Matt White Steps Down
Last night Matt White sent out a press statement confessing his involvement in doping during his time with USPS and will immediately be stepping down from his roles at Orica GreenEDGE and Cycling Australia. The deck of cards continues to crumble as Matt White is the second Australian associated to the Lance Armstrong Affair.
Matt White was referred to as ”Rider-9” in Floyd Landis’ affidavit where he says: ”I then spent substantial time training with fellow USPS team members ”Rider-9” and Michael Barry and shared, and discussed the use of HGH, testosterone and erythropoietin with them while training.”
Earlier yesterday, GreenEDGE had continued to support White. Shayne Bannan told cyclingnews, “We fully support Matthew White and trust his integrity as a sports director with us. We have become aware of the fact the he has been linked to some of the evidence in the report about the US Postal Team and we are in contact with Matt to seek full clarity as to what this is about. We will comment once we have been able to talk to both Matt White and the relevant Australian authorities.” However, this morning GreenEDGE issued a statement saying, ”We support 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.
Call it what you will, but this is the second time that Matt White has been relieved from his duties at a WorldTour team in less than a year. White’s sentiments are nice to say in a press release (see below), but his actions speak louder than words. Let’s not forget his termination by Jonathan Vaughters at Garmin-Cervelo in January, 2011 for sending Trent Lowe to see Dr. Luis García del Moral. It’s only now where the public is seeing the extent of Dr. del Moral’s involvement with doping these young riders during their time at USPS. Nobody will ever know for certain, but I don’t think it’s a far stretch to know where things were headed by Matt White sending Trent Lowe to visit to Dr. del Moral 70 kilometers away in Valencia. Lowe still maintains that he had no idea who Dr del Moral was and that all he knows is that he was going to see a specialist about his chronic fatigue and have some health checks. Even if there is more to the story than Trent is telling us, he was a young rider who was referred to USPS’s doping specialist by his Sports Director (Matt White) during a time where White was supposed to be part of a team representing a new era of clean cycling. Whether it was horrible judgement or something more, Vaughters saw grounds to fire him over it.
White stepping down from Cycling Australia and Orica-GreenEDGE is a small step towards breaking the vicious cycle. However, there is still the elephant in the room at Orica-GreenEDGE who again has come out of this one squeeky clean. For the sake of GreenEDGE’s credibility and commitment to clean cycling, I hope the housekeeping won’t end here.
Matt White’s Statement Regarding USADA Report
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. 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.
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. History has shown that these ideas when fully implemented had a lasting affect on our sport. With key elements like ” blood profiling” which then was later taken on board as the “Athlete Biological Passport” and the “No-Needles-Policy” which was also adopted by the UCI and WADA, a radical change for the better started to dominate the minds of a lot of athletes. These are legacies that were pioneered at Slipstream and they have had a real and lasting impact on cycling.
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.
As a sport, cycling has received a lot of criticism regarding doping and rightfully so – but certain teams have also lead the way in fighting an otherwise never ending battle to ensure that professional cycling can stay clean. This battle starts from within and we have had great success in changing this in the current culture in our sport. I am convinced that this battle will need constant monitoring and we must learn constructively from the past. The approach that many riders of my generation had cannot be repeated, and I believe that cycling now has the most rigorous and complete testing regimes of any sport.
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.
Cycling Australia’s President Klaus Mueller’s Response To Matt White