Barry said a fellow rider had put it best when he said he felt like they were inside a bubble and there was a pin scratching the side.
“I lied a lot,” he said of the past. “I lied to the media and I apologize for that. I hated lying and I didn’t like what I was a part of. And it feels good to be truthful.”
Barry sees positives in his sport these days, pointing to the success of Team Sky, for whom he rode most recently, in winning while clean.
“Cycling has made remarkable strides in the last six years,” he said. “The culture is changing. Hopefully through this case, it continues to evolve and we have a culture in the future years where all teams are providing nurturing environments for young riders. And riders consider their health before the victory or performance.”
Barry also hopes that riders can avoid the “bad advice” he got on drugs and his health.
In confessing his past sins, Barry says he feels a whirl of emotions. While no one welcomes such attention, he says it feels liberating to finally be able to talk truthfully about his past.
He sees this scandal as more than just the hangover of a sport trying to clean up its act.
“And I don’t think this is just about cycling but about how when we’re with a group and we’re influenced by groups, humans can make grave mistakes and do unethical things.
“That’s probably one of the best lessons that I’ve taken from this — is that it’s so important to maintain perspective and to step outside the group and realize what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.”
Barry is currently relishing the time at home with his wife and two children. He plans another book and hopes to stay involved in cycling at some level.
With files from The Canadian Press