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Cycling Australia admits naivety in its own reviews
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) was not able to investigate Floyd Landis' claims involving Matt White due to the allegations also being pursued by its United States' equivalent as well as the failed Federal investigation.
In May 2010, Cycling Australia received correspondence from the UCI in relation to Landis' allegations. In response to this, Cycling Australia then referred the matter to ASADA.
On Saturday, White stepped down from his role as Cycling Australia professional men's road coordinator as well as his role with Orica-GreenEdge as sports director after he confessed to doping during his career with U.S. Postal Service.
"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," White said in a statement. "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."
The admission only came in the wake of Landis' redacted affidavit in which he swears that during training in the lead up to the 2003 Vuelta a España, "Bruyneel initiated a separate conversation over the phone with me on how to use Human Growth Hormone (HGH). At the direction of Mr. Bruyneel, I subsequently bought the HGH and Andriol from the team 'trainer' Jose Marti (aka Pepe), who lived in Valencia, Spain at the time along with the team doctor Dr. Luis Garcia Del Moral. 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 EPO with them while training."
The details mirror those in Landis' unredacted email to USA Cycling chief executive officer Steve Johnson on April 30, 2010 with White identified by name at the time. That email is listed as Exhibit B in Landis' affidavit.
"Due to the Federal investigation in the United States and subsequent United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation ASADA was unable to obtain information to pursue a thorough investigation," it said on Sunday.
"Due to the extensive nature of the USADA report and the latest admission by Mr White, ASADA will be seeking further information from USADA and Cycling Australia as the relevant national sporting organisation. This may take some time, but ASADA has a duty to be both thorough and accurate in its investigation."
In the meantime, White had been cleared by Cycling Australia after his appointment came into question following his dismissal by the Garmin team for referring Trent Lowe to Dr. del Moral's sports clinic in Valencia, Spain, contravening the team's policy on the use of health professionals without prior consultation. At the time, Cycling Australia labelled White's move as 'an error of judgement' on his behalf by yesterday the national governing body's attitude had shifted.
"We were as naive as most people involved in the sport including the journalists who had a close understanding and following of cycling," Cycling Australia President Klaus Mueller said on Sunday. "We didn't understand the extent of [doping], certainly in the U.S. Postal team that was taking place."