If you played a role, I would first attempt to undo the damage and then post for an re-inclusion request.
Or tell a white lie and say you have found these links, that look dodgy and believe they are the reason for the damage.
Google should just be discounting these links. No penalising for them.
I am confident this is going to cause more damage than good. It won't be long before one of my competitors, in my main niche, starts taking out competitors. They're dirty black hat scum bags and in the past 5 years haven't had a single drop in traffic, despite being involved in every link buying scheme I have ever seen, sabotaging adsense campaigns and just about every other underhand tactic. They're now at 500,000 visitors a day.
Up until last year, I hadn't even purchased a link. However, building links slowly and naturally, in highly competitive niches, isn't enough by itself.