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11 . Jun . 2017

Ariane Monticeli admitis having used EPO

A day after Flows’ article about Ariane Monticeli’s recent doping positive, the athlete has published an open letter on triathlon media MundoTri admitting the use of EPO and claiming that it was an individual decision. Here’s the English version of it.

“Everything I will tell you here will not justify my mistake. Even so, I will describe what really happened and why.

I had a very good year of 2015 in my career, where I won Olympic Triathlon, Half Ironman, Ironman and Brazilian Championships. In 2016 I faced numerous problems. Mechanical problems in Ironman Florianopolis, a broken foot at the start of Ironman Zurich, the death of my mother, then hit 14 days before the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. It was a bad year, as a whole, and the results were a reflection of this.

In 2017, I needed to have good results. Succumbing to this pressure and not admitting to having another bad year, I decided to make use of EPO for my first 70.3 race of the year. How this happened: in my head, I repeated “I need to win, but I’m constantly tested, I have a biological passport, what to do?” I went on the Internet, I researched the purchase of EPO. I researched about the use of it, how long it takes to leave the body and so on… When you make such a decision you don’t tell anyone. I took the risk, even knowing what might happen, for several reasons: selfishness, vanity, worry.

I’m going to detail exactly how it happened, not because I want people to feel sorry or sympathize, but for them to learn as I’m learning in the worst way. The first thing I believe is that someone might say, ‘she’s just talking because she got caught, otherwise she would not be talking.’ Yes. If I had not been caught, I would not have spoken and would’ve learned my lesson quietly. I did not do a “cycle” – I just used it and believed that it would leave the body fast.

EPO is not ‘cake recipe’. It did not change my performance at all. I did not win the 70.3 Buenos Aires, I performed no differently from what I’ve always done in races, I was frustrated because I had to win. Last year I had a better time than in this year’s event. I thought ‘ok, high risk for zero benefit’. I raced again in Ironman South Africa, on April 2nd. 11th place. I was under-trained by then. Times consistent with the stage I was in. I was submitted to another doping test on April 4th. Blood and urine, as usual.

After using it and ventured in vain, of course I regretted it. Proof of this, nothing great in Ironman of South Africa and a negative doping test. What I want to make clear is that it was punctual. I do not use illegal substances, even because I’ve been undertaking tests since 2014.

When I got the news, my coach and people who train with me had the same reaction: ‘don’t worry, it’s wrong, we’ll defend you to the end.’ Hence my shame. How could I say that the result was right for people who like me, who believe in me?

I was plunged into such deep pain that I tried to take my life. I know it is very strong to talk about it and I repeat that I am not saying this to victimize myself. I expose myself in this way so that my error, at least, serves as an example, or so that if someone tries to do this someday, first tries to fit my shoes. I hope I can, even with all this shit, help someone.

I could not see anything or anyone, I just felt ashamed. After 3 days at this psychological stage, I began the process of truth. I told my father, who said ‘this was not the education I gave you.’ Among many other things, my sister made all efforts to try to ‘save me’. I told my coach, who was in shock. He said he’d put his hand in the fire for me and said I did not need it. I told the director of Esporte Clube Pinheiros’ Triathlon, who was outraged, felt betrayed and did not accept in any way this situation. My former boyfriend simply did not believe it and felt betrayed. Personal friends were immensely sad, but to my surprise, I had the support of them all.

Everyone understands the situation. They are at my side in a human way, but in no way do they accept this conduct and with that I will suffer the penalties of each contract. They understand that I will be judged and that this is only up to WADA and CBTri to do. They understand that I will pay for my mistake, as well as anyone who has ever made a mistake. I want to make it clear that no one approves of this and that they are all very sad and disappointed. My father always said ‘there is no hell’ and that ‘whatever you do wrong, you will pay for in life’. I believe that this is the process of human evolution.

Plunged into my selfishness, I did not realize how many people I would hurt in this act of mine. Plunged into my vanity, I put my career in the trash. I needed to go through this to come here and say that it’s not the win, it’s not winning a race that really matters. What matters is all the way that made you get there.

When I won Ironman Florianopolis 2015, the most important thing was to remember and think everything that had happened to reach that result. My beginning, my daily battle, the battle of my coach, who at the moment is completely devastated.

I come here to demonstrate, in a living example, that the use of illicit resources is just an illusion. That when you lay your head on the pillow, you and God know the truth, and when you do something wrong, at some point you must pay the bill. Many people will come here cursing and execrating me. What I did was wrong. It was stupid. What I did is not only bad for me, it’s bad for the sport, it’s bad for Brazilian triathlon and it’s bad for triathlon globally. Regardless of the reasons I had. Today I have an immense position in Brazilian Triathlon and this will reflect and reverberate in a very bad way for a long time. I am here to show everyone what I am missing, all the consequences I will suffer from it, and serve as an example to those who use and for those thinking about it. If I can give you some advice: Do not!!!!! I screwed up and did not get better. I was stupid to the point where I did not think I would take the test, even though it was being tested all the time. I was stupid to fool myself. It is very easy to have access to the drugs. I lost a lot with this and I regret it too much.

I want to make it clear – I did it myself. When you do something that is known to be wrong, you won’t tell anyone. My coach, my technical team, my friends, ex-boyfriend, family, absolutely nobody has anything to do with it. I hid from everyone. I thought I had to end my life, for such a shame, but the people who really love me made me see differently. I have a lot of life still ahead, many possibilities. I will be tried and my sentence may reach 4 years of suspension. I honestly do not plan on coming back. I’m going to go to college or maybe go live abroad, but I’m here to cooperate, to face my mistake, to assume, to show that this leads to nothing and that you only have to lose.

I know that many were extremely disappointed. This is the first reaction. I received many messages from people who claimed to be inspired by me and to see me as an example. I want to apologize to everyone: the national and world triathlon, my family, friends, technical team and sponsors. I erased all my social media accounts because I believe that I do not need any more judgments than the ones I will have to undergo by the law.”