Testimony From Cycling Team Director Being Used To Build Cases Against Others

According to a statement by Australian anti-doping investigators, the testimony of Matt White is being used to build cases against others.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) released more details of the suspension that the cycling team director served earlier this year after White orchestrated the first Tour de France stage win for Orica-GreenEDGE. White was given a backdated ban of six months that was reduced from the original ban of two years. His ban ended in early May and he returned to Orica-GreenEDGE in time for the Tour. The Australian former professional road racing cyclist who started his career on the track under Charlie Walsh, competing in the Junior World Championship in Athens apologized for doping during his time as a professional cyclist.

In a statement, ASADA said Cycling Australia imposed a two-year period of ineligibility under its anti-doping policy with three-quarters suspended for the substantial assistance White provided to ASADA during the course of its cycling investigation. It was further revealed that Cycling Australia, in applying the full three-quarters reduction in suspension, acknowledged in its decision that information provided by White is helping establish violations against others and this reduction is in line with the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code. The statement also said White chose to be a part of a solution for the betterment of the sport and its athletes when faced with an opportunity to cooperate fully with an anti-doping organization.

Australian cycling was rocked last October after White and CA vice-president Stephen Hodge confessed to doping during their riding careers within days of the life ban on Lance Armstrong. White confessed to blood doping and the attempted use of testosterone, IGF-1, and the blood booster EPO. Meanwhile, Hodge admitted to taking part in a team doping program for the last six years of his career in order to have a chance to ride big races like the Tour de France. The former Cycling Australia vice-president remarked he had to take drugs to remain competitive at the highest level in cycling while racing for the Once and Festina teams.

In his statement, Hodge remarked there had been no ‘overt pressure’ to take drugs, but that the reality of competition made it a clear choice and added that there weren’t people saying ‘you must do this’, but clearly if you wanted to remain competitive and get selected for the big races like the Tour (de France) you could make a choice to participate in the team (doping) program. Hodge completed the Tour de France six times and represented Australia and was regarded as one of the country’s leading riders during the 1980s and the early 1990s before retiring in 1996. He represented Australia at 10 world championships, as well as the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. After Hodge’s doping admission, CA president Klaus Mueller thanked him for his ‘immense contribution’ to cycling and said Hodge became a tireless worker for the sport and for almost 15 years has freely given up his time as an advocate for the rights of athletes and to promote and develop the sport in Australia.

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