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Will U.S. Postal history haunt Matt White?

By:
Jane Aubrey
Published:
October 13, 2012, 1:20 BST,
Updated:
October 13, 2012, 2:43 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 13, 2012
Garmin-Transitions Matt White talks to the audience.

Garmin-Transitions Matt White talks to the audience.

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ASADA previously investigated Landis email allegations

Current Cycling Australia professional men's road coordinator Matt White, also Orica-GreenEdge sports director, is believed to have been identified as Rider 9 in Floyd Landis' evidence in USADA's Reasoned Decision documentation to the UCI.

White rode with U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team from U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team from 2001 to 2003 and later linked again with the outfit when it was known as Discovery Channel in 2006 and 2007.

Landis' redacted affidavit 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.

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 the Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority (ASADA) and on 27 May, Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks publicly stated:

"Cycling Australia is aware of the allegations made by Floyd Landis both in the media and through correspondence from the International Cycling Union. As a result we have referred the matter to the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority as the appropriate agency to deal with the matter."

In February 2011, ASADA made the following statement to Cyclingnews:

- ASADA is aware of media reports about the doping claims made by Floyd Landis
- When and what we can say about any operational matter is strictly governed by our legislation
- Under our legislation ASADA is unable to provide further comment at this time

In a statement yesterday, Cycling Australia President Klaus Mueller said he was unsure of how, if any of Cycling Australia members were implicated.

"But it might now be time to consider a range of options including an amnesty for athletes who have cheated in the past to own up to any wrongdoing and have their confessions mitigate any subsequent penalties," he said. "This would be dependent on the nature and extent of any infraction/s.

"This case also provides an opportunity for the Australian Government to review the resources and powers of ASADA especially in light of the extensive investigation and action taken by USADA in their pursuit of this case."

In January 2011, White was dismissed from his role of directeur sportif with the Garmin-Cervelo team. 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.

"My commitment as Sports Director has always been to ensuring the optimal health and well-being of our riders," White said at the time. "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 contacted Orica-GreenEdge general manager Shayne Bannan following the Reasoned Decision documentation and he provided the following comment:

"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."

Pressed on whether the team sought clarification at the time of his hiring, considering the initial allegations were made in 2010, Bannan explained that it wasn't taken into consideration.

"No it wasn't discussed as we based our decision to engage Matt on the good work he was doing at Garmin," he said.

 

 

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legal case GreenEdge