McGee, one of the nation's most experienced racing cyclists, in this article, provides a detailed account of his experiences in the world of top cycling. He makes some startling observations.
This is a selection: He writes -
I was competing not just against Armstrong, but against the Armstrong years. I feel my professional years â€" my Tour de France years â€" have been stolen.
My experiences aren't of the "best seller" variety, but they have credibility. Unlike the money-making, conscience-clearing (and yet totally necessary) books we have read of late, my experiences were comparatively mundane.
Knowing the rules and difference between right and wrong. Never knowingly or unknowingly crossing the line
Know the people around you. Be sure they will support you in success or failure and will never support unethical choices.
Bradley McGee revealed how British cyclist Dave Millar (arrested in 2004 with drugs) in the 2003 Tour de France had his cycle chain malfunction three times in the Prologue section. McGee won by less than a second over Millar, who later revealed that although he had malfunctions, McGee was the true winner. McGee realised he was confessing to being a drug taker.
Stealing rightful honours
Herein lies the great truth about such cheating. It is no small moment to be selected for an Olympic team in any sport, yet when an athlete gets the nod for this remarkable honour and experience, but years later found they cheated, that athlete stole a clean athlete's honour.
Kookaburra coach Ric Charlesworth spoke of this in another context when the 1980 hockey team did not compete in the Moscow Olympics over internal hockey politics. Yet everyone of those top line hockey players who missed out on an Olympic berth did not experience the Olympic marvel and misses out on a host of honours including Olympic dinners, and such like. It was stolen from them.
Similarly in the recent London Olympics when Belorussian woman shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk was forced to hand over her Gold Medal after blitzing the competition by failing a drug test. New Zealanders were livid. Where was the silver medallists Valerie Adams Gold medal podium rightful glory with the New Zealand flag and anthem played before London's Olympic spectators and a world television audience, before family, friends, team mates, New Zealand officials and VIPs. Ostapchuk stole that honour. (au.christiantoday.com)
We can think of innumerable similar examples, perhaps the greatest of all was Ben Johnson's 1988 Seoul Olympics 100 metre win with Carl Lewis the silver medallist only to find that Johnson was a drugs cheat.
Happens in every field of endeavour
There have been an equal number of renown court cases over the rightful ownership of invention, most publicised have been associated with Microsoft along with some of its applications. (en.wikipedia.org)
Whenever the court has found in favour of a litigant, whomever was found wanting stole from them their rightful place in history with all the emotions and anguish that goes with that. The military has found themselves engulfed in this same situation where one receives a medal such as the Victoria Cross, when another is a similar situation, was not recognised. A recent article highlighted this issue where a commission was established to review such matters. (au.christiantoday.com)
This also comes to the fore surprisingly regularly in Christian ministry where false and misleading accusations are made against Christian leaders and the results can be devastating. A recent article highlighted those who are 'aggrieved' and what devastating effects it has had on their person, family, reputation and well-being. (au.christiantoday.com)
Then there are those who have founded a ministry establishing its credential with heartache and sacrifice only to find that others have taken the credit is also theft. I'm aware of three accolades to those who have claimed, or been claimed for them, of founding one specific ministry.
I'm also finding now that the first chaplaincy appointments to some of the professional sports I negotiated with in the 1980's are being airbrushed from history in favour of those who came after them. I'm also aware that a published work left out critical components of the history of events that would have shown different conclusions, is in effect, theft of reputation.
Around the Tables and the Laguna Quays Respite ministries run hand in hand. We're finding that as missionaries are in a relaxed and trusted environment, they are revealing myriads of similar 'theft of reputation' situations. Reverend Dr Rowland Croucher of John Mark Ministries who has the largest Christian web site in the southern hemisphere, largely for ex-pastors, details case after case of such heartache. (jmm.org.au)
Organisations of any kind, Sports, the Corporate world, big business, Entertainment, Christian ministry and missions, when faced with such "theft" has a frightening but a realistic option for help ease the pain.
Imagine if Cycling, publicly apologised to those who missed out on Olympic and international accolades as "dopers" had been selected knowingly or unknowingly. In so doing, named the "dopers" and name the "people" on the verge of selection from whom they stole. Imagine if they named the officials of that era. It would certainly be a salutatory experience.
The result, in whatever area of endeavour, would be like those who stole, wearing "the mark of Cain" - regardless of post repentance and the application of mercy.
The dilemma is that those from whom the "theft" took place. Going back in time is impossible. The moment has come and gone. Certainly public statements are a minimum necessity, and this has a pedigree with the 2009 Aboriginal 'Sorry' statement by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and similar statements since.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html