Durand accepts French senate report/Le Monde claims that he used EPO
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Durand accepts French senate report/Le Monde claims that he used EPO

by Shane Stokes at 6:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Former breakaway specialist says sport has changed, and today’s riders should not ‘pay for our crap’ from the past

dopingFollowing on from yesterday’s Le Monde article which stated that retests proved that Laurent Jalabert, Jacky Durand and Laurent Desbiens had used EPO during the 1998 Tour de France, Durand has admitted his usage of the substance.

The Eurosport commentator wrote about the matter on the station’s website. “I accept my actions. I always deliberately discussed them for many years, with young riders, different journalists or my employers. Anyway I think that nobody is fooled. Press, followers , spectators and racers know the previous practices regarding EPO,” he stated.

“Why do you dive in? When you want to live your passion and you work like a madman in a clean way, but you are still, despite everything, in the street in terms of performance relative to the competition, you analyse the situation. And to live your passion, to participate and succeed in the Tour de France, you take the plunge.

“It was necessary to "salt the soup" as the old ones said, and, reluctantly. The French started late and stopped sooner than the competition.”

The Le Monde article came one day before today’s French senate report into doping in sport. The study was carried out to determine if anti-doping practices had been sufficient, and what improvements need to be made. It is thought that more names may be published today.

According to yesterday’s Le Monde story, EPO was also detected in the samples of the top three overall, namely the late Marco Pantani, Jan Ullrich and Bobby Julich. Erik Zabel, the best sprinter in 1998 and 1999, is also named, making nonsense of his claim in 2007 that he only used EPO once in his career, back in 1996.

Durand’s admission comes with a call for people to accept that things have changed. “The next generation must not pay for our crap from the past. Today, I do not think of me, but of them. My career is behind me. I think of the kid who comes out of the Tour and who is told 'you, you're drugged, like the other'.

“I think of a Thibaut Pinot, who finished tenth in the Tour at age 22, or a Romain Bardet. And I do not want that they are discredited on the pretext that our generation has been bullshit. Our sport is much cleaner now, I want people to understand.”

Durand ended his admission by saying that he hopes that the French senate’s report has clear proposals in relation to reforms of the fight against doping. Otherwise, he stated, the only effect will be to discredit cycling, which he said made breakthroughs in the fight against doping earlier than most other sports.

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