GET­TING RID OF THE CHEATERS

MILLER’S LEGACY

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES - BY LOREEN PINDERA

IT WAS A sprint triathlon a decade ago – a fine morn­ing, early in the sea­son, not mem­o­rable in any way. But I re­call my puz­zle­ment when, mid­way through the run, I loped past a friend in my age group. I was baf­fled. She was by far a stronger swim­mer than I was, but I had over­taken her on the first loop of the bike course. She hadn’t passed me again, so how come had she was al­ready ahead of me on the run?

Nei­ther of us made the podium that day. I fi­nally beat her soundly on the run. Why bother to bring up my sus­pi­cions? As we dis­sected our races, I waited for her to ac­knowl­edge what was ob­vi­ous: she had skipped a loop on the bike course. She had to know it, but she never said a thing. I found it shock­ing, but I was just as sur­prised by my own re­ac­tion, by how deeply stung I felt. She dropped out of the sport the fol­low­ing sea­son, and I was re­lieved I wouldn’t have to keep up the pre­tense of ca­ma­raderie. I didn’t trust her any­more.

That mem­ory came rush­ing back re­cently when I read ‘Swim. Bike. Cheat?,’ Sarah Lyall’s foren­sic anal­y­sis in the New York Times of Julie Miller’s Iron­man Canada race in Whistler last year. I sym­pa­thized with Su­sanne Davis, the Cal­i­for­nian who thought she had her 40 to 44 age-group vic­tory all sewn up when she crossed the fin­ish line, only to learn that Julie Miller had beaten her by five min­utes.

The rest is his­tory: pho­to­graphic and video ev­i­dence show be­yond a doubt that Miller skipped as much as half the marathon, jump­ing back in a few min­utes ahead of Davis on the sec­ond loop. De­spite her re­peated avowals that she had not cheated and that she had sim­ply lost her tim­ing chip, Miller has been stripped of her first-place

Julie Miller at Iron­man Canada in Whistler 2015

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.