|2013 Daily Peloton
26 July 2013: Stuart O'Grady Reputation in Tatters following doping admission
Recently retired Orica GreenEDGE rider Stuart O'Grady's reputation is in tatters following an admission to an Australian newspaper that he had taken the performance enhancing drug EPO (erythropoietin) before the now infamous 1998 Tour de France.
The admission by O'Grady, who is a veteran of 17 Tour de France and six Olympic Games, was made after being named by A French Senate Enquiry as one of a number of athletes with 'suspicious' test results.
While his former team gave him support there was hard-hitting criticism from the Australian sports authorities.
"It's sad," Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) spokesman Mike Tancred , "He won't be remembered as a fantastic competitor that we all thought he was. Instead he'll be remembered as an athlete who succumbed to the temptation of drugs in sport just to get an edge on his fellow riders."
O'Grady maybe stripped of his Olympic Medals
O'Grady has a madison gold from the 2004 Athens Games, a team pursuit silver from the Barcelona 92 and two bronze medals from Atlanta 96. All of these pre-date his admission but according to Tancred the athlete will be investigated by the UCI whose findings will be passed to the AOC who in turn will make a decision over the medals.
His last race was this year's Tour de France, at which he won the Team Time Trial in Nice alongside his teammates.
Orica GrenEDGE stand by their former rider
Orica-GreenEDGE's General Manager made the following statement in support of their former rider,
“ORICA-GreenEDGE supports Stuart O’Grady’s decision to step forward and place the findings of the French Senate Report of today into perspective regarding his own past.
"The team would also like to express its support in Stuart as a person and as an advocate for a clean sport. Like the majority of the riders in his generation, he was also exposed to the issues and wrongdoings of the sport and made some wrong choices in that environment.
"We would like to underline that in all of our interactions with Stuart, he has always been extremely clear about the right path for the sport and we believe that certain mistakes in the past shouldn’t be allowed to tarnish his entire career and his integrity as a person.
"ORICA-GreenEDGE is proud to work in a sport that is at the forefront of the fight against doping and that we compete and win as a 100% clean team. The sport has undergone a revolution in setting up the right future for cycling and we consider ourselves one of the strongest advocates for this."
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