François Parisien unconvinced by Hesjedal’s doping confession

Canadian Cyclist François Parisien doesn’t believe Ryder Hesjedal’s confession that he used banned substances ten years ago but not ever since. “I don’t believe it all,” the Argos-Shimano rider told Radio Canada. “Just like Michael Barry who said he quit using doping in 2006. I don’t believe it all.” 

Parisien who won a stage in the Volta a Catalunya this season, continues. “These guys have been lying for lots of years and now they decide to confess. But they only did so after they had been exposed and with their backs against the wall.”

In 2008 the now 31-year old rider from Québec was first subsititute for the Olympic road race team in Beijing. The Canadian team eventually consisted of Michael Barry and Ryder Hesjedal. In 2012 Hesjedal was the only Canadian at the start in the London Olympic road race.

“It makes me sick,” Parisien said about his Olympic dream being taken away from him. “I feel a lot of frustration and disgust. These frauds defined a large part of my career since I was young.”

Parisien started his professional career in 2006 with TIAA-Cref, the predecessor of Slipstream and later Garmin-Sharp. The year before he became national elite champion of Canada. The Québecois rode for smaller teams and for Team Spidertech in 2011 and 2012 before being taken on by World Tour-team Argos-Shimano this season.

“This is not something to simply get over,” he says about the confessions of Hesjedal and Barry. “I will have to slowly digest and then learn to live with it. It has happened and it can’t be undone. You can’t go back in a cycling career. What has been stolen, has been stolen. You can’t get it back,” he concluded.

Parisien is at a crossroads in his career after he leaves Argos-Shimano for personal reasons after this year. In an interview with La Presse at the beginning of October he said he is considering retirement to focus on a career outside cycling. The other option would be to continue racing or even make the move to cyclocross or mountainbiking.

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