The Australian cycling great Stuart O'Grady has confessed to doping before the 1998 Tour de France and he says one horrible mistake will tarnish his entire career.
The South Australian star broke down as he told a South Australian reporter of his decision to take performance enhancing EPO in the two weeks before the `98 Tour.
O'Grady retired on Monday, a year ahead of schedule, after riding a record 17th Tour de France, amid speculation he would be named in a French Senate inquiry into doping in sport.
He said he felt he had no other option and had to use it to be competitive in the race during the sport's dirtiest era.
O'Grady is adamant he never used EPO, or any other banned substance again.
The list of riders who tested positive for EPO during the 1998 Tour included the winner and runner-up, the Italian Marco Pantani and Germany's Jan Ullrich.
Pantani died of a drug overdose in 2004.