Cycling: Australia sack national coach following doping admission

 

Cycling Australia have sacked men's professional co-ordinator and national coach Matt White following his admission to doping.

The CA board met yesterday to discuss the future of White, who was formally stood down from his post after confessing to doping while on Lance Armstrong's disgraced US Postal Service team between 2001 and 2003.

Armstrong was found guilty of doping by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, stripped of all his titles since 1997 and banned from professional cycling for life.

White found himself in hot water this week when he confessed his role in the doping scandal, with CA drawing criticism for his initial appointment.

However, CA confirmed all aspects of its operations were being reviewed, including its allegiances to the International Cycling Union, who have also been implicated in the controversy.

"It has been a difficult week, to say the least, for those who love the sport of cycling," a CA statement read.

"The fallout from the file released by USADA resulting from its investigation into doping allegations against Lance Armstrong and the many other riders implicated, has been incredibly damaging for cycling worldwide.

"The evidence presented is damning, the behaviour of the key players is morally reprehensible and cycling fans have every right to feel let down.

"The board recognises its responsibility and role in the fight against doping within our sphere of influence here in Australia and among Australian cyclists."

With damning evidence in the report suggesting the UCI did not conduct due diligence in stamping out doping and allegations drug testers were given money in exchange for silence, CA was forced to reaffirm its stance.

"CA has also been taken to task lately regarding our public support of the UCI and its initiatives and commitment to the fight against doping in the sport," the statement said.

"We acknowledge that there is now clear evidence that the UCI, until recent times, failed to fully and properly do its part to stamp out doping.

"We believe there is also reasonable evidence to support the view that the current professional peloton is much 'cleaner' and fair competition is now taking place, however, we concede questions do remain.

"Cycling Australia condemns doping as fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport.

"We have a zero-tolerance approach to any athlete found guilty of cheating through the use of performance-enhancing drugs and to any other person who aids and abets that process."

In a further statement from CA issued on White's behalf, the former cyclist said he respected the decision made.

"I have really enjoyed working for Cycling Australia and it has been an honour to represent my country in the role I have had," White said.

"I understand the current situation makes it difficult to sustain the position and I respect that Cycling Australia has to make certain decisions.

"It's crucial there is a positive outcome from the current debate about cycling's past and I feel a responsibility to be part of that - even if it won't be in an official Cycling Australia role."

PA

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