Former professional cyclist Michael Boogerd, a spring classic specialist who once edged Lance Armstrong to win the Amstel Gold Race, admitted to using performance enhancing drugs for a decade during his career in interviews published on Wednesday.
“I used EPO, cortisone and in the last period of my career I did blood transfusions,” the Dutchman told his national broadcaster NOS.
He said he doped from 1997 to 2007, a period that covered almost his entire professional career.
“I’m sorry I kept the (doping) culture alive,” he said.
“I’m sorry I never put up my hand and publicly said, ‘this can’t go on. It’s not good.’ And I’m sorry I wasn’t riding in another era.”
He admitted using the Austrian blood lab, Humanplasma, for transfusions.
“I flew to Vienna for blood transfusions,” he said. “I stored my own blood for later use.”
Boogerd did not identify anybody who helped him.
“It was my responsibility, my choice.”
The confession came after several reports linked the former Rabobank rider to doping practices, including going to the Vienna lab.
Boogerd, who retired in 2007, had two Tour de France stage wins and won the Amstel Gold classic in 1999, narrowly beating Armstrong, who has also confessed to doping during his seven-straight Tour victories.