Kebby Holden, Founder and Designer for Coeur Sports has issued the following statement regarding the athlete that was recently disqualified from Raleigh Ironman 70.3
Want to get you all an update: after learning from marathoninvestigation yesterday that one of our ambassadors was DQ’d from Raleigh 70.3 recently, we reached out to all involved parties to get the full scoop. Just for the record, she maintains her innocence. However, for us, the athlete will no longer be a part of our ambassador team, effective immediately, and we are looking to come up with additional vetting methods to prevent something like this happening in our team selection process again.
I want to make two statements that I hope would be obvious but I think bear pointing out:
First, Coeur has never and will never condone or support cheating and doping in any way. We never have. We never will. We have actively written and spoken out against these exact things as they are in direct conflict to our core (Coeur!) values. We’ve always tried to promote clean, positive, inclusion and encouragement in endurance sports so this really stung. I hope everyone out there following this situation knows that most likely NUUN and Eagle Bicycles are against cheating too. There is no reason to assume they support cheating because of the actions of one bag team egg.
Second, we have reached out to the athlete and offered to find any resources that will be helpful to her in dealing with this. While it is right and mandatory to speak out against cheating and doping ALWAYS, we also recognize this is a human with feelings. We can all shame her mercilessly on social media and drive her deeper into a hole, or we can try to help her resolve any issues so they no longer hurt her or anyone else around her in the future.
As our sport grows, there will be more and more instances of cheating and doping, and we athletes are lucky we have folks like marathoninvestigation and others doing oversight. Let’s do more than just hate though, let’s try to learn, help and fix so the future is better for it.
Founder & Designer
The response by Kebby and Coeur Sports is a breath of fresh air. Other companies would be wise to follow the example of Coeur Sports and take a stand against cheating while at the same time showing compassion.
Please let Kebby and all at Coeur Sports know that you appreciate their response and support their commitment to their core values.
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Thanks to all of you that that support Marathon Investigation!
Nice! Memo to all others This is the proper way to handle a cheater, bandit, bib swapper and, or all of the above. Remove them, offer them help and then hopefully move on. Bravo Coeur Sports.
Agree, very good statement, hats off to the firm.
Impressed by the companies response to this situation!
After reading this response I am thankful for a company such as Coeur. I will gladly take her spot and represent the core values your company expresses.
Training the temple 🐶🍦👍🏽
Great job, Coeur!
She maintains her innocence? Easy to prove. She obviously has a Garmin and has uploaded the data to Strava. Show us the data, or explain how the timing malfunctioned.
She cheated and in her mind, the only bastion of saving face in her troubled mind, is ride this lie until the wheels fall off and this story dies down. So incredibly sad and indicative of her principles, take the easy way out and not face the truth. She took the easy way out in both races by cheating and feigning a legal finish, so it doesn’t surprise me.
1455, I’m sorry you felt like you had to cheat and lie to perpetuate some expectation out there, for these races. And continue the deception now and ongoing. Humans love a good redemption story, we mostly inherently root for a comeback just like an underdog, because it speaks to our own insecurities and shows us that bravery means admitting our weakness sometimes, whether not succeeding in the classic sense of a race (not making cutoffs, just saying f**k it I’m OVER IT and DNF-ing after the bike from hades, or in a moment of weakness, doing something like cutting the course to DNF and getting swept up in the moment and finishing with jubilation. Knew a girl who did that once). I wish you’d reconsider doubling down on the deception. It’s fully apparent what the truth is and continuing in this path is a mistake. I bet if you emailed Derek privately he’d be very gracious and succinct in your official response, and close this matter down formally. We don’t want blood, we just would like acknowledgment of your mistake, we might all be MOP racers, but we do these things for the camaraderie of our race fellows in hell on race day, with us. So even though we don’t know you, we feel like you took the spirit of the “competition” and made it a farce.
Does whether the person owns up really matter? She has been disqualified (from the tri at least), and there appear to be other consequences in terms of endorsements being withdrawn that she previously enjoyed. To me, it seems justice had been done, whether or not she chooses to publicly atone for her mistake is of little interest. I can’t see what relevance her apology, or lack thereof, has for the vast majority of us who would have never heard of her were it not for this incident.
Of course, that’s not to say other suspicious results should not be investigated, but I don’t think we get to tell people how to act now – that’s crossing a line. How they deal with the consequences of their actions is up to them.
Bravo Coeur! An elegantly written statement on such a difficult situation to have to deal with.I love their products & will continue to support the company. Oiselle, you might want to take notes…
Coeur -thank you. Oiselle: please learn something from this.
