Orica-GreenEdge DS Matt White admits doping while at US Postal

Man who also heads Cycling Australia's men's road programme had been named in Armstrong witness statements

by Simon_MacMichael   October 13, 2012  

Matt White Orica-GreenEdge YouTube still

Matt White, sports director of Orica-GreenEdge and team director of the men’s road performance programme for Cycling Australia, has confessed to doping while riding for the US Postal Service team at the same time as Lance Armstrong.

White says that he has voluntarily stepped down from both those positions while inquiries are conducted, although given his admission, he would have been likely in any event to have faced immediate suspension pending disciplinary proceedings.

"I am aware my name has been mentioned during talks that USADA has had with former team mates of mine in their investigation regarding doping activities at the US Postal Service team,” said White in a statement released today, reproduced in full below.

"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.

"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.”

It’s not the first time that White’s time at US Postal has come back to haunt him. In January 2010, immediately after guiding Cameron Meyer to overall victory in the Santos Tour Down Under, he was sacked as directeur sportif at Garmin-Cervelo when it emerged that contrary to team policy, he had referred former rider Trent Lowe to Dr Luis Garcia del Moral.

In July this year, the United States Anti-Doping Agency banned Del Moral for life for his part in the doping conspiracy at US Postal, where he had been team doctor.

White, aged 38, rode for US Postal from 2001 to 2003 then returned to ride for Discovery Channel in 2006 and 2007 following a two-year spell at Cofidis.

In 2008, he moved to the management side of the sport with Slipstream-Chipotle, which would evolve into what is now Garmin-Sharp. Slipstream’s CEO and former US Postal rider Jonathan Vaughters is among those who were revealed this week to have provided evidence against Armstrong and admitted their own doping.

In today’s statement, White said: "I stopped my racing career because I had the opportunity to be part of something that had the potential to actually change cycling. The ideas about a clean team that Dave Millar and Jonathan Vaughters spoke to me about back then, were ones that the sport desperately needed.”

In a statement released yesterday in response to USADA’s publication of the Armstrong dossier but ahead of today’s admission by White, Cycling Australia said that it needed time to study the American agency’s documentation to ascertain whether it needed to take any action.

"Until we've had a chance to do that it's impossible to say whether any Cycling Australia members are implicated," said Cycling Australia President, Klaus Mueller.

"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 added.

"This would be dependent on the nature and extent of any infraction/s.”

USADA too has called for a 'truth & reconciliation' commission to be set up. During last month's world road championships in the Netherlands, UCI President Pat McQuaid that the governing body had no plans to offer an amnesty to former dopers, although there will now be pressure for that stance to be re-examined.

“The UCI Steering Committee discussed the possibility of an operation similar to what South Africa knew at the end of apartheid with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” commented McQuaid.

“The conclusion was that it would be inappropriate to take any action while the USADA/Armstrong affair is underway and, in addition, the Global Code does not provide for any amnesty.”

With USADA having redacted the names of a number of people mentioned in witness statements who may now be the subject of separate disciplinary proceedings, it's clear that White won't be the only person swept up in the fallout from the Armstrong investigation.

Orica-GreenEdge has already issued a statement in response to White’s confession.

"The management of GreenEdge supports Matt White’s decision to step down from his position with the team during the process of evaluating his involvement in the revelations put forward by the recently released USADA report,” it said.

“We hope for a quick and clear resolution of this issue and will await the decision of the relevant authorities. Until this process has run its due course, the management will refrain from making any further comments." 


Full statement from Matt White

"I am aware my name has been mentioned during talks that USADA has had with former team mates of mine in their investigation regarding doping activities at the US Postal Service team.

"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.

"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.

"I stopped my racing career because I had the opportunity to be part of something that had the potential to actually change cycling. The ideas about a clean team that Dave Millar and Jonathan Vaughters spoke to me about back then, were ones that the sport desperately needed.

"History has shown that these ideas when fully implemented had a lasting affect on our sport. With key elements like 'blood profiling', which then was later taken on board as the 'Athlete Biological Passport', and the 'No-Needles-Policy' which was also adopted by the UCI and WADA, a radical change for the better started to dominate the minds of a lot of athletes.

"These are legacies that were pioneered at Slipstream and they have had a real and lasting impact on cycling.

