Strong and decisive reaction and condemnation has been swift following the news that Collin Chartier has been suspended for three years by the International Testing Agency (ITA) after testing positive for EPO in an out-of-competition doping test on 10 February 2023.
And few posts or statements have resonated more strongly than that of Ben Hoffman, one of the most respected athletes in the sport and the winner of IRONMAN Texas almost exactly 12 months ago.
He was one of the first to give his viewpoint (see screenshot below) and many of his fellow athletes have since praised and echoed his thoughts.
Indeed the post was referenced by Lionel Sanders in his impassioned video post about the collateral damage cheating does to everyone involved.
‘We all feel pressure’
And Hoffman had little sympathy for Chartier’s statement which was titled ‘I’m sorry’, saying: “Maybe I’m insensitive, and maybe I don’t understand the whole picture or story. That’s probably true. But I don’t buy this rationale of “feeling pressure,” or “being unhappy” as an explanation.
“We all feel pressure, we all have times when we are struggling and feeling depressed. Surely it is more intense for many, and my heart goes out to them, but using this explanation actually devalues and minimizes the struggles of these people.
“Cheating, acting criminally, and then walking away with a simple sorry doesn’t cut it for me. I can forgive, and I can accept the mistakes of humankind because I have made plenty myself, but only with appropriate recourse.
“Let’s not stand idly by and brush this aside, because we will only doom ourselves to a vicious cycle of rinse and repeat. Please don’t just take the easy path again and walk away, or keep lying: embrace your opportunity to help create necessary and substantial change, Collin.”