Phil Zajicek admits doping and cover-up

I just got a heads up text message from my man Fitty.

Zajicek. Suspended. For. Life.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has announced the life-time suspension of former Fly V Australia rider Phil Zajicek after he admitted to a second doping offense for purchasing erythropoietin (EPO), and a third doping offense for providing false testimony at an American Arbitration Association (AAA) panel hearing, as well as encouraging other witnesses to provide false testimony.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/06/news/phil-zajicek-admits-doping-suspended-for-life_177847.

More at cyclingnews.com: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/zajicek-given-life-ban-for-doping.

I’ve been putting in 10 and 11 hour days studying for the Bar exam. As such, I haven’t had time to share anything on the site, and I don’t see that trend changing much until the end of July.

But, for this, I had to find the time.

I know Zajicek. I’ve been calling him Z-boy on the site for years. Sad news. I feel bad for the guy, really I do. I’m not saying I condone his choices. But, I understand the motivation behind them.

If you read this, Z-boy, keep your head up. I still appreciate you pushing me (literally) over Pistol Hill.

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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

35 thoughts on “Phil Zajicek admits doping and cover-up

  1. good men still make bad choices. doesn’t make them bad men. now back to work for both of us, J.

  2. Good luck on the bar. “Day one, the topic is law. You may begin.” You know your shit, you’ll be fine. (says the guy who thought he would gnaw his own arm off while studying for the exam.)

  3. I agree that he is a good guy, I also have ridden with him a few times, he just made a decision to be competitive at more than just the regional level, and he go caught as a result of it. No different than my man Kirk O’bee from Michigan. He killed it regionally, but when it was time to play ball with the big boys, he took the step that so many have taken, and got nabbed for it. Good guys yes, flawed system that required them to dope yes, bad decisions HUGE yes.

  4. Good people make mistakes. Yes. But this quote begs a question:

    “Today, I have accepted a lifetime ban from the sport of cycling. I have had an enjoyable and successful career which has taken me to all corners of the of the globe and I’m grateful for everything cycling has given me. It’s time to walk away from the sport and begin the next chapter of my life with the tremendous support of my wife, family and friends behind me.”

    Successful? If there are rules and you do not follow the rules (even if no one else does) is that success? Isn’t this the problem – that the culture of professional cycling is a culture of cheating, that success is still defined as winning no matter the method of winning?

    There are clean athletes. He is not one of them. I don’t know about cycling but in other sports there are clean athletes that win at the highest level. I would hope this is true in cycling though I seriously doubt it at this point. He made a choice not to compete at a new level – which should be possible clean – but a choice to steal from clean athletes, to chase athletes that would have, could have won races, won money, pursued the sport at the highest level out of the sport. He may be a good guy by some measure but his actions and choices in this case are evil, his notion of success is evil (not on the scale of violence, but still). His actions and words perpetuate the notion that cheaters can call their winning a success.
    Naw, to the sport of cycing he is no good guy. To sports in general he is no good guy. To a father of a young athlete, he and his type give me a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.
    The world is not black and white. But, no, this is not a good guy.

  5. No offense to you who know and like this guy but he is cheater extrodinaire. He cheated, lied and fought like the dickens in his Denver hearing. Good riddance. He’s been “known” to be dirty for years. Velonews has been giving him a pass in the press which sucks.

  6. …cycling has become such a ‘slippery slope’ that you can practically ski down it…

    …just sayin’…

  7. I gotta say it. I don’t condone what any of them do, I have known a few that walked away from Pro cycling b.c of the doping. But having seen the Hamilton 60 minutes episode, I understand the psychology of the decision.
    I think the thing that gets to me most about LA right now is that he has such an opportunity to make a difference for cycling and he is not doing it, nor do I think his ego will ever allow him to.

  8. …humpty…we used to be about 180* on this shit but i couldn’t agree more…

    …as for the lance-ster, at some point, when he realizes the lawyers can’t maintain “the wall”, i’d hope his damage control specialists (& you know, he’s got ‘em – he’s anticipating the future as much as anyone) can make him see that being both truthful & (honestly) humble would serve to help right the ship of cycling itself, not just his personal rowboat…

  9. And I should give a shit because…

    Oh, and good luck, Kitchen. Not that I expect you’ll need it.

  10. BJ, you are going to pass that bar with flying colors.

    as for another guy doping, i dont give a shit anymore. im convinced everyone’s fucking doing it.

