Clean Cycling: Consequences
39” Five hours after my victory, I sat alone. My entire world had collapsed. I was lucky that there was no rope in the room. If there had been, I wouldn’t be here now.” Michael Rasmussen, Climber
Outrunning a conscience is like trying to outride your shadow. You can only for a moment obscure it by darkness. Deeper and deeper in you must go to escape. You cannot stay there untouched. Darkness has its price.
Here’s a list of real consequences taken from cycling’s headliners: titles taken away, jerseys stripped, fired from teams, homes lost, quarantined from event involvement, careers derailed, families affected, media coverage pulled, races cancelled, premature or forced retirement, suicide attempts and suicide successes, street drug use, and death.
Riders implicated in a major doping scandal led to: escalated response by a national federation, then restricted coverage of races in that country, public disgrace, and eventual cessation of significant sponsorship.
These are not light circumstances. These are dim crises. The domino effect is fertilized in dark soil such as this. We reap what we sow and others around us taste the bitter harvest of our rotten fruits. We cannot lie or cheat alone. Our actions affect a wide audience.
This same sensitivity to consequences brought about by the improper choices of others is also operative when right choices are made. Cycling untainted is powerfully attractive. Its superheroes are world-renowned. Our enterprise of countless solitary riding hours has the ability to yield global proportions of influence. We are meant to be like shining lights upon a hill – beacons of health and freedom to other sojourners. For a race’s time, even a lifetime, we inspire, exhilarate. That legacy can prove dim or illuminating.
Prayer for Consequences
“… It’s my observation that those who plow evil and sow trouble reap evil and trouble.” 40Job 4:8
We are grateful that a principle of consequences governs society. We ask that these repercussions become clear. We pray for the same perseverance we use for racing to meet the challenges we bring upon ourselves in other ways. We pray for discernment in our decision-making.
Ponder Do I understand that when I do wrong, even if it seems like it’s just about me, how it affects others? Affirm I can always decide to do right even after doing wrong. Watch the impact you have upon others, and count, from equipment distributor to Directeur Sportif, how many depend upon your doing right, not just racing to win at any price.
39“Rasmussen considered suicide after being pulled from Tour,” and “Rabobank report: Rasmussen purposely lied,” By Susan Westemeyer, edited by Gregor Brown. Latest Cycling News for November 12, 2007 and December 2, 2007 edited by Steve Medcroft www.cyclingnews.com
40The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson