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Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters Admits Doping

Posted by bikezilla on February 2, 2011


In an article for Le Figaro, Garmin – Cervelo’s Jonathan Vaughters admits to his doping history as a rider.

He does it in an almost offhand, casual kind of way that will have you nearly miss it, so I’ll post the quote:

Question: (Sport24.com / Le Figaro): “One of the problems of cycling is it that most team managers’ current runners who were steeped in years of doping?” (restated, Isn’t the problem in cycling that most current team managers, themselves, have a history of doping?)

Answer (Jonathan Vaughters): “Yes, obviously.

Myself, I was part of this generation “doped.” (I think it should have read (“this ‘doped’ generation”, but this is a translated text — Bikezilla)

But if we have the right mindset, good ethics, we are the right people. Because we made these mistakes, we know the inner pain of living with this lie.

I do not want the new generation do the same thing. It is our responsibility to present a sport where there is no need to make these bad choices.

I have a ten year old boy. I do not know if he will make the bike but if it becomes cyclist, I will pass on my knowledge because I do not want him to enter the sport as it was before.

Instead, the best asset in cycling today is to have these people with that experience, because they have good intentions, they can prevent errors.

Let everyone realizes he must take a new direction. It is a battle he must win.”

Thank you, Jonathan! Sincerely.

But I still don’t understand why you don’t line up behind Floyd Landis and tell what you know.

YOU are the guy who can take down the mafioso culture of doping in cycling. You’re the guy who can destroy the Made Men of that culture; from Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel, to the people running USA Cycling and UCI. You’re the guy who could burn it all down and let the phoenix rise up, new and whole and beautiful, from the ashes.

Does that require more courage than you possess?

And when Lance Armstrong reads your interview, will he get so nervous that he gives you a call and tell you to “chill out”, “calm down”, “don’t do anything that’s gonna hurt yourself and a lot of other people. Don’t do anything that’s gonna hurt cycling more than it could ever help it.”? Because that’s his style and his view.

Will Johan and Bill Stapleton and maybe Pat “Dick” McQuaid give you ever so casual calls to find out how you’re doing and offer their own (self-serving) sage advice? I suspect that they will.

If Jeff Novitzky comes to you, will you be open and honest? Or will you, like so many others, perjure yourself and perpetuate the poisonous status quo?

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7 Responses to “Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters Admits Doping”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom, alan hall. alan hall said: RT @Bikezilla1: Garmin's Jonathan Vaughters Admits Doping: http://wp.me/pyTKB-d2 […]

  2. TheBloomingCyclist said

    i think it takes a lot of courage to admit to doping, especially when you have a successful career in cycling now. And it also takes a lot of courage to implicate others. I don’t think Vaughters will ever implicate others- it doesn’t feel like his style. not that i think everyone should just “forget the past, look to the future,” but it seems like Vaughters’ style to work on improving the future rather than digging up the past. AND i think it’s a little insulting to Vaughters to insinuate that he would lie and perjure himself if Novitzky came calling.

    • bikezilla said

      Yes, it does take courage to make the admission.

      I notice that he made it to foreign press, so hardly any Americans will ever even see it, and he isn’t commenting on it, at least not to lowly me (I’ve asked him about it).

      I find it curious that no American press has so much as made a peep about it, either. But typical English speaking cycling news outlets are pretty gutless. Bigfoot would have to be screaming in their faces before they’d acknowledge that he was even in the room with them.

      Vaughter’s behavior and conflicting statements regarding Matt White and Trent Lowe, in addition to his statements to Floyd Landis and his questionable explanations for them, all open the door in asking if he would cooperate honestly and openly with Novitzky, or if he (Vaughters) would perjure himself. It also doesn’t help him that he has a long and protected history with doping himself and that he continues to shield Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, UCI, USA Cycling and others.

      If I fail to ask the questions that, to me, are obvious and important, than I may as well shut my yap, because I’d be writing all the same crap that you can already find on any “real” cycling news website (though Bikezilla is really an opinion / editorial site). There’s enough empty, happy, don’t rock the boat, let’s all love each other stuff out there, enough worrying that someone in power will be irritated and cut us off informationally. Turning Bikezilla into one more site like that would be pointless.

      And thank you tons for coming in, for commenting and for generally supporting the site, here and on Twitter. I really appreciate it.

      • TheBloomingCyclist said

        No worries! I have a blog myself- gotta share the love!

        Where did you get that he “has a long and protected history with doping?” I haven’t done too much research on him, but I was under the impression it wasn’t a serious, long term thing with him.

        He probably chose to “reveal” it to the french press precisely because it wouldn’t get so much attention in the US press. Although they don’t have a great history of really pursuing doping stories. Which is exactly why I totally agree with you that you should be asking these hard questions- blogs go where mainstream media won’t. Even if I don’t always agree with what you say!

      • bikezilla said

        Jonathan rode with Lance as a domestique and was occasionally a truly phenomenal climber. But his connections and contact with doping extend considerably beyond his personal experience, as you can see from the excerpt within the Landis / Kimmage transcript.

        I believe that the “mistake” with Dr del Moral, who Jonathan worked with during his time on Postal with Lance, indicates that his close ties to the world of doping continue. Because I don’t buy the ever changing story around the White / Lowe / del Moral issue.

  3. TheBloomingCyclist said

    Do you think that JV knew he was going to del Moral and only admitted it when lowe threatened to come out with it (if he threatened at all)? If lowe was going there, was he going for nefarious reasons? Why did he fire white if not for breaking team rules? Do you think JV’s whole “clean team” is a scam?

    If you’ll excuse the ignorance, i’m not as well read on the subject as I should be.

    • bikezilla said

      This is getting kind of off topic, and I wrote about this in a couple of posts, but I’ll give a quicky of what I think.

      I think JV has continued contact with del Moral, though probably infrequent and usually electronic, along the lines of LA’s continued contact with Farrari.

      I think he knew way back in April ’09 what happened, if not then, then when the bills came in. I don’t know what the real reason was, the story has changed and changed again.

      But Lowe definitely knew that del Moral has doping connections. What exactly was he gonna rat JV out for? Just the appearance of impropriety? Or something uglier? Again, I don’t know. But I suspect that it was team connections to del Moral that go beyond the innocent use if his (del Moral’s) clinic for a regular UCI required checkup.

      White was fired, rightly, because of his connections to the newly forming Australian national team, GreenEdge, and because Cameron Meyer and Jack Bobridge were targeted by GreenEdge.

      But there’s something fishy even in all of that, because White was put in control of that Tour Down Under team and that’s a lot of responsibility to give a guy you’re about to take punitive action against. What’s really up? Another mystery.

      Is the “Clean Team” a scam? I want to believe that it’s for real, but Vaughters’ connections to doping and the way he continues to protect Lance, Johan, USA Cycling, UCI and others makes it impossible for me to buy in. And during his time with Postal he learned the ins and outs of successful doping, what to do, how to do it, who could be bought off, who couldn’t.

      But then I read other things, like his refusal to sign a rider because of questionable blood values, and they at least create an appearance of giving a damn and trying.

      So to be honest, I’m unsure, but inclined to believe that “Team Clean” may more correctly be called “Team Less Dirty”.

      Hmmmm, that wasn’t very “quick”, was it? Sorry.

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