Oprah, I admit it: I doped

by Raymond Parker on January 17, 2013

in Cycling, News, Racing, Randonneuring

Img description

Gooned: penultimate training brevet,
pre-PBP, July 2007

Photo: Stephen Hinde

As bike racing fans will likely know (unless they’ve been hiding in a walled compound in Texas) Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, today and tomorrow, will broadcast Lance Armstrong’s belated doping confession.

What has not yet been reported is that the author of VeloWebLog also recently sat down with the diva of distraction to get off his chest a shocking history of cycling malfeasance.

For years, controversy has swirled around the cancer-beating randonneur’s extraordinary—some say highly-questionable—record.

Now it can be told. Here is a leaked transcript, featuring an excerpt of their controversial conversation:

Repentant rando recidivist reveals all

OW: You have denied in the past having ever taken performance-enhancing drugs; why admit cheating now?

RP: I guess Lance has inspired me to follow the road of righteousness. That and the publicity bonus.

OW: Tell us about your spiritual descent into drugs and fantastic wealth.

RP: Early in 2007, I was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. Following radical oral surgery that removed part of my tongue and lymph nodes on the left side of my neck, I resorted to hydromorphone, a semi-synthetic form of morphine. Rather than man-up and endure the post-surgical pain and opportunistic infections, I gobbled Dilaudid like candy. To my shame, I also took antibiotics.

OW: What drove you to commit such crimes against your inner guiding fairies?

RP: I have to admit, it was raw ambition. After years of disappointments and diversions, in 2007 I was ruthlessly determined to enter Paris-Brest-Paris, the 1200-kilometre mother of all randonnées, which is held every 4 years, and the first qualifier was scheduled four weeks after the operation. I was gooned on opiates right up until a couple of days before that 200-kilometre event.

OW: Did you abuse other “medications?”

RP: (Choke) I confess it didn’t stop there. Over the following months, I “used” throughout the qualifying series. I know it might be hard to imagine anything worse, but I also took Advil during events, and, and … Tums (tears up).

OW: No! Why Tums?

RP: To endure the food at Tim Horton’s contrôles!

OW: Bless! (sobs)

A break was called so interviewer and interviewee could compose themselves.

OW: What can you tell us about randonneuring culture; how embedded is doping?

RP: It’s rife! I didn’t stand a chance of competing without drugs. Everyone’s doing it. They have a code name for Advil, y’know, ibuprofin: “Vitamin I.” It’s evil! And don’t feel sorry for all those seniors wobbling over the finish line at 5 kilometres-an-hour—their knees are pickled in Absorbine Jr.!

OW: That really is a sad reflection on society.

RP: It certainly is, Oprah. I’m off to buy an itchy wool jersey and a copy of Deepak Chopra’s latest book ….
Are we off-air now?

OW: I think so. (to engineer) Are the mics off, Stedman?

RP: Well, I hope that will boost ratings; VeloWeb’s traffic is in the dumper.

OW: We both have problems … First World problems ….

{ 10 comments… read them below or add your spin! }

Jim January 17, 2013 at 10:49 am

Vitamin I? Please say it is not so.


Raymond Parker January 17, 2013 at 10:51 am

And no one dares speak the name “Coke.”


Lynn Hirshman January 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm

I love it! Perfect tone. And perfect perspective.


Raymond Parker January 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Thanks, Lynn. It came to me in a drug-induced reverie.


Blanche January 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I have medicinal marijuana and I still cycle. *sob* I’m only confessing to you tho, I’m not brave enough to own-up on OWN. cheers!


Raymond Parker January 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Blanche: I’m honoured to be your Oprah. 🙂


Conor Ahern January 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Caffeine was my racing drug of choice! I’m so, soooo, soooooo sorry!

I am waiting until tomorrow evening to watch the interview, getting a new TV and this will help to break it in.


Raymond Parker January 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Caffeine, in liquid and pill form, got me through some loooooong nights on the bike. I experimented by going without, but for events, and it sure provides a kick when you’re “clean.”

Still, it’s hard to forego the stuff on a training ride dedicated to coffee. As noted there, the U.S. Olympic Committee considers it a “performance enhancer” and screens athletes.


ofoab January 19, 2013 at 8:23 am

“Too Much Coffee Man” is still one of my favourite heroes, providing inspiration and a full bladder for many miles. Recovery chocolate milk can be boosted with the addition of a powdered Starbugs. Shaken not stirred! The Doprah interview, I watched another former hero flame out! You know I may just have to go to England next year in July to investigate all this. Cheers!


Raymond Parker January 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

Starbugs. Have to see if my English dealer can get hold of some.


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