Stuart O’Grady has reiterated that he only took performance enhancing drugs once during his cycling career and that his Paris-Roubaix and Olympic successes were achieved without the aid of drugs.
O’Grady announced his shock retirement after this year’s Tour de France but was soon caught up in a French senate investigation into doping during the 1998 Tour de France. The Australian had returned a suspicious test for EPO at the time and within a week of his retirement had claimed to the Australian press that he had taken the substance, once, in the build up to the race. O'Grady won a stage and wore yellow in the 1998 Tour.
Ahead of this year’s Tour Down Under, and with O’Grady set to return to Australia, he said that despite the 1998 findings, he had no further skeletons in the closest when it came to using with drugs.
"I can comfortably sit back and I know that no one can come along and say I have a positive test anywhere else. In 100 years' time my grandkids won't be hearing any new stories about my racing past," O'Grady is reported to have said in Green, Gold & Bold: Australia at the 100th Tour de France, written by former Olympic cyclist-turned-race director and journalist John Trevorrow and his co-writer Ron Reed.
The quotes were picked up by the Sydney Morning Herald, who also highlighted that O’Grady was adamant that the rest of his career was clean.
"I won Paris-Roubaix and my Olympic gold medal plus all my other Tour de France successes clean. I am happy for all my tests ever taken after 1998 to be re-tested. Any time."
In an exclusive interview with Cyclingnews late last year, O’Grady said, "I'm just very lucky, very fortunate that the teams I was involved in that it [doping] was never an option. It was never on the table. I think that has a lot to do with the people around you and the team bosses - they had a very different mentality to some others."