Monday, May 20, 2024

Matt DeCanio – Unchained!


HomeInterviewsMatt DeCanio - Unchained!

Somehow Matt DeCanio and his ‘Stolen Underground’ website had passed me by. You may think that I keep abreast of all the forums and Twitter feeds which bang out the latest kitting gossip – usually behind half baked aliases – but I don’t. I’d much rather talk to Michael Nicholson about how he’s doing in Belgium or Doug Dewey about his new team in France.

Call me a naïve old fool but I love the sport and still think that at it’s best it’s beautiful and incomparable.

It was my amigo Callum McGregor who drew my attention to Mr DeCanio’s stream of consciousness anti-doping rants.

What immediately knocked my eyes out was that the man was using very plain language to name Lance, Tyler and Floyd as being ‘hard at it’ – open knowledge now, but DeCanio was saying these things some eight years ago.

I felt that I had to speak to the man; but I warn you right now, if you don’t like the f**k word then stop reading here – I think that to alter any of his words wasn’t right.

If you can stand a few f**k’s than read on – call him a balm-pot but this boy was on his soap box and shouting loud when most were only speaking in hushed whispers.

Matt DeCanio
Matt DeCanio, the man behind the Stolen Underground web site.

“Stolen Underground” – where did the name come from and is the site still active? I couldn’t find recent posts.

“When I quit racing in 2003 I wanted to create a clothing line and to go to fashion school in Miami Beach. I drew fashion figures everyday to prepare.

“One day I was drawing urban designs and wrote Stolen on one of the fashion figure’s t-shirts. The figure was a goth/urban female figure, as I was inspired to create by the things that had happened in my life at the time. Stolen represented the stolen accomplishments by those who corrupted my career, and had stolen contract money, victories, and starting positions in big races like the Giro D’Italia.

“I looked it up and found that Stolen was already a clothing line. So I knew I had to come up with something different. One of my favourite albums during that time period was Anti-Flag’s ‘Underground Network’ album. This album heavily influenced me, as well as Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, and Pennywise.

“Anti-Flag’s lyrics included a song about how the mass media is controlled by a handful of conservative capitalists, so we need to find new ways to distribute our news, our information, and our ideas. The song was called Underground Networks, and so Stolen then became Stolen Underground and it became a true underground network distributing information on professional cycling that nobody else would touch.

“The peak website traffic was around 30,000 unique visitors in a month, and the website has about 1.5 million hits. It was the underground battleground in pro cycling and I was fired, sued, blacklisted, sanctioned, hated, oppressed, and slandered because of it.

“I said a lot of nasty things about people who deserved it. A lot of the mass media controlled population thought I was jealous, and this was supported by the big Tour de France level pros like David Zabriskie who would slander me calling me just that; a bitter crackpot who has failed to reach any kind of level in cycling.

“I have beaten David Zabriskie on power tests while we were on the US National Team together and yes I couldn’t beat him in a time trial, I could walk away from him anytime it went uphill. I was not only not bitter, but I was an equal to him and as proof I stood beside him on the podium at the Sea Otter Classic finishing 5th overall, and winning the final stage on the Lugana Seca Raceway.

“Am I bitter? Of course – anyone would be after being slandered. Was I bitter before I was slandered? Not towards Zabriskie. I never said anything negative about him and used to believe he was a clean rider. It was only after he attacked me with Steve Johnson CEO of USA Cycling that he got on my radar for being a potential doper. Sure enough years later he would admit it, and receive a slap on his DZnuts with a six month sanction, when I got my DZnuts chopped off with a two year sanction, and blacklisted.

“The system rewards the corrupt and it punishes the good people. Stolen Underground is still active, however the website is in a transitional period. I am not sure what to do with it right now and I am tired of anti-doping blogging.

