Former Norwegian cyclist Kjærgaard admits doping

Tønsberg native Steffen Kjaergaard, who once rode alongside Lance Armstrong, has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during his career.

He told the media on Tuesday (23 October), “I have long thought that it was best for cycling as a sport that I took this (secret) to the grave. But the last weeks have made me change course for my own sake and tell the truth,” The Huffington Post reports.

The former professional athlete told cycling authorities that he had used cortisone and blood-boosting agent EPO during his time with the Danish Chicky World team in the late 1990s, as well as into the first half of the 2000s when racing with Armstrong in the US Postal team.

Kjaergaard said that he first began using the agents on his own, but later was assisted by senior personnel in his professional circles, notably within the US squad. He told a press conference, “Everything was organised by the team.”

The confession makes Kjaergaard the 12th member of the Postal team to come clean about the issue, while Armstrong remains firm that he did not take part in the scandal despite having been stripped of his winnings amid pressure from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Kjaergaard stopped short of naming fellow team members that had also used the substances, claiming he has “no direct knowledge” on the issue. However, he told the press conference, “I can personally assume that there were a certain number of others involved in doping,” reports.