Former Canadian cycling champion Geneviève Jeanson hasadmitted to taking a performance-enhancing substance during her competitive career.
"I did doping in my career.…I did," Jeanson said in an exclusive interview broadcast Thursday by Radio-Canada, CBC's French network.
In January 2006, Montreal newspaper La Presse reported that Jeanson had been banned for life by USA Cycling after testing positive for erythropoietin at an event in July 2005.
She told the newspaper she planned to appeal to theAmerican Arbitration Associationto have the positive drug test overturned and, if unsuccessful, would take her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.
She also said she planned to retire from cycling.
InThursday's Radio-Canada interview, Jeanson said cheating made her life a nightmare.
"I hated everything. I hated myself for doing it. I hated myself not being able to get out of it. It was miserable," she said.
The former world junior cycling championplaces most of the blameon Andre Aubut, who started coaching her when she was 15. Before long, Jeanson said, Aubut suggested she use erythropoietin, a banned blood booster that helps a cyclist's endurance.
"I didn't really want to do it," she said. "However, I did not have the courage to say no, so I just didn't say anything."
Aubut at first confirmed the drug story to Radio-Canada, but then issued a denial.
At the 2003 world championships in Hamilton,Jeanson was prevented from racing because her level of red blood cells was dangerously high, raising suspicions.
At the time,Jeanson went before the Quebec media to deny ever taking erythropoietin.
"It was notGeneviève that lied," she said in Thursday's interview. "It was someone else I did not know. It was something I was told to do and yes, I do regret it."
Jeanson, 26, now lives in Phoenix, Ariz., where she has a business selling bicycles online.
She said she has no plans to return to Canada in the near future and while she does miss cycling, she's glad she doesn't have to live a lie anymore.