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Mountain biker Seamus McGrath confesses to doping

On Thursday, Canadian mountain biker and Olympian Seamus McGrath confessed to doping.

“When I  became aware of doping in my early 20s, I made a promise to myself to commit to clean sport,” McGrath said in a statement. “I broke this promise to myself in 2003. I’d like to take this chance to apologize first and foremost to my parents who instilled in me strong morals and values, which I compromised for a brief period over a decade ago.”

McGrath’s confession follows reports in Danish media Monday that he, as well as Ryder Hesjedal and Chris Sheppard, were shown how to use EPO by Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen. The story of the doping instruction, which Rasmussen said happened in 2003, was excerpted from the the Danish cyclist’s forthcoming autobiography, Yellow Fever.

“I would also like to apologize to my family, friends, fans and sponsors who supported me during my career,” McGrath said, “along with my fellow competitors at the time. I disrespected the sport I love and am ashamed of my actions. I broke the rules of sportsmanship and went against what I knew to be right. For this, I will always be sorry.

“I am 100 per cent committed to the development of cycling and will continue to contribute to the positive development of the sport.”

In 2002, McGrath won silver in cross country at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, and bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, he placed ninth in the cross country event.