Ex-Cyclist Reveals Reasons Behind Doping Confession

@Stuart O’Grady, an Olympic gold medalist in 2004 and winner of Paris-Roubaix in 2007, has revealed there was no turning back from a doping confession after he confessed to his team and family before a French Senate investigation ultimately tabled inconclusive evidence against him.

The retired Australian professional road bicycle racer insisted that he committed a one-off experiment with Erythropoietin (EPO) in the infamous 1998 Tour de France where some cyclists were jailed because of doping. O’Grady said he can comfortably sit back and he knew that no one can come along and say he had a positive test anywhere else and added his grandchildren won’t be hearing any news stories about his racing past in 100 years. The ex-cyclist said he won Paris-Roubaix and his Olympic gold medal plus all his other Tour de France successes clean and he is happy for all his tests ever taken after 1998 to be re-tested.

Stuart O’Grady remarked there was no incentive for him to come forward and face the consequences for doping before the French Senate investigation forced him to after the investigation released names of thirty riders who returned suspicious or positive urine samples in retrospective testing from 1998. O’Grady, who rode as a professional between 1995 and 2013, said he knew he would be implicated and didn’t know exactly what would be revealed. The cyclist was originally listed as a rider who returned a suspicious urine sample, but Stuart O’Grady decided to come clean to his family and Orica-GreenEDGE team boss Shayne Bannan.

Immediately after his doping confession, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) had called O’Grady to resign from its Athletes’ Commission. Dave Sanders, who has mentored some of Australia’s finest road cyclists including Simon Gerrans and Cadel Evans, said the doping confession of Stuart O’Grady was his greatest disappointment in a lifetime working in the sport. One of Australia’s most experienced cycling coaches, Sanders said of all the things that have happened, it’s probably the biggest thing that’s just gutted him personally in his own soul as he thought Stuart as is the greatest – the greatest – all round cyclist that’s ever come out of Australia.

In the book (Green, Gold & Bold: Australia at the 100th Tour de France, written by Olympic cyclist-turned-race director John Trevorrow and journalist Ron Reed), O’Grady remarked people told him his test came back suspicious – not positive – and why didn’t he just tough it out but said there was no going back after he opened up to Shayne and his family. O’Grady recalls in the book he just didn’t want to be at the Tour and he knew it was time to retire and added he was dreading the Alpe d’Huez stage and wasn’t sure, but he knew there was a possibility his name would be there. O’Grady added he sourced EPO two weeks before his second Tour de France, without informing his French GAN team. He went on to add it was not systematic doping and he wasn’t trying to deceive people and he was basically trying to survive in what was a very grey area.

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