Australian cyclist Stuart O`Grady admits to using EPO in 1998
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Thursday, July 25, 2013, 09:47
  
Australian cyclist Stuart O`Grady admits to using EPO in 1998
London: Australian Tour de France stage winner Stuart O`Grady has admitted using the banned blood-booster EPO before the notorious 1998 race.

O`Grady, who announced his retirement this week after helping his GreenEdge team to a team time trial victory in this year`s Tour, became in 1998 only the second Australian to wear the race leader`s famous yellow jersey.

"Leading into the Tour I made a decision," the 39-year-old told the Adelaide newspaper The Advertiser in an interview.

"I sourced it (EPO) myself, there was no one else involved, it didn`t involve the team in any way. I just had to drive over the border and buy it at any pharmacy."

O`Grady, a former track cyclist who won medals at three Olympics, including gold at the 2004 Athens Games, took the first of his four career Tour stage wins that year in a race that was overshadowed by the Festina doping scandal.


Festina were kicked off the race after a medical team member was arrested at the French border and customs officers seized banned substances, including EPO.

The newspaper said O`Grady had been named in a French Senate inquiry into sports doping which looked at the 1998 Tour and found the top three finishers, Italian Marco Pantani, Germany`s Jan Ullrich and American Bobby Julich, were taking EPO.

"The hardest part of all this is I did it for two weeks before the Tour de France," added O`Grady who was riding for French team GAN at the time.

"I used extremely cautious amounts because I`d heard a lot of horror stories and did the absolute minimum of what I hoped would get me through.

"When the Festina Affair happened, I smashed it, got rid of it and that was the last I ever touched it."

"I used extremely cautious amounts because I`d heard a lot of horror stories and did the absolute minimum of what I hoped would get me through."

"When the Festina Affair happened, I smashed it, got rid of it and that was the last I ever touched it."

"That`s the hardest thing to swallow out of all this - it was such a long time ago and one very bad judgement is going to taint a lot of things and people will have a lot of questions."

Reuters

First Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013, 09:47


comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular in News