Former cyclist Joe Papp pleaded guilty on the two counts of conspiracy to distribute performance enhancing drugs which was charged to him by the Pittsburgh federal court yesterday. He sold human growth hormones and Erythropoietin through the internet to 187 cyclists and athletes. Mary Mckeen, US Attorney pointed out that he earned about $80,000USD in a span of one year, from September 2006 to September 2007. Wrought with remorse and regret, Papp pleaded to be heard and understood that his actions in the past is not who he was now.
Papp testified at the Floyd Landis case for the United States Anit-Doping Agency (USADA), retelling how testosterone gel assisted riders suffering from leg ailments and how it sped up the recovery process. Papp himself was tested positive for testosterone level on the 2006 Tour of Turkey and was subsequently suspended for two years.
Since his release, the former rider has been doing what he can to stop doping and promote clean-sport. He is strongly campaigning for aggressive change in the cycling industry where the trade of performance enhancers is common.
He commented, “What happened today has its origins in a very distant time and place, during a part of my life that long ago closed. It’s unfortunate in a way, the timing of this announcement, since its somewhat out-of-context and not representative of the person who I’ve become.”
Papp acknowledged his mistakes and took responsibility for the error of his ways over the incident. He still continues to educate others not to follow in his footsteps.