What does Coeur sell? I want to go buy some.
They sell tri kits and triathlon related gear. Very nice stuff.
They sell running clothes too, their running shorts are 💯
Their running shorts are hands-down my favs!
What is the vetting process for companies’ ambassadors? I get the feeling there isn’t that much vetting! Some ambassadors are terrible! They never reply on social media but they will always give you their discount code for that race or product! I realize that’s different than cheating on a race.
Since we are strangers to most companies, they base their team selections based on their application. I am a Coeur Ambassador and they actually had a lengthier application. Most companies (understandably so) ask for your social media handles, number of followers and race schedule. Coeur is very conscious about assembling a team of women that are truly ambassadors for the sport. They asked several questions regarding why we love endurance sports, what motivates us, etc. But, without the time and resources to vet every applicant to the degree that Derek does during his investigations (I think Coeur had like over 1,600 applications), they rely on your application being true. From the comments in Derek’s original post, this athlete has a very compelling story (she lost her husband and a child). And, from my brief interactions with her on the team page, she was a lovely person. I think she’s just someone that is suffering in some part of her life and maybe needs some help dealing with those issues. I don’t think she’s a bad person, she just made some bad decisions.
Agree 100%. I’ve raced with her with nuun and she really is a lovely person that I’ve enjoyed getting to know. Not making excuses for her if this is real, but she’s not this cheating/horrible person she’s being made out to be. There is another side to the story that I am sure she may share when she is ready…on her terms. (Privately or Publically). I really appreciate Coeur’s response to this – it shows a firm, yet compassionate approach to address the issue and also offer help to whomever needs it. Thanks Coeur for this.
Oh she shared all right, lots of *F* bombs, blaming others for her alcoholism of late, charges of bullying (oh so original), and general “get a life” diatribe. Sounds like a real peach. A true test of our integrity is how we react during adversity.
What does “offered to find any resources that will be helpful to her in dealing with this” really entail? Probably not much, but it is a compassionate, masterful PR response, nevertheless.
I think I’m gonna buy my gf something off their website after reading that. Way to go on taking a stand in a positive way.
Love their ads. NoAngryKitty!! The tri suits look pretty cool.
What a great response, especially when compared to the silence from Reebok about their employee cheaters.
Kebby Holden – Your mama raised you right! What a graceful and meaningful statement in the face of such negative potential. Thank you for your athletic integrity and human compassion.
Well said. I am a teacher, mother of 3, and a triathlete. I’m glad to see you are doing the right thing and trying to help this athlete do the right thing too. Cheaters never win.
PS-if you need a replacement ambassador in here:)
Great to see a nice positive response from a company for a change. Instead of them either ignoring completely, or basically responding with a statement that they could careless if their ambassador/sponsored athlete did something wrong. Also appreciate that even if something was wrong the person should not be bullied or berated by everyone about it.
I really appreciate Coeur’s response. They swiftly investigated, swiftly removed the cheater from their ambassador program, and promptly took follow-up action (read more at http://www.coeursports.com/blogs/latest/on-making-lemonade). Many people have been discouraged by Reebok’s employees copying bibs, with no action taken by Reebok, or Oiselle continuing to support a repeat-offender race bandit. It’s refreshing to see a company take a moral stand.
Hate lame PC corporate BS like this. I would applaud the company if they said “We have just been informed that one of our ambassadors cheated in a recent race. We abhor cheaters and having anyone with this type of character representing our brand makes us look bad and does not represent the company or management’s values. Effective immediately we have dropped all support and sponsorship for this cheater. We apologize to any of our customers to have our gear associated with such a person. We will continue our hard stand against cheaters if they are brought to our attention and we salute and support any athlete that is out there playing by the rules and giving 100% to meet his goals”.
Because Coeur represents more than a faceless company, Coeur is about community. Kebby and her team have worked very hard to create a community of fantastic women that support and encourage one another. They represent everything that is great about this sport.
What the accused did was wrong and Coeur has acknowledged that, however she is human. I am a Coeur ambassador, we know the human side of this person. Berating someone will do no good, it breeds contempt within the community and will not help the offender heal and move on. She was dropped, Coeur has taken a hard stand against cheating, there is no need to dehumanize her. Coeur is not a cold faceless corporation. The name speaks for itself, HEART.
“Second, we have reached out to the athlete and offered to find any resources that will be helpful to her in dealing with this.”
What about reaching out helping other athletes in need of help/resources, athletes that don’t lie and cheat.
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