By Pedro Horrillo original published in El Pais in Spanish
Mr. Adams entered my life at the same moment as we started the new year, on January 1st, 2008. To tell the truth, I never approved of him, but he didn't seem to care: he had come to stay and was aware that I knew it. Also, he certainly knew that I could never reject him. Ours has been since then a relationship full of ups and downs – something predictable in any forced relationship- but keeping no secrets at all. I have always told him everything I have done,whom with, where, when, whenever I come and go... Of course it is not the case, but if by any chance it occurred to me, let alone lying to him – that would be really serious – but hiding something from him or telling him just a half-truth – it is the same for me – God help me if he ever finds out ! Then I would be risking the whole family and their bread and butter. Mr. Adam's shadow is very long, extremely long.
So you'd better not take it to heart as living with Adams is not easy at all. That's why we cyclists usually make jokes about the matter and mean to send a message to brother Adams when we think of going to the pictures, for instance. Of course you are free to go out without telling him, although in that case you'd rather pay attention to your mobile phone, select the silence mode and be ready to leave the cinema, may he happen to visit your house. To go to the pictures, for a walk with some friends, play with the kids in the park, have dinner in a restaurant, ....in any situation you like you have to act the same way.
And now a year since our first encounter, in another turn of the screw, Mr. Adams makes me give him daily notice of the exact place and the time that I will be available for him.
If he turns up and I am not there, I will have a big problem, even if my absence is justified.
So that´s how things stand. To begin with, I am of the opinion that random drug testing are one of the most effective ways to fight against fraud. Even though most of them are mere red blood cell extractions for the biological passport program and not doping tests, strictly speaking. But Adams' demands wear me out, they overwhelm and saturate me to the extent that sometimes, out of rebelliousness, I just provide him with the minimum necessary information.
What a rebellion!, you might think. Still I can't nor should complain about it, as we, the cyclists have accepted taking part in that programme and its consequences. And on the other hand, being a sportsperson, I have undertaken the same commitment with my team under contract.
The irony of fate! I started riding the bike because nothing else had ever given me such sense of freedom before. I carried on cycling, free as a bird, and eventually managed to make a living (of it). It is everybody's dream to be able to work in something you love. And all thanks to the bike.
However, I have never felt so inhibited like now when it comes to make decisions. I am not free to improvise in my own life, to hesitate, to make hasty and last minute plans. That is over, freedom is no longer there. Well...not exactly, some people say, you always have the option to get a computer, search for a conexion and voilé! Adams is changed. Or even better, to send an sms. For some people it is basically the same thing, but not for me. If you'll pardon the expression, I call this the being given the third degree.
So that is how it is and far from complaining, I chose to accept it. Given the choice between adapt or die, I prefer the first one, because I want to be a cyclist as long as possible, therefore, I won't pay heed to your attempts to put off my desire to continue, Mr. Adams.
* Adams: Antidoping Administration & Managing System