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Respect for WTC « Mary Beth Ellis' Blog


Respect for WTC

I know that I am late to the party on all the Lance discussions.  I think that WTC has made the appropriate decision in this case.  While I understand how much all the professionals athletes, age group athletes, media, spectators, sponsors, WTC, and everyone in the triathlon world would love to watch Lance race and have all enjoyed the buzz around his entrance into our sport.  Lance is a superstar with a limelight unlike anyone else in our realm; he has a one word name if that sums it up in a word.  Likewise, if he is innocent, then it is also very unfair to force him to sit on the bench.  But in light of the facts, I think WTC has made the best possible move for our sport.

Through this process, my respect for WTC has increased immensely.  It would be so easy for them to please all the athletes, sponsors, fans, media, by bending their rules and allowing Lance to race.  Instead, they have decided to stand by their professional athlete agreement that all the WTC professionals have signed.  They have upheld their core value that a clean sport is a top priority over making more profits in the short-term.  I think this is an excellent decision for WTC as well as for the long-term health of our sport.  On the flip side, I hope that we can all put our trust in USADA that they have solid evidence, have the best interest of sport as their sole motivation, and will deliver a just and swift investigation and trial so that Lance or any other athlete will be treated fairly.

In addition, my trust in WTC has only increased over the past twelve months.  Last year, I asked for a wild card to Kona after my two Ironman victories in Austria and Regensburg.  While I knew it was a long shot I figured I would ask as I had some extenuating circumstance.  WTC said no, and I was forced to race IM Canada.  While I was disapointed, my respect for them grew as they decided to stand by their policies.  While I was the one that had to suffer, I appreciate any organization that stands by its policies and does what it thinks is right despite pressure from the outside or potential loss in profits.

Keep up the great work WTC!

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