“The days of remaining silent are over,” the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority has told cyclists. It has encouraged all in the sport to report any connection to or awareness of doping they may have. The independent agency, like the US Anti-Doping Agency and UK Anti-Doping, has a telephone hotline for anonymous reports.
The UCI has plants to set up a similar reporting scheme.
“The days of fearing what happens if the truth gets out are over. The days of protecting people who are in the wrong are over,” the ASADA said in a press release issued Friday.
“We want to hear from you if you have experienced peer pressure to dope in your sport. We want to hear from you if you participated in organised doping to make the team or be the best. We want to hear from you if you have information about suspicious doping activity in your sport.”
The agency pitched it as an opportunity for cyclists “to come forward and and talk before someone else accuses them of doping."
Chief Executive Officer Aurora Andruska warned that “this is not an amnesty where full absolution is given,” but noted that the ASADA can offer “substantial assistance” to those who confess and are willing to co-operate.
“All I can say is that we plan to exhaust all our efforts in conducting a full investigation. The integrity of Australian cycling is under public scrutiny and we now need the cooperation of the sport and its athletes if our investigation is going to get to the heart of the matter,” Andruska concluded.
ASADA is currently investigating Matt White, who was also recently released by both Orica-GreenEdge and Cycling Australia. White had earlier confessed to doping after being implicated in the Lance Armstrong investigation.
White's dismissal was followed by the resignation of Cycling Australia's vice president Steven Hodge. The former ONCE and Festina rider had confessed to using EPO, cortisone and other substances during his career.
Those wishing to report suspicious activity may call the Stamp Out Doping hotline at 13 000 ASADA (13 000 27232) or report it anonymously at www.asada.gov.au.
The UK anti-doping Report Doping in Sport hotline is 08000 32 23 32, while USADA's Play Clean Tip Line can be reached at +1-877-752-9253.
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