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In October 2012 following the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong and USPS, and the subsequent disclosures of past doping practices in the sport of cycling, Orica-GreenEDGE determined it would implement a range of initiatives to reaffirm its firm stance against doping, including a full external expert review of its policies and procedures and a pro-active review of all riders and team members.
The review was made by Nicki Vance, a former director of WADA. The full report can be read here (pdf).
The objectives of the review were to:
• Confirm that Orica-GreenEDGE’s (OGE’s) anti-doping policies, protocols and recruitment procedures are world’s best practice and are being implemented without exception;
• Recommend and oversee the implementation of any necessary enhancements.
It was agreed that as part of the review process that all GreenEDGE riders, key staff members and the female riders with Orica-AIS would be interviewed. In addition OGE requested advice regarding the appropriate management of the handling of Matt White’s (and any other team member’s) doping admissions from the team’s perspective.
There was no admission from any rider or support personnel about any past doping practices other than the already known cases of Matt White and Neil Stephens.
The recommendations include a detailed approach as to how to handle past (and any future) doping cases from a team perspective. Included in the report are also recommendations regarding the employment of Matt White and Neil Stephens within team management.
“Consistent with the advised general approach to past doping offences/admissions and the conditions already outlined it is recommended that Matt White have his position with OGE reinstated once any ASADA-imposed sanction is completed.”
In accordance with the general recommendations for past doping offences it is recommended that no sanction or workplace penalty be imposed on Neil Stephens (with some conditions). If these conditions are met, it is also recommended that Stephens make a public statement acknowledging his admissions from the past and outlining OGE’s decision re no sanction.
Vance said in the report:
While overall, OGE is to be commended for its anti-doping policies and procedures there are a number of recommendations made that if implemented would enhance these policies and procedures to ensure OGE achieves and maintains best practice. As a responsible World Tour Pro-Team that prides itself on being a “clean team”, OGE can also contribute to the development and ongoing implementation of anti-doping strategies for themselves, other pro-teams, sports and anti-doping organisation’s for the betterment of cycling world-wide.
The full 15 page report can be read here (pdf).