Top American team Garmin-Cervelo sacked their Australian coach Matt White Sunday, only hours after Cameron Meyer’s victory in the Tour Down Under.
White had been on a collision course with his employers since last week when it was announced that he would play a role for Cycling Australia, his national federation, during international competition.
Garmin-Cervelo, however, said they sacked White because he infringed team rules by referring a former team rider, Australian Trent Lowe, to a controversial Spanish doctor, Luis Garcia del Moral.
Del Moral was the chief doctor with the US Postal team, with whom American legend Lance Armstrong won six of his seven Tour de France yellow jerseys.
Armstrong is currently being investigated by federal authorities in the United States following damning doping allegations by former teammate Floyd Landis.
A statement from Garmin-Cervelo said: “It has just come to the attention of Slipstream Sports Board of Directors that in April 2009, Matt White referred former rider, Trent Lowe, to the Sports Institute of Valencia to Dr Luis Garcia del Moral.
“Slipstream Sports has an explicit internal policy that all medical referrals are approved by our medical staff. In this instance, this vital rule was broken. As a result, the Board of Directors has dismissed Matt White.”
The statement added that the team director, Jonathan Vaughters, would step in and replace White “in the interim”.
Former professional Vaughters has built up the Garmin team on the premise that it would be 100 percent doping-free.
Vaughters said White’s decision to send Lowe to Del Moral compromised that philosophy.
“We made a promise to our riders and to the world when we started this team. We live, every day, by the standards we have set for ourselves. We cannot allow this vital team rule to be broken.”
White, a former rider with Armstrong’s US Postal team, oversaw Meyer’s victory in Australia’s premier cycling event on Sunday.
© AFP 2011