Tuesday, October 16, 2012
By Frank DeVar
I will be writing in response to the latest doping scandal in the running world: second tier athlete Christian Hesch.
A little background on Christian Hesch, earlier this year, he ran a mile in Pittsburg, running four flat, and then two days later won a half marathon in Providence Rhode Island. This feat garnered him acclaim on running websites like Letsrun and Flotrack.
Recently Christian’s running club teammate found an empty vial of EPO in his bag. The runner admirably did not look away as he so easily could have, but instead, graciously told Christian that he would have to take the fall, but could do so on his own time.
It would be a lie to say that endurance athletes of any sport do not suffer from degrees of narcissism, but the level displayed by Christian Hesch in his career of running and more recently in his fall is one of the most appalling cases of vanity I’ve ever witnessed. Rather than go the quickest and easiest way out when caught with EPO, which would be to inform USADA and be dealt your punishment, Christian finagled his way to articles in the NY Times, and Competitor. He also made sure that they were read by texting everyone in his phone book, “apologizing,” and letting them know he would have an article in the NY Times. Lastly he posted on his Facebook profile and Twitter account letting the maximum number of people possible know of his newfound fame.
The tragedy here, is that there are people out there with the nerve to forgive this piece of crap, that his coming out is courageous. The same guy would often enter as many road races as possible so that he could soak in the admiration of weekend warriors. At Providence Half Marathon he had the gall to stop at the end of the race and do push-ups before the finish line after passing his last competitor. Christian, in the last two years of competition had won $40,000, competing almost exclusively in small grade road races. Some might say this is no different than what local Kenyans or Ethiopians do on a regular basis. This is false. These races are their income. Not a source of fuel to combat a pathetic runners insecurities.
Christian Hesch started doping not because of physical injuries, (as stated in the NY Times) but because those injuries limited his ability to be worshipped by unknowing runners at road races all over the country. It wasn’t so that he could eat or pay rent(he has a full-time job), but so that he could admire himself in a mirror at the end of the day and think to himself, “I’m a boss.” There is only one way to combat people like him; to ignore them entirely.
For more on this doping scandal, we recommend the below links/articles. The NY Times article and Hesch's personal apology on competitor.com are both recommended by Hesch and as we all know, drug addicts are not to be trusted.