Drugs fallout hits Australian cycling

AUSTRALIAN cycling is in damage control after the resignation of Matt White from his position of professional men's road co-ordinator.

White also stepped down from his position as sports director of the Australian-owned Orica GreenEDGE team, admitting he had taken part in doping while he was with the US Postal team of disgraced American rider Lance Armstrong.

"I am sad to say that I was part of a team where doping formed part of the team's strategy, and I too was involved in that strategy," White said. "My involvement is something I am not proud of and I sincerely apologise to my fans, media, family and friends who trusted me and also to other athletes in my era that consciously chose not to dope."

White made it clear the doping only occured during his three years with Armstrong's team until 2005.

"In my time with Cycling Australia and now at GreenEDGE, I have always acted within the ethos of clean sport and I am very proud to have worked with the new generation of clean superstars," he said. "A lot has changed for the better, cycling is totally different now."

Cycling Australia president Klaus Mueller yesterday said in light of White's admission, the board would meet later this week to "discuss what options are available to us and to determine what action should be taken".

"We recognise that both ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) and the UCI (International Cycling Union) have people poring over the decision (to ban Armstrong and strip him of his seven Tour De France titles), and also the supporting documents released this week by the US Anti-Doping Agency," Mueller said. "We will certainly consider any advice we receive from them as part of our discussions."

Mueller said he understood that Cyling Australia members and cycling fans in general felt angry and disillusioned.
He also said the organisation must examine the system that has been used to make appointments to ensure a repeat of the White situation did not occur.

"We will look at the processes we have in place in relation to the appointment of staff to positions within the organisation," Mueller said. "Are we asking the questions we should be in light of this week's revelations, and if not, then we need to make sure in future we do."

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