Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, the 2012 winner of the Giro d'Italia, has admitted to doping ten years ago under the direction of discredited former yellow jersey wearer Michael Rasmussen.
Hesjedal came clean a year ago to USADA CEO Travis Tygart and the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sports about his history, VeloNews reports, but remained mum in public. His announcement on Wednesday came following the release of Rasmussen's new book, Yellow Fever.
In the book, Rasmussen writes that he helped Hesjedal and two of his Canadian mountain bike teammates learn how to properly use EPO before the 2003 world mountain bike championship, in which Hesjedal placed second.
Hesjedal will not be facing a sanction or dismissal from Garmin-Sharp as the WADA statute of limitations is limited to eight years. His admission and the lack of punishment will likely reignite the debate surrounding the handling of Lance Armstrong's case. While the Texan has been banned from the sport for life, many of his teammates who doped but went on to testify against him have retired quietly from the sport.
In a statement, Hesjedal wrote:
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 I have lived with that and been sorry for it ever since.
Team Garmin-Sharp also released a statement in support of Hesjedal:
As we have said from the beginning, Slipstream Sports was created because we wanted to build a team where cyclists could compete 100% clean,” the squad said in a statement. “And, 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.