2010 Canadian under 23 road champion Arnaud Papillon was given a two-year suspension by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) after admitting to doping, it was announced today.
The CCES stated that two of Papillon's samples from this year's Canadian Championships, one taken during competition and one outside competition, were found positive for EPO. Papillon took second in the espoir category in the men's road race.
Papillon immediately accepted his sanction, waving his right to a hearing, and made a public statement to Guy Maguire at Veloptimum, admitting to doping and apologising for his actions.
"I admit having done something unacceptable and I regret it. I apologize for the disappointment that I cause to those who trusted me, including my family, my coach and my team," Papillon wrote.
"I want to say that recently that doping has taken place in my life. After many disappointments, I had almost given up everything. I tried to redirect my life but my love for the sport was bigger. After multiple personal confrontations with ethics, I faltered. I will live with it and learn from the results for the rest of my life."
"Cycling has changed not only the athlete I am and I will always be, but the person I am. With strong values instilled in me the sport, and the unfortunate experience that I have to live with, I finally leave competition and begin another chapter of my life with the support of my family and my loved ones.
"I wish good luck to all my former teammates and competitors. Cycling requires a self-transcendence which has no place for artificial glory. I beg you not to take this path."
Papillon began his climb to cycling's elite with a victory in the 2008 Louis Garneau Montreal-Quebec Classic at the age of 19, and won his 2010 national title after recovering from a 2009 hit and run incident in the US that left him with three fractured vertebrae.
Paul Melia, President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, said it is "always disappointing" when an athlete is found to have cheated. "However, it is even more disconcerting when we find out that the substance being used is as dangerous and sophisticated as EPO."