Cycling Australia sticks by Matt White, will proceed with High Performance appointment
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cycling Australia sticks by Matt White, will proceed with High Performance appointment

by Shane Stokes at 10:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Former Garmin-Cervélo official to act as professional men’s road coordinator

Matt WhiteFollowing the news last week that it would look into Matt White’s dismissal by the Garmin-Cervélo team, Cycling Australia has said that it finds no grounds not to continue with his appointment to the federation’s High Performance Programme.

White was recently named professional men’s road coordinator following the move of Neil Stephens to the new Green Edge team. In light of this, the CA board had last week requested CEO Graham Fredericks to look into the Garmin-Cervélo matter. White was sacked by the team after he referred then-Garmin rider Trent Lowe to controversial Spanish doctor Luis Garcia del Moral in April 2009, in order to have physiological tests done. This contravened team policy in relation to using external doctors.

Garmin-Cervélo CEO Jonathan Vaughters told VeloNation last week that White had made an error of judgement and nothing more serious. He said that the team had investigated whether others could have been involved and found no evidence of that. It did uncover a blood test for the UCI health checks that Lowe had got done in June 2009 in a clinic run by Del Moral; Vaughters said that these were in no way linked to the biological passport, and that the team management didn’t realise the tests had been done there.

Cycling Australia has studied the situation and Fredericks now echoes Vaughters’ assessment that it was a mistake. “The board is satisfied that Mr White's breach of Garmin-Cervelo Cycling Team policy was an error of judgement that he sincerely regrets, but that it was nothing more than that,” he stated. “Matt has learned a lesson, the hard way, from this and we are confident he is fully aware of and committed to the policies that must be adhered to when working with the national program. We look forward to working with him and believe he is a valuable addition to our team.”

VeloNation understands that CA did not however speak to Trent Lowe.

White competed as a professional for 15 years, racing with teams such as the US Postal Service, Cofidis and Discovery Channel. The 36 year old also competed for the national team at world championships, Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

CA President Klaus Mueller told the Sydney Morning Herald last week that he believed White was the right man for the job. ''He comes to us on the highest recommendations and with the highest of reputations. And, quite candidly, we don't quite understand the nature of the allegations that are being made. We've got to investigate those, and find out exactly what the allegations are, and we've got to set in train these investigations as a matter of urgency.

''We will try to find those out and do that starting [today]. And hopefully we'll have a chance, once we know what those allegations are, to have a talk to Matt about it.''

Cycling Australia and other national federations were asked by UCI president Pat McQuaid last year to look into allegations by Floyd Landis of doping on the US Postal Service team, involving a number of riders from different countries. White was one of those implicated by Landis. Despite the fact that the allegations were made eight months ago, none of those federations have reported any outcome.

VeloNation has asked the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority for an update as to this situation, but it said that it cannot comment. Cycling Australia has not yet responded to a request for information on what has happened since McQuaid’s request was made.


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