Matt White confesses to doping, steps down from Orica GreenEdge

By Daniel Benson, Cyclingnews.com | Saturday, October 13, 2012 4.46pm

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.

Matt White has stepped down from his role in the management of the Orica-GreenEdge team. White, who helped build the team in their debut season, was implicated in doping violations during his time at US Postal and was linked in Floyd Landis’s evidence given in USADA’s investigation into Lance Armstrong and the Postal team.

White has also stepped down from his role as national selector for the Australian men's road team. Although White's confession is public his future remains unclear. He could return to his roles with GreenEdge and the national team after Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority (ASADA) and the other relevant authorities finalise their investigations.

"I am aware my name has been mentioned during talks that USADA has had with former team mates of mine in their investigation regarding doping activities at the US Postal Service team," White said in a statement.

"I am sad to say that I was part of a team where doping formed part of the team's strategy, and I too was involved in that strategy. My involvement is something I am not proud of and I sincerely apologise to my fans, media, family and friends who trusted me and also to other athletes in my era that consciously chose not to dope."

White rode for US Postal from 2001 until 2003. He then spent two season at Cofidis before re-signing for Johan Bruyneel at the Discovery Team. In 2008 he swapped his bike for a team car, joining Garmin-Slipstream's management. However after two years of success he was shown the door in 2011 after it was revealed that he sent Garmin's Trent Lowe to the former US postal team physician Luis del Moral at the Sports Institute of Valencia, Spain in April 2009. The former Garmin rider met with del Moral for a Vo2 test which contravened the team's strict anti-doping and medical referral rules.

Vaughters fired White within hours of Garmin's overall victory in the 2011 Tour Down Under, traveling to Australia to give White the news personally. The Australian spent a year outside of the sport, but behind the scenes he was already formulating GreenEdge's WorldTour ambitions and a number of Garmin riders would later follow him towards a new team.

"I stopped my racing career because I had the opportunity to be part of something that had the potential to actually change cycling. The ideas about a clean team that Dave Millar and Jonathan Vaughters spoke to me about back then, were ones that the sport desperately needed.

"In my roles with Slipstream Sports, Cycling Australia and now at Orica-GreenEdge, I have always acted within the ethos of clean sport and I am very proud to have worked with the new generation of clean superstars.

"A lot has changed for the better, cycling is totally different now, and I have seen these changes as an athlete and also in management with my own eyes in the last decade.

"I am sorry for the people I have let down because of the personal choice I made at that time, but I have endeavoured to educate and guide the current stars and to ensure that future generations never have to deal with the pressures that existed in the past. But I am very confident that our sport is going the right direction and I believe cycling has a bright future.

"Given my admissions above, I have been in contact with my employees and will be voluntarily standing down from my positions with the National Men's High Performance Program with Cycling Australia and as a Sports Director with GreenEdge Cycling while inquiries into my case are conducted and the Board of Cycling Australia and GreenEdge make a determination regarding my future with each organisation.

"I will be refraining from making any further comments until this process has run its due course."

In a statement, the team made their position clear: "The management of GreenEdge supports Matt White’s decision to step down from his position with the team during the process of evaluating his involvement in the revelations put forward by the recently released USADA report. We hope for a quick and clear resolution of this issue and will await the decision of the relevant authorities. Until this process has run its due course, the management will refrain from making any further comments." 

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