Cycling Australia fires White

2012-10-17 10:14

Sydney - Cycling Australia sacked former Olympian Matt White on Wednesday for his role in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, ruling out any amnesty for athletes who used drugs if they owned up.

The sport's governing body in Australia held a board meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the dossier of evidence by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and admitted it was "incredibly damaging for cycling worldwide".

"The evidence presented is damning, the behaviour of the key players is morally reprehensible and cycling fans have every right to feel let down," it said in a statement.

White, 38, admitted at the weekend that he was part of a strategy of doping when he rode on the Armstrong-led US Postal Service cycling team from 2001 to 2003.

He said he was stepping down from his jobs as the sports director of the emerging Australian professional team Orica-GreenEDGE and his role in Cycling Australia's men's road racing programme.

Cycling Australia said he had made a valuable contribution, but it was left with no choice but to dismiss him.

"The admissions contained within his public statement... clearly place him in breach of the CA Anti-Doping Policy and Code of Conduct," it said.

"Accordingly, the board has determined that his ongoing employment with CA is untenable and Matt was formally advised overnight of the termination of his contract."

White is currently facing an investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), which said this week it became aware of allegations of doping made against him by American cyclist Floyd Landis in 2010.

But the anti-doping agency said due to the federal investigation in the US and the subsequent USADA probe ASADA was unable to obtain information to pursue a thorough examination of the allegations until now.

White was hired by Cycling Australia in 2011 and the governing body said a review of how it appoints staff would begin immediately.

The board also ruled out any doping amnesty, which had been flagged as a possibility by the head of Cycling Australia Klaus Mueller just days ago.

"The board canvassed several of the suggestions that have been in the public arena this past week and resolved that an amnesty is not consistent with CA's strong anti-doping position," it said.

"The board does however support criminalising doping as it sends a strong message that such conduct is unacceptable and adds the resources of the police to the fight against this blight on sport."