October 30/13 9:54 am - Rasmussen Suggests Canadian MTBers Hesjedal, McGrath & Sheppard Doped
Posted by Editoress on 10/30/13
The Danish newspaper Politiken is publishing excerpts from the soon to be released tell-all book Yellow Fever by Michael Rasmussen, the disgraced former Tour leader currently serving a two year ban. One of the excerpts concerns Canadian mountain bikers Ryder Hesjedal, Seamus McGrath and Chris Sheppard.
In the book he says that all three stayed with him at his house in the Italian Dolomites, where he trained with them and taught them how to take EPO and other banned substances. He says that he never actually saw them take EPO.
In Politiken (translated from Danish) they publish excerpts that state:
It soon became evident that the three Canadian mountain bikers, Seamus McGrath, Chris Sheppard and Ryder Hesjedal, had seen the light: A good result for the World Championships (in 2003) could send them to the Olympics in Athens in 2004. They moved into my basement in August, before I went to the Vuelta a Espana, and right after I had ridden the Championship of Zürich. There, they stayed for a fortnight. I trained with them in the Dolomites and taught them in how to make vitamin injections, and how to [take / train with] EPO and Synacthen [a cortisoid].
Politiken also says that all three left his place with hematocrit levels over 48 [the allowable 'safe' limit for UCI is 50].
Another excerpt says: "Chris Sheppard was sixteenth at the World Championships, Seamus McGrath was sixth or eight, before he went out [with a flat - he was in 8th at the time], and Ryder Hesjedal finished second. Hesjedal would have won Olympic gold if he hadn’t punctured just before the finish. In 2012, after a number of good years on the road, he won the Giro d'Italia."
It should be noted that Belgium's Filip Meirhaeghe won the title after Hesjedal's flat, and was caught the next year for doping, Chris Sheppard was also caught for doping in September of 2005 [the test was in May of that year] and had a two year ban. Neither McGrath nor Hesjedal ever failed a doping control, although McGrath did have to sit out for a mandatory 15 day period after posting a hematocrit result over 50 at the 1997 Worlds.