Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport says Hesjedal should have spoken out sooner about doping confession
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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport says Hesjedal should have spoken out sooner about doping confession

by Shane Stokes at 6:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Agency ‘disappointed’ in delay, says many clean Canadian athletes were cheated out of opportunity to shine

Ryder HesjedalThe Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport has described itself as ‘disappointed’ that Ryder Hesjedal waited so long before admitting that he had used banned substances earlier in his career, and said that as a result of his behaviour that clean riders have lost out.

The CCES was responding to Hesjedal’s admission yesterday that he had taken doping products more than a decade ago. The Garmin-Sharp rider’s statement came hours after Michael Rasmussen said that he had taught Hesjedal, Chris Sheppard and Seamus McGrath how to use EPO and Synacthen prior to the 2003 world mountainbike championships.

Hesjedal finished second in that year’s worlds, McGrath looked set to place between sixth or eighth but dropped out and Sheppard was sixteenth.

The CCES confirmed that it met with Hesjedal and the US Anti Doping Agency in spring of this year, and that Hesjedal admitted past doping use then. It said that because of the delay in the Canadian rider coming forward, that he had effectively sidestepped any sanction.

“This announcement involves one of Canada’s most elite and accomplished athletes. It is another example of the systemic doping that occurred in cycling over many years,” said the CCES in its statement.

“It is important to note that the World Anti-Doping Code has an eight-year statute of limitations. As such, unfortunately Mr. Hesjedal’s acknowledgement of doping in 2003 will not result in a violation or any sanction.”

“The CCES is disappointed that Mr. Hesjedal waited more than a decade to publicly disclose his past involvement in doping. His conduct has deprived many clean Canadian athletes from the opportunity to shine in the sport of cycling.”

The agency gave the reason why it had not itself made the news public before now.

“The CCES regularly meets with athletes and support personnel to gather intelligence about what is going on in the sport community. We do not report publicly on whom we meet with and what is disclosed as we conduct this work. Should any information provided constitute an anti-doping rule violation, this would have been publicly disclosed.”

Meanwhile Cycling Canada has said that it was ‘shocked and saddened’ to learn that he had been involved in doping, but said that he did the right thing to admit what he did.

“To his credit, he has been open and honest with the anti-doping authorities that investigate such matters in a confidential fashion as we learned today through his statement and the subsequent statement of Travis Tygart, CEO of USADA.

“We continue to urge any athletes that have information about doping in the sport to come forward to the CCES to help with the ongoing fight against doping.”

Hesjedal is one of Garmin-Sharp’s top riders and won the Giro d’Italia in 2012. He has an ongoing contract with the team until the end of 2015.

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