains credulity. I'm glad you feel better; but none of us feel better about what you did or the way you treated us. Reading your story about watching Lance dope is like watching a felon on the stand implicating somebody else based on a jailhouse conversation. Maybe everybody has to go to jail here for justice to get done, and maybe it's the truth, but it's damn ugly and an honest person looking on can't trust any of the actors involved. It's a train crash. Thanks for causing it, jerk.
I got a newsflash for you Tyler: you may be telling the truth and it may make you feel better, but it doesn't make most of the rest of us feel better. Many of us wish you'd just go away and maybe help Basso with his cancerous dog, or help out Leogrande as he quits cycling to concentrate on tattoos. Maybe if Lance is eventually caught, you guys can buy an island somewhere and spend the rest of your days rationalizing what you did.
Some of us fans are getting dubious about the flunked test => confession =>anti doper metamorphosis that is so common; but please understand, even in those cases where we as cycling fans agree to not despise a confessed doper, the doper didn't just wrap up a 6 year campaign of slander and agit prop. The coverup is almost always as bad as the underlying crime; and the coverup is worse when your mechanism isn't just lying but attacking others in libelous terms.
For many years, Tyler, you were completely sanctimonious in your denials, pointing fingers at others to explain away your doping. Like a preacher who gets caught with a prostitute, or a book keeper caught embezzling, you betrayed a trust. The hypocrisy of what you did is stunning; you didn't just deny, you blamed and lectured.
In the end, I'm sure God will forgive you. Me, I just want you to go away so I can forget you and get back to watching the ATOC and Giro. Your doping was bad enough, your coverup was worse, and all the crap you're now doing to make yourself feel better or sell books or settle scores or whatever you're trying to do, is worse yet. Please, go away while there are still three or four people left in the world that you haven't pissed off.