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Sunday, August 27, 2006


Filip Meirhaeghe cheated. He used EPO and got caught. Today Velonews had an interview with this guy who has recently returned to international mountain bike racing. The following is a quote regarding whether or not fans have "forgiven" him.

A conversation with Filip Meirhaeghe: 'You make a mistake, you get punished and then you start again': "People in Belgium forgave me. A lot of people were disappointed, of course, but they forgave me, which is good. They have settled so they have forgiven me and they are back behind me. At the World Cup in Spa in Belgium I had so many supporters. It felt good to be wanted back. It's only about five percent of the people that are booing me, and I'm okay with that."

I find the notion of forgiveness in this case curious. First, what does forgiveness really mean? Does it mean that you are OK with the dude racing again? Or does it simply mean that you can understand why he did it?

Without question, the use of EPO is cheating. It is no different than taking a short cut through the woods during a race. It is no different than using a motor on your bike. In effect, cheating takes money from competitors but more costly is the disenchantment of fans. This in turn reduces the "cycling" marketplace. Ask Ed Sussman, the owner of Bicycle Pedal'r who he feels about selling one less bike.

For me, forgiveness stops at understanding. I understand why a guy would cheat. But I also think they are no different from Ken Lay or Jeffery Skilling in that they are thieves and can't be trusted.


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