The Australian was sacked after it emerged that he sent former Garmin rider Trent Lowe to the former US Postal team physician Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral at the Sports Institute of Valencia. The incident took place in April 2009 but team management only learnt of the visit after a contract dispute between the rider and team during the final stages of 2010. Using external medical staff contravened the team’s strict anti-doping and medical referral rules.
“It’s good that the team show that there’s no exceptions and we’re showing a hard line, especially with the way the team is growing . It’s just unfortunate but I’ve got confidence in Jonathan Vaughters and the board. We all trust them and we stand by them,” Martin told Cyclingnews.
Riders told via conference call
Vaughters travelled to Adelaide, Australia where the team were racing under White at the Santos Tour Down Under several days ago. He dismissed White immediately after the race was won by Garmin’s Cameron Meyer. He then met with the riders who were in Australia to give them the news.
The riders and staff based in Europe were told of the decision via a telephone conference call at a location in Girona, Spain, where the team hold their European base. Those that could not attend, like Christian Vande Velde, were informed by Vaughters separately.
“We were just at home watching the boys do a fantastic job down under with Cam winning and we got an email on Saturday night calling us to a mandatory meeting on Sunday morning and that’s when we were called on conference call,” Martin revealed.
The riders were then given the news of White’s actions and reminded that the team had a zero tolerance policy with working with external medical staff.
“It was shocked really and it was totally unexpected. Whitey has been an important part of the team had has helped the team grown from one of the smallest teams in the peloton, when he came in 2008, to where we are now, wining the first big race of the year,” Martin said.
“He’s been part of the team since the start of my career and his race first race as a directeur at my first race as a pro. He’s played a big part in my development too.”
While Martin believes that the team made the correct decision, he concedes that it was certainly tough for the team.
“Luckily it’s not me who makes the decisions as it’s a massive one with a lot of responsibility but we’ve got confidence in what the board said and the decisions they’ve made. We’ve just got to move on and we’ll stick together and I don’t think anyone is irreplaceable in the organisation.”
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