"In my roles with Slipstream Sports, Cycling Australia and now at ORICA-GreenEDGE, I have always acted within the ethos of clean sport and I am very proud to have worked with the new generation of clean superstars.

"A lot has changed for the better, cycling is totally different now, and I have seen these changes as an athlete and also in management with my own eyes in the last decade.

"As a sport, cycling has received a lot of criticism regarding doping and rightfully so - but certain teams have also lead the way in fighting an otherwise never ending battle to ensure that professional cycling can stay clean.

"This battle starts from within and we have had great success in changing this in the current culture in our sport. I am convinced that this battle will need constant monitoring and we must learn constructively from the past.

"The approach that many riders of my generation had cannot be repeated, and I believe that cycling now has the most rigorous and complete testing regimes of any sport.

"I am sorry for the people I have let down because of the personal choice I made at that time, but I have endeavoured to educate and guide the current stars and to ensure that future generations never have to deal with the pressures that existed in the past.

"But I am very confident that our sport is going the right direction and I believe cycling has a bright future.

"Given my admissions above, I have been in contact with my employees and will be voluntarily standing down from my positions with the National Men's High Performance Program with Cycling Australia and as a Sports Director with GreenEDGE Cycling while inquiries into my case are conducted and the Board of Cycling Australia and GreenEDGE make a determination regarding my future with each organisation.

"I will be refraining from making any further comments until this process has run its due course."

12 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

How many more to go, I wonder?

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2607 posts]
13th October 2012 - 15:34

like this
Like (2)

To be honest i think the best thing is to reconsider sanctions if riders come forward and admit that they doped. I think as an era a majority did can you really strip every win, and ban every rider?

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [857 posts]
13th October 2012 - 16:30

like this
Like (3)

yes. People who doped shouldn't be working with teams now. They should be banned from the sport completely.

posted by musicalmarc [49 posts]
13th October 2012 - 16:48

like this
Like (3)

All the dirty worms are coming out of the dirty woodwork now ....

posted by Karbon Kev [652 posts]
13th October 2012 - 18:16

like this
Like (3)

Its amazing, all those dirty riders and the only one who never doped was Lance.

posted by sneakerfrfeak [66 posts]
13th October 2012 - 18:21

like this
Like (3)

sneakerfrfeak wrote:
Its amazing, all those dirty riders and the only one who never doped was Lance.

Maybe he doped without realising? Maybe he fell over (a lot) and accidentaly landed on a series of syringes belonging to all those other cheating basta.. naughty boys?

posted by SideBurn [731 posts]
13th October 2012 - 20:16

like this
Like (4)

I get the feeling that some members of the road cc community are being rather medieval wanting heads on poles, like some trophy hunters. The period concerned was riddled with doping, an amistance may be necessary otherwise there will be no one driving team cars next year?

posted by onlyonediane [158 posts]
13th October 2012 - 21:11

like this
Like (3)

onlyonediane wrote:
I get the feeling that some members of the road cc community are being rather medieval wanting heads on poles, like some trophy hunters. The period concerned was riddled with doping, an amistance may be necessary otherwise there will be no one driving team cars next year?

I will drive on of the cars, mind you i had an injection for yellow fever and hep c (through work) so will that count me out. Wink

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2430 posts]
13th October 2012 - 21:37

like this
Like (3)

I must say a big fat hairy arse thank you to lance, drivers not content in trying to kill you but now shouting junkie at you whilst riding,when will this sorry mess end !?

posted by mandy [82 posts]
13th October 2012 - 22:30

like this
Like (4)

Sorry Stumpy, I think you mean Hep B, there is no vaccination for Hep C!

posted by onlyonediane [158 posts]
14th October 2012 - 7:49

like this
Like (3)

onlyonediane wrote:
Sorry Stumpy, I think you mean Hep B, there is no vaccination for Hep C!

It was hep something and a bloody big needle at that Crying

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2430 posts]
14th October 2012 - 10:05

like this
Like (5)

at this moment all i can say is fuck you pro cycling. theres a dirty shit in every team seemingly.

lance being busted was one thing but the entire peletons old guard who are nurturing the youth.

utter shits, thats right, shits

posted by russyparkin [550 posts]
14th October 2012 - 20:15

like this
Like (4)