Australian cyclist Stuart O’Grady was today suspended indefinitely from the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) ‘Best of the Best’ honour list following his admission that he doped during the 1998 Tour de France.
Australian Sports Commission chief executive Simon Hollingsworth said the admission from one of the nation’s most accomplished cyclists was deeply disappointing. ‘Unfortunately there is no escaping the fact that Stuart’s admission does diminish his achievements,’ said Hollingsworth. ‘The problems cycling, especially professional road racing, has had with doping in that era are well documented but there is never an excuse for athletes to use performance enhancing drugs.’
The ‘Best of the Best’ was introduced in 2001 to celebrate the achievements of the best athletes to have held scholarships at the AIS throughout its 32-year history. The athletes on the list represent the cream of Australia’s international sporting achievements.
The AIS has strong education and support programs for athletes to back its anti-doping policy and all athletes are reminded of their requirement for pure performance throughout their careers.
O’Grady was inducted into the AIS’ ‘Best of the Best’ in 2006.