Doping Was Never An Option For O’Grady

The doping admission of Matt White and his sacking has meant for difficult times at Orica GreenEdge, says Stuart O’Grady.

O’Grady is one of a handful of riders who may be interviewed for three of the separate Australian investigations that are presently stemming from the Reasoned Decision document by USADA on the lifetime ban on Lance Armstrong. The Australian stalwart said the Australian Anti-Doping Authority has already come knocking. The Australian Sports Commission, along with ASADA, has also mounted an inquiry led by Justice James Wood while Orica GreenEdge has begun its own investigations to deal more with internal procedures headed by the former World Anti-Doping Agency director, Nicki Vance.

O’Grady admitted that it is uncomfortable as he is getting asked a lot of questions for which he has absolutely no ideas and the feeling of uneasiness is because he is very happy with his career and what he achieved. O’Grady added that he has been available at the end of the day whenever they want to talk and he is glad to tell them everything he knows and said he can provide insights to his life though he has no answers to most of the questions that are asked.

O’Grady has ridden with some of the teams that have found themselves under the most scrutiny in recent memory, specifically Cofidis and CSC/Saxo Ban, throughout his career that lasted 18 years. O’Grady like former Saxo teammate Brad McGee before him, is adamant that despite the stigma, he saw no evidence of a doping culture. The 39-year-old said he was very lucky, very fortunate that doping was never an option in the teams he was involved in. He further added that the team bosses had a very different mentality to some others. O’Grady further added that the revelations of the use of performance enhancing drugs in cycling in the recent past had left him with “mixed emotions” but he overwhelmingly felt “disappointed in the sport” thanks primarily to the scale of the anti-doping infractions.

The release of the Reasoned Decision documentation by USADA resulted in the sacking of Orica GreenEdge sports director, Matt White, though the same evidence was in the public domain since 2010 when Floyd Landis sent an email to USA Cycling chief executive officer Steve Johnson. After the release of the USADA Reasoned Decision, seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong was banned for life and stripped of all his titles. Sponsors of the cyclists shunned him and the governing body of cycling, the UCI, was no exception and remarked that Armstrong has no place in cycling.

O’Grady admitted when asked if he was happy about the way the team handled the fallout by USADA that it is difficult and said what gets decided by management is out of my league but added that the team is stronger than ever as a unit and a group of rider and it is more motivated than ever and want to come out firing next year by understanding that there is pressure from higher above that causes these types of decisions to be made but as a group of bike riders.

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