When prominent people find themselves embroiled in public controversy, they're frequently advised to keep their comments to a minimum.
But Boulder cyclist Tom Danielson and former Lance Armstrong teammate took the opposite tack after being suspended from the Boulder-based Cannondale Garmin squad in the wake of a positive test for synthetic testosterone. As a result, he can't defend his title in the Tour of Utah race, which got underway yesterday.
He subsequently let loose a slew of tweets proclaiming his innocence, expressing the pain the allegations have caused him and stressing that he loves cycling "so fucking much" even as he faces the possibility of a lifetime ban from the sport.
Danielson, 37, has doped before; he claimed that he'd been pressured to do so when he joined Armstrong's Discovery Channel team circa the middle of the last decade. But as Cycling News notes, Danielson later testified in the investigation into Armstrong's confessed cheating — and Jonathan Vaughters, general manager of Cannondale Garmin, has publicly said that if any of his cyclists tests positive, he'd end his association with the team.
Against this backdrop, Danielson failed a July 9 out-of-competition test, and the Denver Post reports that if a so-called "B-test" shows a similar result, he could be permanently banned from competition.
How did Danielson respond to the news? With a Twitter barrage. Here's the complete string:
Tonight has been one of the worst nights of my life. While I was eating dinner with my team the night before Tour of Utah I received a call— tom danielson (@tomdanielson) August 3, 2015
For USADA notifying me that a out of competition test I gave July 9th has tested positive for, from what I understand, synthetic testosteron— tom danielson (@tomdanielson) August 3, 2015
I have not taken this or any other banned substance— tom danielson (@tomdanielson) August 3, 2015
I spoke with them and my team and I will have to sit out the Tour of Utah as I wait for the B sample as well as look into— tom danielson (@tomdanielson) August 3, 2015
All the possible ways that could have produced this result.— tom danielson (@tomdanielson) August 3, 2015
I would never ever take anything like this especially after everything I have gone through the last years. This makes absolutely no sense— tom danielson (@tomdanielson) August 3, 2015
I will now, as I wait for the B test, have the supplements I take, tested to see if this is what caused it.— tom danielson (@tomdanielson) August 3, 2015
I feel incredibly hurt, frustrated, and angry by this. I don't understand how or why this happened and still can't even accept this is true— tom danielson (@tomdanielson) August 3, 2015
There's no timetable on the release of the B-test findings. In the meantime, Danielson's cycling career hangs in the balance.
I love cycling. I love it so fucking much. I love the races, the rides, the people, the businesses, I love it all. Nothing compares for me.— tom danielson (@tomdanielson) August 3, 2015
Here are a pair of videos featuring Danielson — the first an interview from 2011 interview from Boulder Cycle Sport, the second a time trial clip from earlier this year.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.