An essay by 1984 Olympic gold medalist Alexi Grewal

 
I’ve used the same title, and now I’m going to cut and past the editors note right in here. Three is nothing more for me to add. Read this. Now.

…the following is an essay written by 1984 Olympic gold medalist Alexi Grewal. A full article on Grewal and his admitted use of performance enhancing drugs appears in the April 1 issue of VeloNews.

Read the rest here: www.velonews.com

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

32 thoughts on “An essay by 1984 Olympic gold medalist Alexi Grewal

  1. It’s too bad that this fine essay isn’t likely to change the fact that the temptation to cheat and the rewards for getting away with it will always be there. I mean really, who wouldn’t want to kiss the podium girls?

  2. …i concur, it is a good article…now i wonder even more about the poppy seed bagel fiasco (like elaine on seinfeld) when grewal tried to explain away having opiates in his system by blaming it on the bagels…true story…

    …alexi grewal had a great domestic career (european campaign: not so much) but the guy always seemed to act like a dick…maybe this article is somewhat of an explanation…

    …by total contrast, rishi grewal had an wonderfully successful mtb career as first a circuit & then an endurance racer & he was one of the most polite & courteous hard core riders you could imagine…

    …& while ranjeet grewal never garnered the success of his siblings, he was a really good natured guy during his time on the race circuit…

    …well, perhaps this is alexi’s way of cleaning the slate for his past transgressions & trying to bring some hope into the future of cycling…lord knows it needs it…

  3. kiss? hey wait please stop by for some wine please :-)
    ill be ready. LOL

    “i wanta be a rock super star live large”

  4. ohh man this says it all.
    “Cycling will always be the sport that requires the most suffering”

  5. I am going to get punched for this. But the assumption Rishi didn’t partake, seems very absurd to me.

    For a long, long time, the “best” riders have nearly all, to all, been on the cane syrup.

    90+ percent of Euros, 60+ percent of N. Americans is what the common talk has been.

    With the blood profiling, there is only now, only just now there is a chance that there is somewhat clean racing going on at the highest levels.

    Until every team / person endures the longitudinal chemistry profiling and ways are found to detect gene ‘therapy’ and such, it’s not going to be clean.

    Probably as Alexi says, the next big ‘victory’ is when people serve time.

    Also as Alexi says most of us have that dual mind. I would love to feel what it’s like to climb on enriched blood via EPO. I most certainly never will, but I still think about it. If I was a racer of note, I’d be just like Alexi.

  6. …bush43, who knows ???…but you may be right about rishi, in that regard…i only knew him enough to say hello but now if it’s discovered that ned overend has been on something illegal, fuck, i may have to sell my bikes…
    …& btw, where the hell ya been…you’ve always got good input…

    …interesting info coming out in light of the testing procedures being put in place regarding the olympics…turns out some folks can take supplemental testosterone & it’s not detectable due to body chemistry…i’m sure we’ll learn more about it in future days, just as i’m sure that if it’s true, certain sports organizations discovered it long ago & have worked the fact to their advantage…

  7. now we just need his brother rishi to come forward and say that he has really been a raging douchebag all these years…because we all knew he was anyways

  8. I am not saying Rishi doped. I know, I am cutting a slim path and not a totally logical one but what I am trying to say is that I assume that ALL of them dope. I don’t think between about 1992 until about now that ANY top performers were not drinking the magical mystery juice.

    The “nicest guy in the peloton” was Tyler Hamilton, yet if we believe the Operacion Puerto records, which Spanish judiciary has effectively squashed it seems, he was doping 140+ days out of a 200 day racing season. He was taking EPO, storing his blood, taking testosterone and damn near everything on a copious schedule, including insulin and HGH. The number of injections, the amount of blood in and out, 30 doses of EPO in 3 months was amazing. If Tyler was on such a rigorous doping schedule with his natural talents, and just squeezing of intermittent major victories, I think we can assume that everyone was doping like mad and it was a true arms race. Either participate or leave.

    So, I don’t think the personality angle has anything to do with it. Cyclists use much smaller amounts of testosterone because they use it principally to aid recovery and don’t want to build muscle anywhere except their legs and some parts of their core. So, they don’t tend to have the “roid rage” we all characterize with anabolics.

    Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyler_Hamilton

  9. Since 1992… you are being kind. Alexi won the Olympic Gold in LA in 1984 yet talks of using caffeine as a junior…… the only semi-recent winners of the Tour that have not come under a “cloud of suspicion” have been LeMond and Indurain…. Every other one since has doped, confessed, denied, etc… That is only 7 of the last 20 years of the race…. Sorry my recollection gets a little cloudy prior to Delgado however it would not surprise me if Roche was on pain killers in 87.

    daf

  10. I am being generous about 1992. I converged on about that date, because of it’s tie to the advent of EPO. EPO under went clinical trials in roughly 1985-1987. It was first used by the pioneering doping docs on their “clients” about that time. The Italians led the effort and the first peloton users tended to be Italians. Italian dominance in World Championships and some major races was at this time late 80′s beginning of 90′s and it was due to EPO. From Italy it went to Spain, and the era of Spanish greats came to be. Indurain was one in my opinion. That would be 1991. But still I think that the whole peloton wasn’t clued in until about 1992. By that time it was in the circle of knowledge of the Lowland country riders.

    Blood doping, what Grewal did to win Gold in 84, wasn’t practical in terms of the Euros. Sure it was done. But sometimes it had mixed results due to inexperience, and you also couldn’t train on it, because your body would start flushing the extra red cells by homeostatic processes as fast as possible. You could only take out and put in so much blood per year, and guys were often racing more than 100 days per year. So you could use it for big races, but not through a lot of your races.

    EPO changed all that. Now you could dope for large segments of the year. You could train on EPO and increase your muscles and other systems relative to the boosted EPO. The mixture of EPO, with testosterone to aid recovery and cortisone compounds to mitigate your immune response which wants to shut your body down was the true hot mixture. Plus EPO had unequal effects. Some people became much better riders than others on it.

    So 1992 is what I speculate was the last year you could do anything significant without being doped. After that, it was a must for anyone wanting to have any standing as a Euro first tier pro.

    Indurain I think was absolutely EPO fueled. It’s documented to have reach the Spanish riders by that time, and the giveaway is a big rider who can climb with the natural climbers. And his HR of 30 is indicative.

    Greg Lemond was the last clean Grand Tour winner. That’s my opinion.

  11. I have to say it’s fucking refreshing to see a conversation about doping that’s peppered, appropriately, with the word opinion. Conjecture within the tenuous confines of historical perspective a potentially realistic perspective might make.

    Alexi, thanks for giving an insight into one of the seminal weaknesses of the elite athlete. Most of us will never know the temptation.

    Personally, the current fashionable assault against augmented physiology is a positive…and I think this season’s results, even this early, are showing what kind of human drama is possible without growth agents and blood boosters.

    Cheers to 2008…hopefully the raucous opening act to a new and altogether real epoch in cycling.

  12. I have to say it’s fucking refreshing to see a conversation about doping that’s peppered, appropriately, with the word opinion. Conjecture within the tenuous confines of historical perspective a potentially realistic perspective might make.

    Alexi, thanks for giving an insight into one of the seminal weaknesses of the elite athlete. Most of us will never know the temptation.

    Personally, I think the current fashionable assault against augmented physiology is a positive…and I think this season’s results, even this early, are showing what kind of human drama is possible without growth agents and blood boosters.

    Cheers to 2008…hopefully the raucous opening act to a new and altogether real epoch in cycling.

  13. “Indurain I think was absolutely EPO fueled.”

    Whatever, dude. It was the high pedalling cadence..which was also adopted by Mr. Armstrong. DUH! I totally read it in Lance’s book! :)

  14. Prior to 1992 Euro pros did what was called “Blood boosting” they would pull out a pint of blood in the off season and then add in the 9th pint prior to the race… in fact I think a swiss amerature rider died on a particulary hot day in some unnamed race long ago (I will have to look into it specifics).

    It is all screwed up… It is why most of the hard-core followers have lost interest in following the sport.

    lets go ride.

  15. zzzzzzzzzzz have always wondered where all the crusaders were in regards to ’84.it seemed like at least 1/2 track team later admitted stacking blood in a san diego motel under burke and eddie b’s supervision.and alexi was the poster boy for self absorbed,petulant,spanked asses that the US racing scene seems to spit out

  16. When you boil it down, its cheating. There are shitheads in all walks of life that cheat on all manner of things. In our current culture the sitch is as so: It ain’t cheating unless you get caught. Business, politics, sports, marriage …

    At least cycling tests for doping and people do get busted… are you listening NFL?

