Matt White admits doping at US Postal Service team, apologises
  December 19, 2014 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Matt White admits doping at US Postal Service team, apologises

by Shane Stokes at 6:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Australian stands down from current roles with GreenEdge and Cycling Australia

Matt WhiteFormer Australian professional Matt White has admitted using banned drugs during his racing career and has stood down from his current positions in the sport while an enquiry is carried out.

White current works as a directeur sportif with Orica GreenEdge and is also part of the National Men's High Performance Program with Cycling Australia. While he was not named in USADA’s reasoned decision which was released this week, his name is thought to have surfaced in the sworn testimonies provided to USADA about the US Postal Service team. He was also named by Floyd Landis in his 2010 emails alleging doping on that squad.

White has now confirmed those suggestions of drug use are true. “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,” he said in a statement issued today. “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 was a professional between 1998 and 2007. His victories included stages in the Tour de Suisse and Tour Down Under, but he was primarily a domestique. He raced with US Postal during the 2001 – 2003 period and then with the same structure between 2006 and 2007 when it was backed by Discovery Channel.

He quit the sport at 33 years of age and became a directeur sportif with the Slipstream/Garmin setup.

In today’s statement he said that career changed was prompted by the desire to change the sport. “The ideas about a clean team that Dave Millar and Jonathan Vaughters spoke to me about back then, were ones that the sport desperately needed,” he states. He said that the blood profiling and no-needles policy that the team used later extended to the UCI and beyond.

“These are legacies that were pioneered at Slipstream and they have had a real and lasting impact on cycling. In my roles with Slipstream Sports, Cycling Australia and now at ORICA-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.”

White left Garmin Slipstream under peculiar circumstances in January 2011 when it emerged that he had sent one of the team’s riders, the Australian Trent Lowe, to the doctor Luis Garcia del Moral. The latter was part of the medical staff on the US Postal Service team and according to multiple riders’ testimonies, provided doping products.

White and Lowe both said that the rider only had medical testing done in Del Moral’s clinic but, given the doctor’s bad reputation and Garmin Slipstream’s stated clean stance, the team dismissed White over the matter. He returned to Australia and increased his work with Cycling Australia and on the new GreenEdge project.

White insists that he has done things the right way since retiring and apologises for what occurred during his career. “I am sorry for the people I have let down because of the personal choice I made at that time, but I have endeavoured to educate and guide the current stars and to ensure that future generations never have to deal with the pressures that existed in the past,” he said. “But I am very confident that our sport is going the right direction and I believe cycling has a bright future.”

He said that he was voluntarily standing down from both roles while his case is being investigated, and until both the Board of Cycling Australia and GreenEDGE decide what they will do.

This week Cycling Australia President Klaus Mueller said that he hoped that the ‘magnitude and profile’ of the USADA investigation and the Lance Armstrong doping case will prove to be a turning point for the sport.

“It might now be time to consider a range of options including an amnesty for athletes who have cheated in the past to own up to any wrongdoing and have their confessions mitigate any subsequent penalties,” he stated. “This would be dependent on the nature and extent of any infraction/s.”


Matt White’s full statement is as follows:

I am aware my name has been mentioned during talks that USADA has had with former team mates of mine in their investigation regarding doping activities at the US Postal Service team. 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. 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.

I stopped my racing career because I had the opportunity to be part of something that had the potential to actually change cycling. The ideas about a clean team that Dave Millar and Jonathan Vaughters spoke to me about back then, were ones that the sport desperately needed. History has shown that these ideas when fully implemented had a lasting affect on our sport. With key elements like " blood profiling" which then was later taken on board as the "Athlete Biological Passport" and the "No-Needles-Policy" which was also adopted by the UCI and WADA, a radical change for the better started to dominate the minds of a lot of athletes. These are legacies that were pioneered at Slipstream and they have had a real and lasting impact on cycling.

In my roles with Slipstream Sports, Cycling Australia and now at ORICA-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.

A lot has changed for the better, cycling is totally different now, and I have seen these changes as an athlete and also in management with my own eyes in the last decade.

As a sport, cycling has received a lot of criticism regarding doping and rightfully so - but certain teams have also lead the way in fighting an otherwise never ending battle to ensure that professional cycling can stay clean. This battle starts from within and we have had great success in changing this in the current culture in our sport. I am convinced that this battle will need constant monitoring and we must learn constructively from the past. The approach that many riders of my generation had cannot be repeated, and I believe that cycling now has the most rigorous and complete testing regimes of any sport.

I am sorry for the people I have let down because of the personal choice I made at that time, but I have endeavoured to educate and guide the current stars and to ensure that future generations never have to deal with the pressures that existed in the past. But I am very confident that our sport is going the right direction and I believe cycling has a bright future.

Given my admissions above, I have been in contact with my employees and will be voluntarily standing down from my positions with the National Men's High Performance Program with Cycling Australia and as a Sports Director with GreenEDGE Cycling while inquiries into my case are conducted and the Board of Cycling Australia and GreenEDGE make a determination regarding my future with each organisation. I will be refraining from making any further comments until this process has run its due course.

      comments




Subscribe via RSS or daily email

WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW
  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC