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Canadians confirm Ryder Hesjedal faces no sanction

Canadian anti-doping officials confirmed that Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) will not serve a racing ban despite his acknowledgement that he doped during his mountain biking career.

Hesjedal said this week that he met with officials from Canada’s Centre for Ethics in Sport and USADA in the spring of 2013, admitting he took banned performance-enhancing products a decade ago.

Canadian officials cited an eight-year statute of limitations in saying that the 2012 Giro d’Italia winner would not face any penalty.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Hesjedal’s acknowledgement of doping in 2003 will not result in a violation or any sanction,” the Canadian agency said in a press release.

“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. …”

Hesjedal said he took doping products “more than a decade ago.”

“I chose the wrong path,” Hesjedal wrote. “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.”

Hesjedal’s admission came to light this week following allegations by Michael Rasmussen, who wrote in his book, “Yellow Fever,” that he explained to Hesjedal and other Canadian mountain bikers how to use EPO in 2003.

Hesjedal’s confession, at least publicly, did not reveal details of when or for how long he might have crossed the line.

Hesjedal raced as a mountain biker at the 2004 Summer Olympics, then began racing the road, first for U.S Postal Service in 2004-05 and then Phonak in 2006, two teams with confirmed doping legacies.

Hesjedal raced one season in North America with HealthNet-Maxxis, in 2007, before joining the Garmin organization in 2008. He says his victory at the 2012 Giro was clean.