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White's del Moral referral came down to convenience

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 25, 2011, 6:11 GMT,
Updated:
January 25, 2011, 7:44 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Jonathan Vaughters and Matt White share a word

Jonathan Vaughters and Matt White share a word

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Australian's immediate future up in the air

Former Garmin-Cervelo directeur sportif Matt White has told Cyclingnews that he knew of physician Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral simply because "he was the old US Postal team doctor" where he was a domestique between 2001 and 2003.

White was dismissed by Slipstream Sports on Sunday following a meeting with Garmin-Cervelo manager, Jonathan Vaughters. The move came after discovering that White referred Trent Lowe to the former US postal team physician 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.

Del Moral is still the director of the Institute of Sports Medicine of Valencia and is a key player in a sports consultancy clinic called Performa which is also operated out of Valencia as well as in Miami in the United States.

Cyclingnews was referred back to White's statement made following his dismissal for further clarification on his decision to send Lowe to the Spanish doctor.

"My commitment as Sports Director has always been to ensuring the optimal health and well-being of our riders," White said. "So when Trent Lowe, who was living in Valencia and who had been sick for a long time, came to me for help, I sent him to the local Valencian sports institute for testing so we could find out what we were dealing with. I understand that the rules are the rules. I am very sorry for my mistake and I am ready to move on."

White later added that for Lowe, who was living just outside of Valencia, to travel to Girona as Vaughters has stated he would have preferred would have meant travelling nearly 400 kilometres.

Cyclingnews had been told that Vaughters had been in Adelaide to watch the Tour Down Under where the team claimed a general classification victory through Cameron Meyer, for several days leading up to White's dismissal however, White says that he nor the team knew anything of Vaughters presence.

"Rumour has it anyway," he told Cyclingnews of Vaughters' presence. "I knew he was in town 30 minutes before the last stage criterium started when he emailed me to tell me that we needed to talk after the race."

Following Meyer's win, Vaughters first spoke with White where an agreement to end the Australian's contract one year early was reached. White then talked to his riders individually, and Vaughters then met with Garmin-Cervelo's Tour Down Under riders to inform them of the decision.

White was unwilling to comment on speculation that Garmin-Cervelo were only notified of Lowe's visit to del Moral following a contract dispute between the rider and the team late last year.

"That's something that's been printed but I'm not commenting on that," White said while added he had not spoken to Lowe for nearly one year due to conflicting schedules. White also says that there had not been any discord between the two.

White's immediate future up in the air

Cycling Australia recently named White as its new national men's high performance road co-ordinator where he would direct the men's national road team ahead of the World Championships in Copenhagen on a part-time basis.

The national body has since launched an investigation which is being lead by Cycling Australia president Graham Fredericks into White's dismissal however, he is confident he will be able to continue in his role.

"At the moment I'm employed through until the World Championships and I suppose I've now got more time on my hands to get the best out of that. I also understand that CA need to follow due process."

White was due to fly back to Europe on Wednesday but is still not sure of his immediate plans.

"I'm still undecided," he said. "I will have to go to Spain to pack up my stuff but what my future holds we will just have to wait."


 

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