  11. Well at least he was getting paid to do that shit. What I find laughable is the clowns who dope to win a trophy and some socks. Yeah yeah I know he prevented clean cyclists from being more successful but anyone who races professionally and DOESN’T think his peers are gassed up are severely deluded.

  12. They are all fuckin cheaters. Who cares! I notice you all still watch the races. Besides, if they all cheat it’s probably fair after all.
    Good luck on the exams.

  13. Agreed. Can’t believe we’re still talking about this. I say find the pro with the highest VO2 Max and let everyone else dope up to his level. Level playing field.

  14. Phil Z also happens to be a bike racer with Crohn’s disease, a fellow who has said publicly that he was conscious of how his racing could be a positive example for folks with Crohn’s and UC. He didn’t build a Livestrong juggernaut or anything; but for the million-plus Americans (like me) who live with Crohn’s — a chronic, incurable illness — it meant something to see someone like us excelling at such a high level of sport. So yeah, this one is a bit personal for me and all I want to do is meet the guy in person so I can shake him by the lapels and ask “What the [bleeeeep!] were you thinking?” This outcome is SO sad, disappointing and utterly stupid.

  15. let’s face it, on some level Phil Z. is an narcissist; because he couldn’t say to himself like most of us do “OK, this is how good I am and it isn’t that good and I am good with that”

  16. Yeah, good guy or bad guy is not defined by whether or not you like someone. This guy is a bad guy. I got a friend, does all sorts of shit wrong…he is a bad guy…it doesn’t make me bad and doesn’t mean I can’t be his friend.

    A for the Crohn’s disease, who knows if he has it or if he has the symptoms did he cause it through his own actions. Simply put, if you turn you body in to a chemistry experiment to maximize athletic performance, bad things will happen (yes, including cancer and death).

  17. apologies are for pussies, way to stay classy phil z!

    “Today, I have accepted a lifetime ban from the sport of cycling,” Zajicek said in an email sent to VeloNews. “I have had an enjoyable and successful career which has taken me to all corners of the of the globe and I’m grateful for everything cycling has given me. It’s time to walk away from the sport and begin the next chapter of my life with the tremendous support of my wife, family and friends behind me.”

  18. Yeah, I say fuck him too.

    His is a disgrace to himself, to the sport and causing his family great harm. According to what I have read he will be virtually wiped from the records books and have to return medals and prizes (I’m assuming this includes cash).

    Pathetic. If you support him personally so be it…if you support him professionally you stand with the dopers and cheats.

  19. @ YoRo: Crohn’s disease symptoms can be (and often are) triggered by food allergies; but the underlying causes are hereditary; people of Ashkenazic (Eastern European) Jewish and Scandanavian descent are the most likely to end up with the disease. I have yet to hear of Crohn’s symptoms being triggered by mixing the wrong drugs. (I’m not a doctor, but as someone who has spent far too much time in the WC over the last 40+ years I think I can speak with at least a little authority on the topic.)

    Phil wasn’t really my “hero”, but it was inspiring to see someone compete at such a high level and also be open about living with Crohn’s — a rather socially awkward illness to talk about, much less have. So yeah, it’s more of a disappointment than, say, Specimen Lance.

    Still, I took my middle-aged ass out on the short-track course last night and killed myself, something I plan to do every single week of my local series, without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs. I raced, I pushed myself hard and finished strong. And clean.

    Maybe it’s time to walk away from the hype and everyone just be their own heros for awhile. Certainly cheaper than cable…

  20. Seriously, this is DC. You guys all break mad balls when Zirbel got popped. And you give Phil Z a free pass because you know him? ‘Cause he rides in AZ? WTF holy double Standard Batman…
    Not that you can’t, or shouldn’t give your bros the benefit of the doubt, just pointing shit out. It’s your site. He can be your boy.
    I always thought he’d be one of the clean guys though. I guess that’s what it takes to win consistently. I hope the next generation is learning something that this generation only said they did.
    If Talansky, VanGarderen, et al get popped, I’m fucking done following the sport.

