Cycling Probe Judge Named By Australia

The Australian government has named a former judge to lead an official investigation into the governing body of cycling down under in response to the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Minister of Sport Kate Lundy said James Wood, chairman of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission, will head the probe.

The review will be focusing on anti-doping policies, governance, and recruitment of Cycling Australia after two senior officials rendered their resignations after admitting to making the use of performance enhancing drugs during their racing careers. Australia’s top professional cycling team Orica-GreenEDGE fired its sports director and former pro racer, Matt White, after his name emerged in the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s report against the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong; White was revealed as one of the former teammates of Armstrong who used performance enhancing drugs. In a public statement, White confessed to doping and was also dropped as an elite road-racing coach at Cycling Australia because of his involvement in the Armstrong doping scandal.

Former professional cyclist Stephen Hodge, the other cyclist, resigned from his position as vice president of Cycling Australia last month after admitting to using performance enhancing drugs while competing though he was not implicated in the Lance Armstrong cycling scandal.

Lance Armstrong, the American former professional road racing cyclist became the world’s most famous cyclist, winning the Tour de France seven consecutive times, from 1999 to 2005. After being accused by USADA and his teammates of using and promoting the use of performance enhancing drugs, the cyclist was banned for life and disqualified from all his results since August 1998 though these charges were vehemently denied by the Texan rider.

Lundy said it has become important for Cycling Australia and the thousands of competitive cyclists in Australia in the wake of the resignation of the Australian officials involved in these doping programs that we move quickly to ensure the confidence and trust of the Australian public is restored in the governing body of cycling.

A report recently published by USADA alleged that Armstrong was at the center of “a massive team doping scheme, more extensive than any previously revealed in professional sports history.” Many former professional cyclists have come forward with confessions of illegal doping since its publication. The Texan rider, Armstrong, continues to deny the allegations of doping but stopped fighting the charges against him after which he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life.

The Australian review came after the the Union Cycliste Internationale, or UCI,  cycling’s world governing body, remarked that it would be establishing an external commission for looking into allegations that it turned a blind eye to the doping practices that Armstrong is alleged to have used.

Australia has produced a number of riders who have competed at the highest levels of the sport in Europe and traditionally punched above its weight in international cycling. In 2011, Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour de France and has not been implicated in any doping charges.

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