I am writing in response to Mark Morical’s article about Bend-based pro cyclist Chris Horner and his spectacular Vuelta victory. In it, Morical says The Bulletin could not conduct an interview with him because Horner asked that there be no questions regarding doping. I think The Bulletin is wrong in this matter. First of all, Horner has gone on the record elsewhere saying that he never doped. Why does The Bulletin need to ask this question again? How would it tell more of this story?
Second, the cycling community and sports fans here in Central Oregon are interested in what Horner has to say, even without questions about doping. Why couldn’t Morical have asked him to tell the detailed story of his Vuelta victory? How did the 41-year-old win? Did the short racing schedule this season help? What was he thinking when he dropped his rivals on the steep climbs or when he was losing time in the individual time trial? I think we could have learned much more about the win, whether it was fueled by cheating or not, if we had heard directly from the racer.
In the end, we don’t really know whether Horner doped and cheated. But would another question and denial further our understanding? I don’t think it would. Much better would have been a detailed back-and-forth with the athlete about the race and his career, without questions about cheating. I, and I suspect many local cyclists, athletes and sports fans, would have welcomed the opportunity to read Horner’s story and then judge for ourselves.