Everyone Doped; Here's Why

Levi Leipheimer, a longtime teammate of Lance Armstrong, comes clean
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2012 11:49 AM CDT
A cycling fan holds his camera as he runs behind Levi Leipheimer of the US during the 17th stage of the Tour de France, July 19, 2012.   (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
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(Newser) – 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. (Read more Levi Leipheimer stories.)

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