UCI Sponsor Asks President To Address Doping Scandal, Aussies Must Explain White's Hire
One of Int'l Cycling Union's (UCI) commercial partners has called on President Pat McQuaid to "immediately make clear the governing body's position on the Lance Armstrong doping affair or resign to prevent the collapse of world cycling," according to Nick Mulvenney of REUTERS. Compression clothing company SKINS Chair & Australian Jaimie Fuller, whose company is a partner of the Rabobank team and Cycling Australia, has written an open letter to McQuaid warning of catastrophic consequences of the body's "inertia." Fuller said, "I'm just devastated and horrified by what has happened. I'm an optimist, and I would desperately hope that common sense would see the light of day." He added: "(But) if Mr McQuaid and his cohorts are not prepared to say what they are going to do about this systemic issue, to rip the scabs off of what has happened, there is no question they should resign" (REUTERS, 10/18).
AUSSIE TROUBLES: In Sydney, Rupert Guinness wrote CA management "has been challenged to outline its individual roles in the signing of former rider Matt White as its national men's team coach," from which he was sacked on Tuesday after confessing he doped when he was a teammate of Lance Armstrong. Leading blood doping researcher Dr. Michael Ashenden said that such a move "would be a step forward by CA in proving its support was genuine for the criminalisation of doping and greater investigative powers to drug authorities" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 10/19). Also in Sydney, Samantha Lane noted Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority CEO Aurora Andruska "is seeking proof" that her organization approved White keeping his job as national cycling coach last year. However, Andruska has "seen no evidence" to support her claim. The claim suggested ASADA "somehow cleared White after he was sacked by a professional road team for breaching anti-doping rules." Cycling Australia President Klaus Mueller said, "We had a discussion with ASADA, and they indicated to us that they had no current issue which would embarrass us in continuing to employ Matt" (SMH, 10/19). Also in Sydney, Peter Kogoy reported Orica-GreenEdge team "is sticking by its embattled" White for now. Team Owner Gerry Ryan was "unavailable for comment." However, team GM Shayne Bannan said, "We won't rush a decision on his future despite his doping confession. We are certainly in no rush because we understand the situation and will wait until the ASADA outcome, and then we can go through a process from there" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/19).
EVERYONE'S DOING IT: In London, Alasdair Fotheringham reported Britain's Team Sky has "intensified" its anti-doping policies by "asking staff and riders to confirm in a written declaration they have no past or present connection with doping," or else they will leave the team. Team Principal Dave Brailsford said, "We will sit down with every member of staff, every rider, and have an interview and discussion, but it won't be sitting in a room with a light in their face. It will be supportive." Sky's anti-doping policies had come under scrutiny prior to the Armstrong case, following its signing of Dutch doctor Geert Leinders, who had worked on the Netherlands' leading team, Rabobank, in '07 when two members of the squad "were potentially involved in doping" (INDEPENDENT, 10/18).