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Former Pro Cyclist Pleads Guilty To Importing, Selling Performance Enhancing Drugs

LOS ANGELES ( — A former professional cyclist, who previously sanctioned for testing positive for a banned substance, pleaded guilty Wednesday to selling performance-enhancing drugs imported from overseas in violation of federal law.

Nick Brandt-Sorenson, 35, entered a plea to a misdemeanor charge of introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce. He faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine when he is sentenced on July 20.

Brandt-Sorenson admitted selling a vial of erythropoietin, a hormone known as EPO that boosts endurance by increasing the number of red blood cells in the circulatory system, for $631 to an athlete in Colorado, according to the plea agreement.

Prosecutors say, in 2011, Brandt-Sorenson created the "Anemia Patient Group" blog "under the guise" of providing information about various performance-enhancing drugs and substances. Brandt-Sorenson was in fact selling Actovegin, a derivative of calf's blood which is not approved for any use in humans, EPO and other banned substances through his blog, according to the agreement.

Prosecutors said the drugs were imported from online pharmacies in China and Europe.

In 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced that Brandt-Sorenson had accepted a two-year suspension for an anti-doping violation.

Brandt-Sorenson, who is now retired from competition, currently designs cycling apparel for his namesake fashion line.

According to his cycling apparel company's website, he is a multi-time California State Criterium Champion and was briefly ranked top 20 in the country. The former professional cyclist also helped pioneer the late-night bicycle ride "Midnight Ridazz" in Los Angeles.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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