AUSTRALIAN cyclist Stuart O'Grady has admitted he took banned drugs before the 1998 Tour de France.
Just days after announcing his retirement from the sport, he has made the confession to The Advertiser in his home-town of Adelaide.
"Leading into the Tour I made a decision, I sourced it (EPO) myself, there was no one else involved, it didn't involve the team in any way,' O'Grady told the publication.
"I just had to drive over the border and buy it at any pharmacy.
"The hardest part of all this is I did it for two weeks before the Tour de France. I used extremely cautious amounts because I'd heard a lot of horror stories and did the absolute minimum of what I hoped would get me through."
A French Senate inquiry had found O'Grady returned a suspicious, but not positive, test for EPO during the 1998 Tour de France. He was listed among 30 riders who returned either positive or suspicious samples to retrospective EPO testing.
O'Grady won medals at three Olympics, including gold at the 2004 Athens Games.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.