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Thursday, December 27, 2012

‘Lost Generation’ Cyclist Looks Back At Armstrong And Doping

Pro cyclist Pat McCarty at the Presidential Tour of Turkey in April 2012. (Brian Hodes/Veloimages)

Pro cyclist Pat McCarty (front left) at the Presidential Tour of Turkey in April 2012. (Brian Hodes/Veloimages)

Pat McCarty became a junior member of Lance Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team at the height of what could be called cycling’s doping era.

Cyclist Pat McCarty, 30, went pro in 2004 with the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team. He now races for Team SpiderTech. (Team SpiderTech)

Cyclist Pat McCarty, 30, went pro in 2004 with the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team. He now races for Team SpiderTech. (Team SpiderTech)

But unlike Armstrong, McCarty says he refused to use performance-enhancing drugs. He told Here & Now that he was never pressured to dope, but it was common, and looking back on his career he’s glad he never did.

“I have a clear conscience and I get to ride my bike,” McCarty said, while Armstrong – who’s been banned for life from cycling – “doesn’t.”

Journalist and former professional cyclist Ian Dille wrote about McCarty in the December 2012 issue of Texas Monthly: “An era of cyclists played dirty, but buried in the scandal is a lost generation of American pros who stayed clean during a period rife with cheaters. In fact, no top American cyclist who was born after 1980 has ever received a doping sanction. These athletes played by the rules, but they had their careers stunted by a pharmacological glass ceiling. One of them was my childhood friend Pat McCarty.”

The Dallas Morning News has named Lance Armstrong a finalist for “Texan of the Year,” which the newspaper explains “is a distinction we bestow for impact, be it for better or for worse.” The winner will be announced Dec. 30.


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  • Death Spiral

    What gets me is the number of middle-aged armatures who are caught doping. What’s up with that?

  • smallville

    Great to hear about people like Mr. McCarty.  What happened to all those people that got 2nd to Lance Armstrong after all these years (if the 2nd place finishers didn’t cheat, either)?  How can they be compensated for the lost time of living in the moment, advertising, sponsorships and publicity? 

    • The Onceler

       A report (perhaps in Sports Illustrated?) reviewed the Tour de France for the years that Lance won and determined that virtually ALL of the podium finishers had either been implicated in or found guilty of doping.  It seems that you’d have to go a LONG way down the list of finishers to find a “clean” rider.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003000884786 Navin R Johnson

    If everyone cheats, it isn’t cheating.

    • LGrant

      As Pat McCarty is my cousin, NOT everyone is cheating….cheating is still cheating and he and many others careers were robbed by those that did dope.  Read the article and you will find out just how Pat’s career was stifled because he wouldn’t dope. Shame on all those that introduced the drugs as well as those that chose to do the drugs.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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