Another doper has just been caught, and this time it was Brazilian age grouper Sílvia Fusco. Fusco previously competed as a Pro and then stepped away from it to pursue the education to become a doctor. According to MundoTRI, she has been handed a 2-year ban for EPO in her system. But as with most previous dopers, we again hear what appears to be a very weak admittance of guilt. Is it simply too hard to actually come clean?
On this site we have given Austrians Lisa Hütthaler and Michael Weiss great opportunities to talk about the past and what exactly happened, but not much was really said and everyone following this closely was left disappointed and angry. Other dopers in both cycling and triathlon also admit at most to deeds they have been caught with anyhow. The thought process appears to be for these people to admit as little as possible.
The same is also true with Fusco. She did indeed admit that she made a mistake and did not blame others or ignorance, but according to her statement on MundoTRI it was only once and not meant for performance enhancing gains.
"I made a desperate mistake to be able to endure and be present at the event, after my doctor telling me two weeks before the competition that I wouldn’t be able to do it with all the injuries I couldn’t get rid of after Ironman Brazil and the loss of physical condition. I stopped training for almost two months. I took a lot of pain killers and the hormone to try and train those last two weeks before the trip and be able to complete the Ironman. I did not want to gain performance, which would be impossible anyway, given how I was at the time. I just wanted to finish the event. My fitness level was way below normal.
"I know it was an enormous mistake. I really blame myself for being foolish. I want to make it clear that I decided and did it all by myself. My former coach didn’t even dream about this.
"I take responsibility for my error and I will fulfill my sentence in all its requirements. It’s sad to see more than 20 years of Triathlon being judged by a childish mistake I have made, for not knowing how to deal with my endless injuries and the frustration of not being able to compete," said Fusco to MundoTRI.
Forum member PJC who shared the story in our reader forum listed the results of Fusco over the last years to put her race in Kona in perspective.
2014 Kona Ironman World Championship - 10:57:37
2014 Ironman Brazil - 9:54:32
2013 Ironman 70.3 World Championships - 5:09:14
2011 Ironman Brazil - 10:20:28
2010 Ironman Brazil - 10:15:56
2009 Ironman Brazil - 10:21:54
2006 Iroman Brazil - 10:26:24
Fusco having been caught in October of 2014 will be eligible to compete again in the late fall of 2016 and that makes many folks unhappy. Starting in 2015 the ban can be up to 4 years, but most folks want to see a lifetime ban for such cheaters.
I personally would prefer to see a lifetime ban too, but would maybe be a bit more lenient if I felt that someone actually came out with the complete truth, and I think that is possibly true for others too. At the very least I would be willing to forgive them, and currently that is just not possible. But maybe it is time for me to hand over my passport to the Land of Illusions.