By Lyndon Ferguson,
As the world of cycling comes to terms with the USADA investigation into institutional doping within the US Postal cycling team, one reaction in particular has caught the attention of not only the cycling media, but also the press at large.
I’m referring to the stance that Team Sky has taken, asking all riders and staff, from Bradley Wiggins to the janitor, to sign a declaration that they have never been involved with doping related activities. This course of action has claimed some high profile casualties – Bobby Julich and, ahem, Sean Yates among them.
Many coaches and directors sportif employed by pro cycling teams are retired pro cyclists. So it fits that many of these retired riders competed in the murky world of pro cycling in the 1990’s and have some first hand experience with doping. If any of these riders were contemplating furthering their careers at Team Sky, they had better think again. There is no place for those naughty boys in that playground.
In a surprising twist of fortune, this opens the door for those who are not former pros to apply for a position at Team Sky. As I am about to send off my application for the position to Director Sportif to Dave Brailsford, I thought I would share my cover letter
I hope this letter finds you in good health — I know how health problems can suddenly appear out of nowhere.
Please find attached my CV. I would like to apply for the position of Director Sportif/Coach within your organization. I feel that I am most qualified for this role as I have never used Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). This is evidenced by the fact that throughout my cycling career I have never produced what could be considered an enhanced performance.
You may also ask what other skills and experience I can bring to the organization. Without opening the Pandora’s Box that is my skill set, I can confidently say that I can recall the winner of every Monument for the past 10 years. From memory! I don’t even need to look it up. Surely this would be an asset.
Some have suggested that experience as a professional cyclist is a basic requirement to direct a pro cycling team. I am glad that you have seen through this flawed idea and approach recruitment in a more enlightened manner. As you have demonstrated by your recent actions, real world experience and proven tactical ability are of limited value. At least, when demonstrated by an ex-doper.
I have no proven tactical ability, but my tactical awareness is there to witness for anyone who has taken the time to watch me yelling at my television set whilst watching a bike race. Have I mentioned I have never used PED’s? And that I am in excellent health compared to Mr. Yates?
I know what it takes to be a professional cyclist. I have read at least 6 autobiographies of top riders. I am sure this will create great respect for me among the cyclists on your team. Indeed, far greater respect than that for a seasoned former pro with a doping history and health issues.
Should you grant me this opportunity, you can be sure of my continued anti-doping stance. I have never doped in the past. As you clearly know, people don’t change. If you’ve never doped in the past, you’re not going dope in the future.
I have a driver’s license and have never driven whilst under the influence of Performance Enhancing Drugs.
I look forward to your response.