Cole Starkey interviewed by Oprah Winfrey
After years of denial, 3-time defending Patch Sprint champion Cole Starkey (2010-2012) has finally admitted to what many have long suspected: the use of performance enhancing methods (PEMs) to aid his Patch Sprint victories.
The Patch Sprint Anti-Method Agency (PSAMA – the “p” is silent) has called Starkey’s PEM use “a reasonably effective, but not really sophisticated program” that allowed him to gain an advantage over competitors.
Starkey, with apparent needle
For years, Starkey, the course record holder, has been dogged by claims that he utilized certain methods in order to gain a physical advantage over competitors. Starkey and his supporters always pointed to the fact that he has never failed a test as proof that he was a clean competitor. “That’s not surprising,” says Patch Sprint co-founder Greg Henderson, adding “we’ve never actually conducted any tests for the Patch Sprint.”
So why did Starkey come forward now? Having just recently become engaged, he felt he could no longer hide his secret from his fiancee. His fiancée (Julia Backus) has always insisted that Cole was simply just a better athlete who trained harder than everyone else. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Starkey teared up when he recalled telling his fiancée (Julia Backus), “don’t defend me anymore. Don’t.”
"My ruthless desire to win at all costs served me well in the races but the level it went to, for whatever reason, is a flaw. That desire, that attitude, that arrogance. The ultimate crime is the betrayal of these people who support me and believed in me and they got lied to." - Cole Starkey
According to the PSAMA report (the “p” is silent”), Starkey’s preferred “cocktail” of PEMs include “proper nutrition, an excellent aerobic base from years of good conditioning, CrossFit™ strength training, and a hell of a lot of running.”
When asked what’s illegal about that, PSAMA (the “p” is silent) representative Henderson said, “nothing, I guess.” Henderson went on to conclude that the entire investigation was “kind of dumb in the first place.” He added, “it would probably be more effective if we were to test for drugs. You know, maybe have a Patch Sprint Anti-Doping Agency instead of a Patch Sprint Anti-Method Agency.”
As a result of that admission from PSAMA (the “p” is silent), Starkey has been cleared to compete in this year’s Patch Sprint, set for May 25, 2013 in Willsboro, NY.