“After Lance went down, and time has passed I don’t really know much about the things that are going on today. I can only speak on the experiences I have had and personal relationships that I have had. Sometimes I look back and say it wasn’t worth it to speak out, and sometimes I do. I wouldn’t want to inspire others to do what I did because I know how much pain and suffering is involved.

“When you commit to a career in professional cycling, you don’t go to college. When you are out, you are out. You will end up cleaning up maggots, washing dishes late night, picking up cigarettes, and jobs like this.

“Meanwhile when you are working late suffering and look over at the TV screen and see the Tour de France on and seeing the riders who have slandered me, like Zabriskie, it is enough to make you go crazy. You really have two choices; go crazy or grow from it and become a stronger person. I am a pretty strong person now, you would know this if you met me face to face. A lot of the pussy-ass motherfuckers who talk shit about me anonymously or on blogs run away when I come within a state of them. I have turned Chris Carmichael around on a group ride in Miami when he heard I was going to be there. I think he jumped in the bushes and hid like the little bitch he is.”

2005 and you knew Tyler Hamilton’s Vuelta and Olympic TT busts were kosher and came from transfusions – where did you get your information?

“When I was 16 I beat Tyler Hamilton in the Killington Stage Race uphill time trial. I was ninth in the pros. I also beat Hamilton clean in the G.C. and time trial of the Tour of Bermuda. I was clean, and there is no way based on what I had experienced in the sport racing as an U23 in Italy and as a pro in Europe, to know based on all of the information by the investigative journalists to think it was a scam.

“I basically just posted facts on my website from other media sources but put all of it together so that it was obvious. I completed the matrix and that is what is so frustrating about getting fired from pro racing. I was fired for posting articles that were already written by others. You simply couldn’t post anything about the USOC, USA Cycling, or Lance Armstrong.

“Hamilton didn’t have the pull but he was important to the US scene. I think everyone who was at a pro level in cycling knew Hamilton was doping. You are in the club when you are a pro. ‘In the club’ means you play cards with George Hincapie and drive his M3 around town while he is driving his M5. You develop great relationships with other professionals and they are your brothers. To speak against doping is absolutely breaking the boys’ code. You dope, or you shut your mouth. Never mind that you have to lose a race to a guy who is doping you have to shake his hand and smile in front of the cameras and say, “Good job mate. Good job.” Obviously you are thinking, “You fucking pussy-ass motherfucker, you suck I really kicked your ass. You are not shit.”

“After about ten years of knowing you are better and losing you get pretty pissed off and then finally you either join them or go against them. Nobody chooses to go against them because then your career is over. So you have to pick the third option, the one my Borderline Personality just couldn’t maintain; to get cheated, stay clean, and to have patience.

“Riders like Svein Tuft are the masters of this technique and have mastered their minds. That is the difference at the high levels. You have to have the ability to put up with the bullshit, maintain your integrity, rise above it all, and then win on top of that. Those are the true champions of not only cycling, but of life.

“Guys like Lance are the absolute losers of cycling and life. But they have all of the money, so looking at them from an outside perspective seeing the lifestyle they live it’s hard not to admire them. But when you know the truth, this is what they don’t want you to know. Not only would you not want to ride bikes with them but you wouldn’t want to have them as a guest in your home or even give them a helping hand if they ever needed it.

“These are truly evil and bad people, they are two-faced, and they are politicians. You will learn a lot about the world and the pathetic human race when you study pro cycling. People continue to amaze me with their actions. Our society is producing cowards and insane assholes who shoot children because they don’t have the courage to live. I am so disappointed with this world, but then again we had slavery just a few generations ago. And even today you have people traded as sex slaves, and these losers locking up children in their basement. Yeah people need to rise up and change.

“It starts with not doping, and by telling the truth. I am obsessed with the truth and living in reality. I am not one of these people who loves to believe in things that are not true and not to live in reality. You have to be pretty uninformed to have ever believed Lance Armstrong didn’t dope, but the bottom line is people didn’t care. This is because people suck and it goes back to all of the things I can’t stand about human nature. This world we live in is great. We all share the fact that we are born alone and we all share the fact that we die alone. Now during this time of death and birth we all want to be happy. It is incredible the things people do to try and be happy. I guess it is all about what you want to do in this world and if winning the Tour De France by any means necessary – including doping – you should have a good shot at it.

