An Open Response To the Society of American Travel Writers For Having Stripped Me of My Travel Photography Awards

This morning I was notified by the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) that I have been stripped of all travel journalism awards given by the organization and its foundation for the use of performance enhancing drugs. In particular I have been stripped of the following awards:

Moreover, I have been notified that my membership has been suspended pending a review by the special committee looking into the use of performance enhancing drugs by writers and photographers.

I take these accusations very seriously as this is a major attack on my reputation. This action was taken without any hearing, or ability for me to plead my case. Given that I was not given the chance to defend myself, I’ll will use the only platform I have available to me to answer these charges.

Every year after the SATW awards ceremony, winners are required to submit a urine sample for testing of various regulated compounds. For the last 3 years I’ve dutifully submitted my sample at a certified facilities wherever I happened to be in the world. The processing of the samples are done out of pocket and every year I have passed with flying colors. I’ve often had to go far out of my way to visit certified testing facilities in various countries. I remember having gone far out of my way in both Thailand and in the United Kingdom.

My most recent test came back in February testing positive for several banned substances. In particular Foolazine, a drug manufactured by the Pfizer Corporation which provides stability, strength and speed to your right index finger, and Anselize, a drug used by former East German photographers which supposedly improves image composition. (although this has never been proven!)

I want to categorically state for the record I have not, am not, or ever will use any performance enhancing drugs to improve my photography.

The results from my most recent test had to have been a false positive, as I have never taken any such drugs. Moreover, the fact that SATW took such drastic action, which besmirched my good name, without any advanced notification is reckless and without precedent. The fallout from their announcement was immediate. I have already lost my staff position with Newsweek Magazine and my spot in BlogHouse Detroit.

It isn’t often discussed publicly, but photographers are aware of the illicit market in photography enhancing drugs. Like many other travel photographers, I’ve been approached by underground photodrug dealers all over the world. However, I have never given in to the temptation. I have always believed in an all natural approach to my photography and have never taken anything more than herbal-photo supplements.

Also, why does SATW crack down on performance enhancing drugs, but turns a blind eye to extensor truncation surgery, aka “Bob Holmes Surgery” which provides almost all the same benefits to the index finger???

Moreover, I’m saddened that SATW has chosen to target photographers as the focus of their witch hunt, when everyone knows that travel writers are more apt to use performance enhancing drugs to overcome writers block.

I have spoken to my attorney Roy Dewitt, and we will be filing an injunction against SATW to reverse these actions and seek a formal investigation.

I know there are a lot of bloggers, writers and photographers who will use this as an opportunity to attack me and try to bring me down. Do not believe what they are saying.

I have full faith that I will see this wrong righted, and that my name will be cleared. Thank you all for your support during this troubled time.

22 thoughts on “An Open Response To the Society of American Travel Writers For Having Stripped Me of My Travel Photography Awards”

  1. Well, at least you weren’t using photocialis or photoviagra, I’ve heard that these can actually make your photo-index finger less flexible.

  2. Nice article Gary! It was really fun reading it and the comments, too. Great beginning of April joke.

  3. Wow, you got me good I was asking uncle google and everything about photography enhancing drugs, nice one!

  4. Hey i was reading this in office..and i was about to share the photgraphy drug details with my friends. Hurray i read the comments…You got me…Funny :)

  5. Haha, that title caught my attention, very funny! As long as they don’t ban coffee or caffeine, I should be good.

  6. Just can’t believe it! I do not know anything about SATW, but it is crazy.
    BTW, since I am a psychologist and while blogging I write sometimes about shrinks, you know what I did to prevent any possible situation like your? I cancelled myself from the national board of Italy, totally, probably forever. So I can say whatever I want just following the normal rules.

  7. I, for one, am glad you and your little scheme got caught. Finally there’s hope for the rest of us who don’t stoop to such appalling methods to win something. You are no better than darts players who wear glasses.

  8. Listen Lance, you do the crime you do the time. Those PEDs improved the speed and agility of you button finger. All we ask for is a level playing field!

  9. OMG! You totally got me! I didn’t realize this was a hoax until I read the comments. And thank God I did because I was about to leave a comment of sympathy. LOL!

  10. Of course in todays society and crazy world of strange regulations, I cna see this being completly plausable. Good one.

  11. I suspected as much. I also bet you’ve been sharing some of the good stuff with the judges all along.

  12. I get the impression that you had just as much fun writing this as I did reading it. Well done, Gary. I think my favourite bit are the names of the drugs.

  13. Way better than your marriage to the dude in Thailand. Hooked until paragraph 5.

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