The news that my good friend Karel Tammjärv was arrested for blood doping on Wednesday at the World Championships in Austria hit me like a truck. My emotions are complicated and confusing. It has been extremely painful and disorienting. I have felt anger and sadness and betrayal. I have also felt empathy and fear and sympathy.
One sure thing is that my heart is broken. It’s broken because sport is broken. It’s broken because we as a community are failing. It’s broken because sport has so much potential for good. And it’s broken because another little kid is going to have his world shattered like mine was by Lance Armstrong.
I have reached out to Karel, and I hope to hear from him. He’s a human being. He’s generous and thoughtful and funny and kind. Most of all he’s my friend.
I had a hard time deciding on an image to use for this post. I considered a picture of Karel exploring with me in the desert because those pictures remind me of the wonderful adventures we’ve shared. They complicate my emotions.
However, I decided on the photo below from September 27th, 2016. It makes me nauseous. I took it on top of Guardsman Pass at the end of a five hour classic roller ski session on day 10 of a 14 day training camp that we did together in Park City, Utah. After being released from Austrian prison, Karel said in a press conference on Friday that he began doping in 2016. I have no idea if he had started doping before he joined me in Utah, but this picture strikes me as ironic and painful.
This post is as discombobulated as my thoughts and feelings. Thank you for bearing with me and for your love and support. Please help me create the change we so desperately need.