  17. Here is a story. Told 3rd hand.

    I have a friend, who has a friend.

    In the early 90′s, that person was covering a race in Europe. He happened to have a room in the same hotel as Indurain’s team. In fact, his room was next to Indurains. He saw the team earlier, and said “Hi” and all that.

    Sometime in the very early morning, perhaps 3 or 4 AM, the FOF was awakening by a large repetitive thumping noise. He woke up and gathered himself, the noise continued. He went out into the hall, and the noise continued. He heard the noise was coming from the room next to his, and the door was open. He pushed the door open just a bit more and looked in. There was Indurain doing jumping jacks, exciting his heart and warming his body to get his heart beating faster from the over thickened blood.

    Riders would set their HRM alarms for the night, and when the EPO caused the heart to slow down greatly, and nearly stop, the alarm would go off and then the riders would jump up and exercise to get through the crisis.

    I am sure there are more stories out there of cyclists riding rollers in hotel hallways at 4 AM. I’ve heard them from others.

    About 20 cyclists died in Europe from the heart stopping from the EPO effects on the blood. That’s when they learned ways to awaken before the heart stopped and they died.

    Believe it or not. I don’t know if it’s true. I think it’s true, because my friend is somebody who has good friends, and is deeply involved in cycling by profession and hobby. More I cannot say.

  18. All y’all,… hook, line & sinker.

    Betcha it’s ghost written.
    Must be.

    It would be consistent behavior, taking credit for riding on someone else’s back.

    Rather, why assume that it isn’t?

  19. I was a young competitive cyclist in the early 1980′s and Grewal was my hero. The blood doping thing disappointed me immensely. I had been so proud of America’s Olympic cycling performance, as we were just getting around to being any good at this sport. And then I learned it was only because we were a bunch of very well funded cheats. It disgusted me and made me ashamed of my sport and my country.

    So I was pleased to read this essay by Grewal. I think he sees the problem pretty clearly. And I like his mystical appreciation for the bicycle.

  20. I hate to be the one to do this, but I just notice that this doping thread was missing the obligatory Tammy Thomas photo.

  21. All this aside.

    The “84″ Olympic Mens (I guess hindsight shows it to have been lying cheats) Road Race, is still the most exciting and engrossing time I’ve ever watched television. I remember that day better than I remember last week.

  22. …well, our little tammy t may be off the juice, but she had some juicy things to share w/ both the jury & the prosecutors when they indicted her on three of the five counts of previously lying to a federal grand jury…

    http://velonews.com/article/74207/thomas-convicted-of-perjury

    …seems tammy was gonna turn all that piss & vinegar into a law career, but who knew, even attorneys are subjected to rigorous moral & character standards (ok, ok, erik ryberg & bob mionske, please forgive my wry sense of humor…i think well of the both of you & my own friends in that business)…the point being, her three years of law study may now be of no avail…

    …on top of that, miz thomas, like marion jones, may be looking at jail time…

  23. “Tammy Thomas has had a pretty large case of reversion lately.”

    Holy shit! It looks like she’s gained about 100 pounds, grown a beard & lost her eyesight.

  24. …ya, john, but even in a suit & tie, she still looks better than in your regularly posted obligatory photo…

  25. Bush43, your sources are so unreliable that you may as well be quoting from The Onion. I heard it from a guy who heard it from a guy who heard it from a monkey who read it on wikopedia…hahahahaha.

    Who cares what Alexi Grewal was doing back in 1984. We should be worrying about the present and not crucifying those from the past. Besides, he’s been retired now for what, 20 years? Name one cyclist besides Jerome Chiotti (if you don’t know, look him up) who has come forward without being caught, suspected, or implicated.

    My point is that 99.99% of those that are doping will probably continue to do so and will never admit it unless they are caught red-handed. And for those that continually comment in this forum, I hope that you have never done anything wrong in your lives, either.

  26. How can you say his “sources are so unreliable”? Neither you nor I know anything about his sources.

    Do you mean it to be hearsay?