Armstrong team-mate Kjaergaard to escape doping sanction

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Steffen Kjaergaard confirmed that he did use performance-enhancing drugs while riding for US Postal (Getty Images)

Norway's Steffen Kjaergaard, a former team-mate of shamed cyclist Lance Armstrong, will escape sanctions despite having admitted doping, according to the country's anti-doping agency.

Kjaergaard, who competed in the 2000 and 2001 Tour de France on Armstrong's US Postal Service team, admitted in October last year that he took the banned blooster erythropoetin (EPO).

Kjergaard said he started doping on his own initiative in 1998 when with the Danish Chicky World team, going on to meet with Belgian doctor George Mouton for "advice" to "avoid the risk of being caught".

The Norwegian then joined the US Postal team and raced alongside Armstrong in the 2000 and 2001 Tours. He said doping at the time was endemic and the team arranged all.

"Everything was organised by the team," Kjergaard told a press conference in October.

"I can personally say that there were a certain number of others involved in doping," he added.

His admission came just before the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) published its devastating report that placed Armstrong at the heart of what it said was the biggest doping network in sporting history.

But the Norwegian anti-doping agency said in a statement that the Scandinavian rider would escape punishment as the time limit for bringing a prosecution had lapsed.

The facts of the case dated back to a period between 1998 and early 2003 - in other words, outside the eight-year statute of limitations, the body added.

Armstrong was banned from cycling for life and stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins in the wake of the USADA report which rocked the sport.

He subsequently admitted taking a cocktail of banned substances in a television interview with the US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.

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