Top Norway cyclist bites US doping dust, admits drug use / News / The Foreigner

Top Norway cyclist bites US doping dust, admits drug use. Steffen Kjærgaard breaks his 15-year enforced silence to tell Norwegian media he deliberately used Erythropoietin (EPO). “I’ll start at the beginning, but will only say that what has emerged in the last two weeks through the USADA report has meant that I have been forced to pull my dark secrets from the past,” he told reporters today. The International Cycling Union (UCI) stripped American Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France (TDF) based on a US Anti-Doping Association report. He is also banned for life.

usadadopingscandal, steffenkjrgaardnorway, norwaycycling



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Top Norway cyclist bites US doping dust, admits drug use

Published on Tuesday, 23rd October, 2012 at 14:40 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 23rd October 2012 at 15:14.

Steffen Kjærgaard breaks his 15-year enforced silence to tell Norwegian media he deliberately used Erythropoietin (EPO).

Steffen Kjaergaard of Norway leads US Postal Service
Steffen Kjaergaard of Norway leads US Postal Service
Photo: Pascal Rondeau/Staff/Getty Images


“I’ll start at the beginning, but will only say that what has emerged in the last two weeks through the USADA report has meant that I have been forced to pull my dark secrets from the past,” he told reporters today.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) stripped American Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France (TDF) based on a US Anti-Doping Association report. He is also banned for life.

“The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,” USDA CEO Travis T. Tygart said.

At today's press conference in Oslo 39-year-old Steffen Kjærgaard, a former Armstrong teammate, also admitted he chose to begin using performance-enhancing drug EPO two years after the 1996 start of his professional career. 

This decision came after he gained “an understanding of a dirty game I was quite unprepared for having been an amateur in Norway.”

“I had to continue to take part on the premises I felt ruled the field if I were to participate in the race further. I went to acquire EPO on my own initiative. It gave a response. Suddenly I was in a way part of it again.”

EPO is a hormone that controls red blood-cell production. It also plays a part in the wound-healing process. The performance-enhancing drug has a half-life in blood of about five hours.

Mr Kjærgaard explained he consulted a Belgian doctor in 1999 regarding the risk of discovery, as well as for health reasons.

“This resulted in a good season which led to that I became part of the US Postal Service [cycling team],” NRK reports him as saying. “I was part of the US Postal Service’s now well-known regime and was a part of it for just over three seasons. I responded so poorly to doping in the last period that I chose to walk away from it.”

The former professional Norwegian cyclist, now sports head of Norway's Cycling Association (Norges Cykleforbund) won the World Cup in track cycling in 1993. 

He has also won 12 Nordic Championship (Nordisk mesterskap) golds and 3 King’s Cups (Kongepokaler).

Mr Kjærgaard rode for the US Postal Service team between 2000 and 2003, coming in 89th and 101st place in the TDF in 2000 and 2001, respectively.



Published on Tuesday, 23rd October, 2012 at 14:40 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 23rd October 2012 at 15:14.

This post has the following tags: usadadopingscandal, steffenkjrgaardnorway, norwaycycling.





  
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