Colorado Cyclist Scott Mercier Becomes an Unlikely Hero in the Doping Scandal

Read more of Scott's story on BBC Sport

Because Mercier, 44, was the US Postal rider who resisted the pressure to dope.

To do so, he had to turn down the offer of a new contract with the team and quit the sport he loved.

He can still clearly remember the day he made up his mind, in May 1997, at the age of 28, after a conversation with the team's doctor, Pedro Celaya.

"Pedro called each member of the team into his hotel room, one by one. When my turn came, he handed me a bag containing a bottle of green pills and several vials of clear liquid.

"I was also given a 17-day training schedule and each day had either a dot or a star. A dot represented a pill and a star was an injection.

"He said 'they're steroids, you go strong like bull'. Then he said 'put it in your pocket, if you get stopped at customs say it's B vitamins'.

"That was when I decided I didn't want to be a pro cyclist any more. I got home and decided 'no thank you'.

"I love cycling, it's a beautiful sport, but it would have been very challenging for me to look someone in the eye and say I was clean when I knew I wasn't.

"People talk about the health aspects, but to be totally honest I wasn't so concerned about that.

"For me, it was the lying and the hypocrisy."

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Scott's article in Velo News calling for a cycling revolution

Read Scott's entire opinion article on Velo News:
http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/10/analysis/op-ed-mercier-calls-for-...

An excerpt from Scott's article:

"History suggests that the UCI did not provide protection for riders like Christophe Bassons and Filippo Simeoni, who chose to speak up and challenge the culture of doping. Rather, they were unceremoniously ushered out the door. It is time to invite athletes like them back to the sport to be a part of the solution. As a former rider for U.S. Postal, I would not have turned to the UCI for fear of the repercussions from the organization. Perhaps in my own small way I too contributed to the omerta in cycling.

The lack of comments by most of the peloton regarding the Armstrong saga suggest that the omerta is still alive and well and that the peloton is still ruled by fear. "