All his life, Levi Leipheimer wanted to be a cyclist—and the sport's culture of doping didn't stop him. Leipheimer was a longtime teammate of Lance Armstrong, one of many who came forward as part of yesterday's bombshell USADA report on the doping epidemic in the sport. Today in the Wall Street Journal, he explains his actions. Like most people, he once assumed doping was a solo activity. "What I didn't realize … was that doping was organized and everywhere in the peloton."
Leipheimer explains that he worked and sacrificed his whole life to achieve his dream of racing in the Tour de France. But after turning pro, he found that doping was so institutionalized that team managers and doctors managed sophisticated banned substance regimens. "In my mind, the choice was 'do it or go home.' For me that was not a choice." Maybe he should have come forward sooner, he admits, "but would that have accomplished anything—other than ending my career?" Read Leipheimer's full comments here.