Parisien questions claims by Hesjedal and Barry that they stopped doping years ago
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Friday, November 01, 2013

Parisien questions claims by Hesjedal and Barry that they stopped doping years ago

by VeloNation Press at 8:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
“These are guys who have lied for about ten years and have decided to confess to doping after being exposed”

Ryder HesjedalFellow Canadian rider Francois Parisien has expressed his frustration with the admission this week by Ryder Hesjedal plus the earlier confession by Michael Barry, with the Argos Shimano rider expressing scepticism about the accounts given.

Hesjedal [pictured] issued a statement on Wednesday via his Garmin-Sharp team, responding after Michael Rasmussen had claimed he taught the Canadian and two others how to use EPO and Synacthen in 2003.

In it Hesjedal admitted using banned substances, but claimed it was for a limited period of time. This declared period is outside the eight year statute of limitations, meaning that he can't be sanctioned.

“Cycling is my life and has been ever since I can remember,” said the 2012 Giro d’Italia winner in that statement. “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 ten 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.”

Parisien said that he was sceptical about that admission.

“Personally I do not believe it at all, in the same way that Michael Barry said he stopped taking drugs in 2006. I do not believe it at all either,” said an angry Parisien to Radio Canada. “These are guys who have lied for about ten years and have decided to confess, to confess to doping after being exposed.”

The 31 year old has reason to feel angry; he was in the running for an Olympic team place in 2008, but lost out. The team’s head coach has said that he was the first reserve for the Games, and that he can understand the anger.

Parisien said that he felt that much of his career has been overshadowed by riders who have taken shortcuts. He won the national championship in 2005 and has also taken stages in the Volta a Catalunya, the Vuelta Mexico Telmex and the Vuelta a Cuba, plus the overall classification in last year’s Tour of Elk Grove.

It's a solid career but not a spectacular one; his suggestion is that if others had not doped, that he could well have achieved more.

“It makes me sick. I feel a deep disgust, and there is a lot of frustration. Cheats had an influence on much of my career and I’ve been ground down such guys since I was young.

“There's really no way to get over it, I think it is something that I must swallow and live with. It's done and you can not go back on a cycling career, that which has been stolen is stolen and can’t be found again.”

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