Video: Cyclist Ryder Hesjedal stunned the cycling world by admitting he has used performance-enhancing substances. Robin Gill has the details.
UPDATE: In a statement Ryan Hesjedal admits to doping saying, “I have loved and lived this sport but more than a decade ago, I chose the wrong path. 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 been sorry for it ever since.”
Hesjedal continues to say in his statement that he “sincerely apologizes for my part in the dark past of the sport” and that he stopped “what I was doing” before joining his current team, Slipstream Sports.
Slipstream Sports also issued a comment on the recent revelations about Hesjedal’s past saying, “As we have previously stated, our expectation is that anyone in our organization contacted by any anti-doping authority must be open and honest with that authority. Ryder is no exception and a year ago when he was contacted he cooperated fully and truthfully testified to USADA and CCES. For this reason and because of our desire for 100% truth and reconciliation in the sport of cycling, we support him.”
Former Danish pro cyclist Michael Rasmussen has made claims in his new autobiography that he taught Hesjedal how to use performance enhancing drugs when the Victoria-native was a rising mountain bike racer.
Online cycling publications, VeloNation and Cycling News both reported earlier today that Rasmussen, who confessed to doping from 1998 until 2010 and is currently serving a two-year ban, taught Hesjedal how to take EPO in 2003. EPO is a chemical form of blood doping that first came about in the late 1980s.
Although Rasmussen’s book, Yellow Fever, will not be published until Monday, excerpts and revelations including accusations against Hesjedal, have been published by the Danish newspaper Politiken.
According to the excerpts from the Dane’s book, the then-mountainbike rider Hesjedal along with two other Canadian riders, Seamus McGrath and Chris Sheppard were taught by him “how to do vitamin injections and how to take EPO and Synacthen.”
Hesjedal moved from mountain biking to road racing in 2005 when he joined the US Postal System Service team. In 2008, Hesjedal became part of the Slipstream team and was the first ever Canadian Grand Tour event in 2012 when he won the Giro d’Italia.
While Rasmussen states he didn’t witness Hesjedal use EPO or any other banned substances, he does recall the details when the Canadians stayed at his home.
“They moved into my basement in August, before I went to the Vuelta a España, and after I had ridden the Championship of Zurich. They stayed for a fortnight. I trained with them in the Dolomites and taught them how to do vitamin injections and how to take EPO and Synacthen,” as Politiken reports that Rasmussen writes in his book.
Following that time, Rasmussen said Hesjedal finished second in the race, McGrath was looking to finish sixth or eighth but dropped out and Sheppard placed 16th.
Politiken also stated that the co-author of the book, Klaus Wivel contacted the three Canadian riders but both Sheppard and McGrath would not comment and Hesjedal, who rides with Garmin Sharp, did not reply.