THEN, just short of finally living your childhood dream, you are told, either straight out or implicitly, by some coaches, mentors, even the boss, that you aren’t going to make it, unless you cheat. Unless you choose to dope. Doping can be that last 2 percent. It would keep your dream alive, at least in the eyes of those who couldn’t see your heart. However, you’d have to lie. Lie to your mother, your friends, your fans. Lie to the world. This has been the harsh reality laid out before many of the most talented, hardest working and biggest dreaming athletes.
How much does that last 2 percent really matter? In elite athletics, 2 percent of time or power or strength is an eternity. It is the difference in time between running 100 meters in 9.8 seconds and 10 seconds. In swimming it’s between first and ninth place in the 100-meter breaststroke. And in the Tour de France, 2 percent is the difference between first and 100th place in overall time.