Athlete Martin Fagan will accept a two year ban for doping – after revealing he contemplated suicide after a desperate and lonely battle with severe depression.
The 28-year-old from Mullingar has revealed to the Irish Times how he came close to ending his own life in November before turning to the internet in search of EPO in a bid to rescue his London Olympics dream.
“I can handle the blame, what it’s done to my career. But I hate what it’s done to all the other people, my family, the other Irish athletes,” said Fagan in an amazingly frank interview with the paper.
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“Because it’s all my doing, purely selfish. But when you’re contemplating suicide you just don’t think about all those other things.
“This positive test, the ban, is only the small issue. The bigger issue for me right now is getting myself mentally right again. I know that’s going to take time but I know I’m around the right people now, my family, and friends.”
Beijing Olympian Fagan turned to the internet and suicide chat rooms at his apartment in Arizona as he struggled to cope with depression last November.
“When you’re already on medication you’re in that mentality, that I can take something to get through this, to fix this,” he said.
“That’s when I thought of EPO. That was my medication, the chemical I needed. I never would have even contemplated that before.
“That was something else I know I should have spoken to someone about, but I didn’t think I had that option. I only cared about the running, not the Martin Fagan. It was my last hope.
“And I never once thought I was taking EPO to cheat, or to break a world record, or anything like that. I didn’t even take EPO to win anything. I just wanted to feel good again, to get back to normal.
“I remember, injecting it, thinking this is how the junkie feels. This is how low I’ve let myself go. That’s really when I realised I just shouldn’t be in this position, that it’s telling me something, that I really do need help.”
Intending to reach an Olympic qualifying time in Houston on Sunday, Fagan is instead back in Ireland and preparing for a disciplinary hearing and an inevitable two year ban.
“I started panicking. I just felt so committed to that Houston race, that it was my last chance. I was so stupidly stubborn about it, and that was my downfall,” he added.
“But I was very confused. I know that’s no excuse, but I was only semi-knowing of what I was doing. I was not in the right state of mind. That’s when I should have reached out. But that was my only reality, I was in a dark place, and knew it. I can only ask myself how I ever got there.”