Doping whistleblower Tyler Hamilton has congratulated Stuart O'Grady for coming clean about his murky past, but says a truth and reconciliation commission is needed in order to clear all skeletons from cycling's bulging closet.

O'Grady became the latest Australian cyclist to admit to doping last month, three days after his surprise retirement following his 17th Tour de France.

The decorated veteran confessed to using the banned blood booster EPO when preparing for the 1998 Tour de France and was adamant it as the only time he doped.

O'Grady had been named in a French Senate Inquiry as one of 83 athletes found later to have returned positive or, in his case, "suspicious" blood readings from that infamous race.

Hamilton lied for years about his own doping regime before finally coming clean in 2011, with his evidence playing a key role in bringing down former teammate Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his 1999 to 2005 Tour de France titles.

Doping is a hot topic in all sports, with AFL club Essendon and NRL outfit Cronulla currently under investigation over the possible use of banned supplements.

Hamilton, speaking at a breakfast in Perth on Thursday, hosted by the West Australian and WALGA, believed as few as five riders who raced in his first Tour de France in 1997 were clean.

The 42-year-old American said the only way the sport could move forward would be to offer cyclists the chance to confess all their sins with little or no punishment attached.

"We need more of the answers from the past. We need more people to speak up. We need more people like Stuart O'Grady to come forward," Hamilton said.

"There are a lot of skeletons inside the closet, and we haven't heard enough.

"There should be some sort of truth and reconciliation program.

"If a cyclist has already crossed the line, there should be a process where they can come forward and tell the truth and there'll be little or no penalty.

"It's the only way to get the sport heading in the right direction. Not just for cycling, but for all sports."

Hamilton said the pressure on some athletes to cheat the system was enormous.

And he claimed that once an athlete fell into the doping trap, the current system didn't encourage them to own up to their mistakes.

"Not only do you have selfish reasons for not telling the truth, but you feel like you're protecting your family's name," Hamilton said.

"And friends believe in you. Teammates - there's a lot of people relying on you to keep your mouth closed. It's a lot of pressure.

"It's almost like you're trapped in your own prison, and it becomes harder and harder to tell the truth."

Hamilton believes cycling is cleaner than it was in its "dark days", but still not nearly clean enough.

And he said athletes needed to be mindful of the possible adverse health effects banned drugs could have on their body.

"If my health heads south tomorrow, I'll have to accept it," Hamilton said.


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