Christian Vande Velde rides his bike in Lemont, Illinois, January 5, 2009. John Gress / for The New York Times
By JULIET MACUR, The New York Times
How could a young Christian Vande Velde know what illicit, deceitful things were in store for him in the sport of cycling when he first fell in love with it?
For him, beginning at age 5, the sport had been an alluring pursuit. Growing up in a Chicago suburb, he awoke daily at 6 a.m. to the familiar hissing sound of a bicycle pump as his father, a two-time Olympian in track cycling, inflated the tires of their bikes so they could ride around their neighborhood.
But by the time Vande Velde hit his early 20s, the sport had taken a dark turn for him as a professional rider. He found himself shooting a banned steroid into his buttocks and submitting himself to injections of undisclosed drugs that made him feel sick. It was all he could do to keep up with the drug use that surrounded him… Read More