Lauren Fleshman is absolutely one of my favorite athletes, not because of what she does on the track or roads, but by her integrity. The lady tells it straight, often with a huge dollop of humor.
A case in point for integrity. This article, Why A Convicted Doper as the USA Team Coach is a Bad Idea.
Zero Tolerance was a big deal to me. It indicated that my governing body cared about restoring our image. It sent a strong message to an impressionable, high achieving me, and influenced my decisions to remain clean. I am part of a generation that has been tested a zillion times more than any group before me. It’s been a pain in the ass but worth it. People would still cheat, but now it would be harder and the world knew it. USATF would out you, even if you were our biggest star, and they backed it up with actions. Should I be lucky enough to win an Olympic Medal, I wanted the chance to do so without the global assumption that I was dirty and USATF was covering up for me. It meant that anyone who represented the USA would be under a microscope. That, for the sake of all of our reputations, we would not be put side to side with cheaters and look guilty by association. As a clean athlete, this meant everything to me.
Go read the whole article. Then read her blog, often.
And for fun, track down the Runner's World column she wrote on the 5K versus the marathon. It's funny, with a dash of truth.