Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Condemnation of LA

These are exciting times if you’re in any way connected to Lance Armstrong. These are especially exciting times if you’re connected to Lance Armstrong and you’re one of the people steamrolled when you didn’t measure up to the Lance standard.

So it might be with Prentice Steffen, a former USPS doctor let go prior to 1999. Here are some Dan Osipow thoughts published by VeloNews on Thursday: “Prentice joined our team as an inexperienced EMT doctor…he continues to want to speak about us and jump and down about us, and clearly he has an audience and a platform. But within our team, when Prentice speaks it doesn't mean anything. Prentice is a non-issue."

A Prentice Steffen interview was published Thursday in L'Equipe magazine. In the interview Steffen enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame by expressed his thoughts on Lance being a doping cheater, and also on the high likelihood of there being a large percentage of professional cyclists that dope.

Apparently an over anxious Steffen failed to consider how his statements might affect the people he’s currently working with. Steffen is the team doctor for a developmental cycling team TIAA-CREF. This team is unique in that central to its existence is its desire to prove to its young cyclists that you don’t need to dope to win in professional cycling.

On one had you’ve got a team founded on the hope that professional cycling success can be had without dope. On the other you’ve got the team doctor saying professional cycling success is not being had without dope.

Prentice Steffen issued a retraction and apology today. This wasn’t the usual non-apology apology that we’re so accustomed to seeing. This is a real life acceptance of responsibility. I attribute the uniqueness of this apology to my belief that lots of people involved in professional cycling are in fact actual humans.

Here is the statement.

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