Obsessive amateur David Anthony turned to drugs and lost everything, including his love of the sport and winning

Folding cards

The test came back positive. Anthony then hired an expert to watch the B sample’s analysis. But something was tricky. The particular type of EPO Anthony was using had required a supplemental test to confirm the A test, and there wasn’t enough urine for the extended analysis in the B sample. Anthony was on pins and needles. There was a high probability that the B sample wouldn’t confirm the A test.

But his club knew… somehow.

“My team called me up,” he said. “I thought about it for a while. Initially, I said that I was innocent, that they were wrong. I knew I was going to beat it. But I really couldn’t live with myself. I was like, ‘you know, it’s very likely that I’m going to have to fight these guys for a couple months.’”

The thought of keeping it up was too much.

“I was like, ‘do you really want to be that guy who looks people in the eye and tells them a bold-faced lie?’ It’s one thing, you’re off on your own, shooting up some drugs, winning Cat. 3 races,” he said. “It’s another thing to tell people you’ve known, known for years, a lie.

“I said no. I folded my cards.”

Pariah is an understatement

After his 16th in the Killington TT, Anthony broke his leg, in three places, in a club race in Central Park.

“I basically destroyed my leg,” he said. “So, I’m off the bike completely at this point, for a couple of years.”

The sport that pulled him in spit him out. He can’t ride, and if he could, he couldn’t race. Asked if he wished he had never raced a bike, Anthony said the jury was still out.

“To be determined on that one,” he said.

He hasn’t had many visitors. And only a few calls. The Internet is brimming with hate. Anthony accepts this now. There’s nothing he can do, anyways.

It’s been 65 days since he’s ridden a bike, and will be a lot longer than that until he can get back on one.

“There’s no justification for what I did,” Anthony said. “Over these three-and-a-half years, I got completely consumed by it. And I think that cycling is different. Somehow, it’s different than everything else. It rewards the obsessive, compulsive nature.

“It was a bunch of small justifications that end up in a big justification, and then a small kind of taking away of the pleasures,” Anthony said.

The only thing that was satisfying for him was making gains against himself — not even winning races.

What’s left now is Anthony, banged up and walking with a cane for six more weeks, out of the sport and reeling. He did not, over the course of an hours-long conversation, offer a defense for himself.

“It just slowly but surely sucks everything that’s good out of it,” he said of cheating. “I fucked up. I allowed myself to get to a place that is not acceptable… I did it. I own it. It’s mine. I’ve got the Scarlet Letter on my shirt.”

Editor’s note: VeloNews reporter Matthew Beaudin sought out Anthony to discuss why he chose to cheat as an amateur. It was Anthony’s hope that if he told his story, others may choose not to dope.