  21. Amen, Fdub! I would also like to add that I hope and pray that the corruption never reaches Chad Beyer. I raced with him when he was a shy unassuming JR. His dad is great and he is a good, no great kid. I have since moved from AZ and still follow his career. I think if he can be caught up in this mess, then the professional sport as a whole is just EVIL!! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  22. Yeah Beyer too. That kid has talent deep. BMC has a few of the young ‘merikuns. John Bennet (Cal-Giant) as well. There’s just so many talented young kids, I hope they can look past all this shit. past Lance/Landis/Tyler Dbag crap. Past the next generation that seemed to not learn a damn thing as well. Start new, do it right, NFA (No Fucking Around)

  23. they’re all big boys… but cheats? Come’on gents and gals, the word ‘cheat’ is harsh in this day and time. There are pros out there turning Rotor’s… there are some guys on the latest and greatest Specialized Venge while other are on 2-3 year old rides… some teams are running DI2 while others are shifting the old way… the Robaix winners are runnin’ the latest and greatest ZIPP 303′s while other teams are on the ‘same old alloys.’

    Are the guys on the best tech cheats? Aren’t those technological advances just another form of ‘performance enhancement? Where do you draw the line?

  24. @jeff Umm, the line is pretty easy to draw. It’s called cheating. All bikes are not equal, as you point out, but the UCI has rules set up to “level” the playing field somewhat. Aero this, weight limit that. Your bike is legal, or not legal.
    You get caught with crap in your system over the UCI limit. That’s ILLEGAL. Just the same as have The Flying Superman position on yout TT bike.
    The line looks clear from where I’m sitting… but your point about equipment brings up the inequities of the money side of the sport. (which brings up the money side of doping as well.)

  25. Fdub… oh, there’s no question you’re right… there are restrictions on equipment just as there is on EPO. My point is that we applaud the advance of technology, but human physiological advancements are technology too.

    I’m just attempting to point out that there are all kinds of ways to get an “edge.” Doping is just one of many. Doping is only perceived as wrong because certain individuals in a position to make the ‘calls’ have designated it as wrong. We could just as easily have said that asymetrical chain rings are wrong… Or protein gel packs or peanut butter sandwiches or coca cola.

    I’m suggesting that the cyclists are adults and can make choices and should understand the implications of those choices. And if they perceive that they need to dope to compete or be competitive, let ‘em dope. And if they don’t want to dope, let ‘em play tennis. Let’s stop wasting time, effort and financial resources chasing these bozos. They’re fun to watch, dope or no dope.

    Tell me you cared that Lance was spiking up some crap when you were cheering him up Alp d’Huez. Nah… you didn’t care at the time and shouldn’t now.

    Let’s stop using taxpayers resources to chase him and let him help whip cancer. Let’s not spend another $52mm plus investigating bygones like we did with Barry Bonds when the ‘crime’ has NO VICTIM!!!!

  26. Jeff, it is always best to stay on topic and not address people personally so I apologize in advance.

    You attitude and logic is in direct contrast to society in general. I know people can try to make a philosophical argument such as you are doing and as a mental exercise it might be worth engaging in, however if you truly don’t understand why the rules can’t be broken on an individuals whim you are truly deluded. They are cheaters, liars and criminals.

  27. YoRo… strange that you single me out for directly addressing other individuals… I’m seeing most of the responses in this thread addressed to other’s comments. And I think the thread is about drug use in professional cycling. So I’m not sure why you object to my comments other that if you have a mind to stifle contrary opinion.

    could it be that you have been a direct victim of a professional biker’s doping causing you severe physical harm or extreme metal anguish or economic loss? Or is this mindset the same that perpetrates society in general… that government and law should dictate and control morality.

    Unless you and those that continue to profess what these guys are doing is truly criminal were physically run over by Vinokourov on the Tourmalet, or are deeply worried to the extent of chronic mental malaise on the fate or Ricco or lost a ton betting on Landis then there is no victim. If there is no victim there is no crime. Please wake up, stop attempting to police my writing in an open forum and lobby your representatives to go solve the REAL crimes.

    Ohhh… and by the way, if you WERE a victim because you lost money gambling on a cycling race, note that gambling in most venues is illegal!!

    The Tour is entertaining to watch dope or no dope. If you don’t know they’re doping… or who is doping… the issue is relevant only to certain archaic laws that need serious reconsideration.

  28. Jeff,

    Your comments struck me as close to bizarre, that was why I addressed them.

    “that government and law should dictate and control morality.”…government and law is what it is, I accept the role it plays in society (including mechanisms that allow for shifting morality to be reflected in the law). You apparently do not accept the established role of government.

    “If there is no victim there is no crime. “…not true, you may wish it works this way but it does not.

    I pay taxes and as such I expect others to pay their share and to be prosecuted when they defraud the gov’t…these will be some of the charge coming out of the investigation.