Hamilton Praises O’Grady For Doping Confession

Decorated veteran @Stuart O’Grady has come in praise from doping whistleblower Tyler Hamilton who said the Australian cyclist should be congratulated for coming clean about his dirty past.

Hamilton added a truth and reconciliation commission is needed in order to clear all skeletons from the sport’s bulging closet. The ex-teammate of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and himself a doper, Hamilton said he believed as few as five riders who raced in his first Tour de France in 1997 were clean. He added that we need more of the answers from the past and more people to speak up and we need more people like Stuart O’Grady to come forward.

The cyclist added there are a lot of skeletons inside the closet, and we haven’t heard enough. There should be some sort of truth and reconciliation program. Hamilton went on to add that there should be a process if a cyclist has already crossed the line where they can come forward and tell the truth and there’ll be little or no penalty and added it is the only way to get the sport heading in the right direction–not just for cycling, but for all sports.

Three days after his surprise retirement following his 17th Tour de France, Stuart O’Grady became the latest Australian cyclist to admit to doping. O’Grady confessed to using the banned blood booster EPO when preparing for the 1998 Tour de France. His confession came after he was named in a French Senate inquiry as one of 83 athletes who were found later to have returned positive tests or, in O’Grady’s case, ”suspicious” blood readings from that infamous race. The retired Australian professional road bicycle racer, who last rode for UCI ProTeam Orica-GreenEDGE, became only the second Australian to wear the race leader’s famous yellow jersey in 1998. The former track cyclist who won medals at three Olympics, including gold at the 2004 Athens Games was named in a French Senate inquiry into sports doping that looked at the 1998 Tour de France. The inquiry found the top three finishers, Italian Marco Pantani, Germany’s Jan Ullrich, and American Bobby Julich, were taking Erythropoietin (EPO).

The Australian cyclist may now runs the risk of being stripped of his Olympic medals after admitting to using performance enhancing drugs at the 1998 Tour. After his doping confession, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) spokesman remarked it is sad and O’Grady won’t be remembered as a fantastic competitor that we all thought he was and instead he’ll be remembered as an athlete who succumbed to the temptation of drugs in sport just to get an edge on his fellow riders. Tancred added in regard to his medals, it’s a matter for the international federation, so the UCI (International Cycling Union) will consider the medals and they will then make some recommendation to the IOC (International Olympic Commission). In a statement, AOC president John Coates said members of our London Olympic team are entitled to be angry knowing they had supported an athlete who had cheated. The AOC had already called on the cyclist to step down from its Athletes’ Commission, a 10-member advisory body comprised of respected athletes.

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