Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal admits to doping past

Ryder Hesjedal, seen here holding the tophy after winning the Giro d'Italia in 2012, has been...

Ryder Hesjedal, seen here holding the tophy after winning the Giro d'Italia in 2012, has been accused of doping by disgraced cyclist Michael Rasmussen. (Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:03 PM ET

Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal admitted Wednesday to doping in the past but that his participation in the sport’s drug culture was “short-lived.”

The revelation came after disgraced cyclist Michael Rasmussen accused Hesjedal, winner of the prestigious Giro d'Italia in 2012, of using performance-enhancing drugs a decade ago.

In his soon-to-be-published autobiography, Yellow Fever, Rasmussen claims he taught Hesjedal, who was eager to qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics, how to take EPO in 2003.

“More than a decade ago, I chose the wrong path,” Hesjedal said in a statement released through Slipstream Sports. “And even though those mistakes happened more than 10 years ago, and they were short-lived, it does not change the fact that I made them and I have lived with that and been sorry for it ever since.”

Hesjedal will not face sanctions as a result of his admission. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s code has a statute of limitations of eight years and therefore he cannot be punished for rule violations.

The Victoria, B.C., native said his actions were no secret to anti-doping authorities.

“I believe that being truthful will help the sport continue to move forward, and over a year ago when I was contacted by anti-doping authorities, I was open and honest about my past,” he said.

Apart from Hesjedal, Rasmussen also claims Canadian cyclists Seamus McGrath and Chris Sheppard took advice on using banned substances.

Earlier this year, Rasmussen confessed to doping from 1998-2010. He’s currently serving a two-year ban from cycling.

Excerpts of the book were published by Danish newspaper BT.

Hesjedal’s 2013 season has been plagued by injuries. A respiratory infection forced him to drop out during the Giro d’Italia. He also crashed out at the Tour de Suisse after sustaining heavy blows to his head and neck. He suffered a broken rib during the opening stage of the Tour de France in July, where he finished a career-worst 70th overall.


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