at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Brisbane - The Australian government said on Wednesday it will conduct a review of Cycling Australia over recent doping controversies to help restore “confidence and trust” in the sport's national governing body.
Sports Minister Kate Lundy said on Wednesday that James Wood, a former chairman of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission, would perform the review and provide his recommendations to the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority in order to develop a uniform anti-doping code for all sports in the country.
The move follows the resignation or firing of Australian cycling officials Matt White and Stephen Hodge. They admitted to doping earlier in their careers following the release of evidence in the Lance Armstrong doping case that saw the American rider lose his seven Tour de France titles.
White, who was formerly professional men's coordinator with Cycling Australia, was mentioned in the Armstrong report and he confessed to doping while riding for Armstrong's US Postal team. On Oct. 19, Cycling Australia vice president Hodge quit after admitting to doping during his time as a professional rider.
“There have been serious implications for Australian cycling following the release of the explosive United States Anti-Doping Agency report confirming sophisticated doping programs infiltrated the sport at the elite level,” Lundy said in a statement.
“In the wake of the resignation of the Australian officials involved in these doping programs, it is important for Cycling Australia and the thousands of competitive cyclists in Australia that we move quickly to ensure the confidence and trust of the Australian public is restored in cycling's governing body.
Lundy said Wood, a former chief judge in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, recently led an inquiry that resulted in the state adopting legislation to criminalize match-fixing.
She said Wood's review will examine Cycling Australia's governance and administrative practices, including recruitment and employment. It will also examine Cycling Australia's anti-doping policies and “advise on their effectiveness including any improvement that should be made.”