Norway’s retired world champion cyclist Thor Hushovd has revealed in his autobiography “Thor” that he knew about doping of Lance Armstrong in 2011. Hushovd said Armstrong himself told him that he made use of banned products during his career.

Thor Hushovd was friends with the American cyclist for many years and appeared critical of the doping investigation against Lance Armstrong at times. Hushovd won the World Road Race Championship in 2010 and three National Road Trial Championships (2002, 2004, and 2005).  In a 15 year professional career, Hushovd also won 10 individual stages of the Tour de France throughout his career.

Hushovd revealed he was invited by Armstrong to Hollywood after the 2011 Tour of California. A few weeks back, Armstrong’s former US Postal Service teammate Tyler Hamilton had accused Armstrong of doping and Hushovd said Armstrong spontaneously admitted it to him that we all indulge in doping.

It is however surprising to note that Hushovd was critical of Floyd Landis, who tested positive during the 2006 Tour de France. Hushovd told TV 2 Sport then that Landis is certainly free to come to a world championship city, but he has no place in an anti-doping conference. The Norwegian cyclist had remarked when you have managed to lie for so many years and spent lots of money in the system, then he has lost my confidence, and probably that of many others too and had added then it is the wrong person to get to work on anti-doping issues.

Hushovd also revealed an incident of October 2012 when he received a text message from his manager Atle KvÃ¥lsvoll that Dane Steffen Kjærgaard, head of the Norwegian Cycling Federation (Norges Cycleforbund – NCF), had admitted to using banned drugs to compete. Hushovd said he admits that he had thought about it and remarked Steffen had been riding together with Lance Armstrong in a period when there was a lot of drug taking, and in addition he had been at a time when the Danish cycling environment was quite hard for a period.

Hushovd became publicly critical of Lance Armstrong when the American cyclist admitted to using banned performance enhancing drugs and techniques such as testosterone, cortisone, and blood doping during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

Hushovd also claimed in his autobiography that he never doped himself and added he never made this clear to Armstrong. The Norwegian cyclist said he had nothing to hide and added he understands that it can be hard for people to believe that after such a long period in the sport that he was never offered any kind of doping. Hushovd insisted but it’s true that no one has ever come to him and asked if he would try.

The Cycling Independent Reform Commission is presently investigating into the doping past of cycling and specifically into claims that the previous leadership at UCI helped Lance Armstrong evade detection for many years. Hushovd remarked Armstrong was the sport’s big superstar and the golden calf and added the UCI would have lost a lot if Armstrong was revealed as a cheater. The Norwegian cyclist said he thinks the positive samples were hidden to save Armstrong and to protect the sport.

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