Tuesday evening, CrossFit announced that the Third Fittest Man, Ricky Garard, had failed his drug test at the CrossFit Games and would be stripped of his medal and banned from any CrossFit sanctioned event for four years. For more on that, we’ve laid out what you need to know.
Since the announcement, the community has been ablaze with comments and emotions on both sides. Here’s how some of the male and female athletes who competed alongside Garard at the 2017 CrossFit Games have reacted.
1. Patrick Vellner
“Last night I was named the Third Fittest Man on Earth…Not to cheers of the CrossFit community…but alone at home, sitting at my kitchen table doing homework…I am overwhelmed and excited and frankly a little giddy. However, I’m also disappointed. Those precious moments at the CrossFit Games are ones that I work so hard all year for, and they are moments that I can never get back…I’m glad that CrossFit is catching some big fish and showing that their testing works, but I’m sad to see this stain on the sport….When someone cheats, they aren’t simply cheating the sport, they are cheating the other athletes who have sacrificed a lot to get where they are. This is just sad and unfair.”
2. Noah Ohlsen
“…Mostly frustration and disappointment. First, at myself. While it’d be easy to assume I’d be thrilled to move up from the 5th fittest to the 4th, it’s not that simple. Prior, the podium was well out of reach. Now, it’s as if it were only 4 points beyond my grasp. One more lunge, one more overhead squat, one more pound on the snatch and I could have achieved a major lifetime goal. Alas, all I can do about that is look forward and allow it fire me up to leave no doubt next season. Then there’s the frustration on behalf of the CrossFit Games athletes and fans. As if we didn’t already get enough of the ? emojis and ‘no way these dudes are natural,’ comments. Now, I’d imagine that within our community and beyond it’ll be even harder for people to believe that we train and compete with all natural integrity. That’s not fair to those who do…Congrats to Patrick Vellner, I’m so sorry you didn’t get the true experience of the podium again this season. Perhaps we can share it together in the next!”
3. Mathew Fraser
“Congrats to my man Patrick Vellner, our true 3rd place finisher at the 2017 Games.. Couldn’t be prouder. #HardWorkPaysOff.”
4. Thuri Helgadottir
“[Patrick Velner’s] words (you’ll have to go to his account to see them) are my exact thoughts on this. I am disappointed in Garards actions, but happy that the CrossFit Games are coming down hard on these issues. In response to Garard I would like to say: Don’t try to justify your actions by dragging us all down with you. If you know of people cheating, name some names, contact HQ with your info and do your part in upholding the integrity of the sport. Don’t make us all look questionable in order to make yourself look better!”
5. Annie Thorisdottir
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important then the outcome. Let your actions show the true you.”