“You can pretty much do anything you set your mind to and I believe this. Can we stop doping? We can stop doping when we change human nature. Good luck with that. I am idealistic when I think that people will evolve and eventually stop raping, murdering, and killing. And that they will stop stealing, doping, and lying. I gotta believe when we sort out all of the problems in our society this can happen, but we are going to have to have a society like the Venus Project and it is going to have be a world beyond politics, poverty, and money.

“A world where money is irrelevant and we survive to create art and love.”

Matt DeCanio
Matt with riding buddy John Reynolds.

2005 again, and you cite Floyd Landis as the ‘craziest doper’ way before his Tour bust – what did you mean by that?

“In 2003 my former best friend David Clinger, who was my teammate on the US National Team, told me that Landis was injecting entire vials of HGH. He told me of a race he was doing where Lance and Landis were discussing how Lance and Landis would win the Tour de France by promoting the careers of only European riders to help them win.

“Lance Armstrong never wanted to promote any other American racers in reality. Why would Lance want to help our generation get jobs on Postal when he could have Europeans do the job and then Lance could take all of the publicity and sponsorships. Landis was his choice and man did that one bite him in his last testicle. Lance absolutely got what he deserved – he was a dickhead from start to finish. He was supposed to be this genius but I know I am smarter than Lance.

“If I was Lance I would have paid me off a long time ago to start with, because I was one of the main people who will never get the credit, but absolutely inspired his eventual demise. I spoke personally to David Walsh to inspire him during his rough moments during the writing of, “From Lance to Landis.” I also paved the way for others to speak freely and personally about their careers and to have the courage to come clean. After all I had the shit end of the stick and everyone else had it better than me in pro cycling. But Lance should have hired Landis. What a complete arrogant ass. This is the same ending for every story. You get so much power and your ego grows too big and then you lose it all because you think you are God.

“Lance had forgotten the one lesson and that if God takes your testicle for doping, you are not God. Lance has never written me an apology letter by the way and neither has Rick Crawford or any of those who should be kissing my ass. These people threw in on last great fraud before they went down, and that was they they were sorry for their actions. Lance Armstrong should be sent to prison for 10 to 15 years.

“The man bought a private jet with cancer money, his foundation never gave a shit about finding a cure. Millions of people were fooled. Lance has destroyed the word hero. Just for pretending to be a hero and raping everyone of the heroic ideal so that we can never trust another person the absolute magnitude of his actions are tremendous. They are passed down now, and everyone who wears a LIVESTRONG bracelet I immediately think does this guy support corruption? They do. I have had abusive managers who wear LIVESTRONG bands at Performance Bicycle the worst bicycle company in the world. Just because you wear a yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet does not give you credit for being a good rider, and nor does it make you respected in pro cycling. It makes you B.A.D., meaning a Bitch Ass Dude. And if you don’t believe me, just pay more attention and eventually you will see the truth.

“I have spoken to Landis after it all went down, we are not friends but we respect each other a little. But that respect is pretty minute. Landis is set up to make a lot of money and he did exactly the same thing as Lance. Both of them should be in jail.

“Doping needs to become a felony or it needs to legalised. If we aren’t going to send athletes to jail for stealing prize money and contract money (if you did this in any other aspect of life you would be sent to jail), then legalise doping and put all of the cards on the table and make it fair. It is the unfairness of it all that makes me crazy. Don’t expect me to play by the rules when you are going to allow Lance Armstrong to dope since 1999, USA Cycling and the United States Olympic Committee.

“The Olympics are a joke and the symbol was made up by the Nazis and the Olympic torch relay was the path the Nazis would take