CYCLING: Vaughters admits to doping during career
NEW YORK: Garmin team chief Jonathan Vaughters has admitted to doping during his professional cycling career and called for stronger anti-doping legislation.
The 39-year-old American's admission came in a piece he wrote entitled 'How to Get Doping Out of Sports' in Sunday's New York Times, in which he stressed the importance of enforcing anti-doping laws.
Vaughters wrote about the doping atmosphere which surrounded cycling when he turned professional in the 1990s and the tough decision he had to make to continue his career.
"I chose to lie over killing my dream," Vaughters wrote. "I chose to dope. I am sorry for that decision, and I deeply regret it.
"The guilt I felt led me to retire from racing and start a professional cycling team where that choice was taken out of the equation through rigorous testing and a cultural shift that emphasised racing clean above winning.
"The choice for my athletes was eliminated."
Vaughters said doping occurs because an athlete can only reach 98 per cent of his dream through natural talent.
"Doping can be that last two per cent," he wrote. "It would keep your dream alive, at least in the eyes of those who couldn't see your heart. However, you'd have to lie. Lie to your mother, your friends, your fans. Lie to the world.
"This has been the harsh reality laid out before many of the most talented, hardest working and biggest dreaming athletes."
Vaughters cycled for one year with the US Postal Service of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, who is under investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency for possible doping. He also rode for the French Credit Agricole team. AFP