Background: I lost everything because of my desire to win in sports. During my quest to become an Olympic champion, I found myself trapped by abusive coaches and my own poor decisions. After becoming a member of the United States Cycling Team, my climb into th e elite world of international cycling was meteoric. Following several positive tests for performance enhancing substances, I was the first cyclist to receive a lifetime ban for doping. I was also the first person to stand trial for my involvment in the BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative) case - made infamous by Barry Bonds - that rocked Major League Baseball and the NFL, and was branded a felon for life. My BALCO trial garnered trial garnered attention from news outlets around the world, with a strong presence in the courtoom from The Associated Press, The New York Times, New York Daily News, and USA Today. In 2008, I was sentenced to five years probation, 6 months of home confinement, and 500 hours community service.
Why I am Seeking a Pardon More than twelve-and-a-half years ago, I made a self-serving decision and lied befor a federal grand jury while under extreme stress. As I reflect back on my life, I am sincerely remorseful for my actions during my grand jury testimony and for any lasting damage that I may have caused the United States government in its investigation of steroids in sports. I have since turned my life around, obtained a law degree, and have made it my mission to live “by the book.”
Within my forty-eight minute testimony (This time frame is approximate. The exact number of minutes constituting my complete testimony are unknown but believed to be under one hour), I came to my senses and began to correct the errors I had made by admitting ingestion of testosterone. Although I have lived a responsible and productive life since my conviction, this testimony is holding me back and preventing me from realizing my dreams.
I seek to avoid continued legal restrictions which impede my employment endeavors, including my desire to sit for the bar exam. My home state of Mississippi is one of many states with long standing laws and policies against allowing felons to become members of the bar. I have immediate ambitions of starting a Social Security Disability Advocate practice (which does not require a law license) but am worried that a policy of the Social Security Administration may prohibit me in this pursuit also. I desire to make a difference in my community by counseling others, but despite my education and qualifications, I have been unsuccessful in obtaining gainful employment since my conviction, have become a financial burden on my family, and unable to contribute financially to charities I wish to support. Additionally, my legal education was funded by federal loans (currently totaling $200,000) which I have been unable to repay. My loans are currently situated in the federal Income Based Repayment program. The interest on these loans is staggering, and every passing month with the minimum payment of $0.00 causes an increase in the overall amount of repayment due.
The consequences of my past steroid use are beyond punitive. I have also suffered the greatest commodity of them all—my health (physical and mental). Boundaries were also crossed in terms of my physical appearance, as I suffered irreversible side effects from these substances. I serve as the poster child for steroid use in women. It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In my case, a picture of me from the days of my steroid use is well known in the sports world.
I have been a stable member of my community upon returning to my family’s roots in Mississippi. I do not engage in any criminal conduct, drug or alcohol abuse, and I’m in no way a risk to public safety. The severe collateral consequences I have suffered as a result of my conviction operate as a continuing punishment, and without a full pardon, I will pay for this forty-eight minute lapse of judgement for the rest of my life.
I will be greatful for gifts of any amount. Contributions of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 will add up quickly to help me reach my goal. Feel free to gift more if you are able and believe in my cause. I humbly request that you consider sponsoring me for this incredible opportunity.
If you aren't comfortable with WePay, you may send check or money order to 665 S. Pear Orchard Rd; Ste. 106-117; Ridgeland, MS 39157.
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I appreciate your encouragement, support, and prayers.