Sydney – The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (Asada) said on Monday they will launch an investigation after former Olympic cyclist Matt White admitted involvement in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy.
White, 38, has said he was part of a strategy of doping when he rode on the Armstrong-led US Postal Service cycling team from 2001 to 2003.
He announced at the weekend that he was stepping down from his jobs as the sports director of the emerging Australian professional team Orica-GreenEDGE and his role in Cycling Australia's men's road racing programme.
Cycling Australia said it will meet this week to discuss what action it will take following his disclosure.
Asada said that in 2010 they became aware of allegations of doping made against White by American cyclist Floyd Landis.
But the anti-doping agency said due to the federal investigation in the US and the subsequent United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) investigation, Asada was unable to obtain information to pursue a thorough examination of those allegations until now.
“The confession of doping by Mr White is indeed a serious matter,” Asada said in a statement.
“The action of peer pressure to force any athlete to dope is abhorrent, but does not excuse the choice made by an individual athlete to participate in a team strategy that sets out to deceive the sport and its fans.”
Asada said it pursued every case of doping as per its obligation under the World Anti-Doping Code and its own legislation.
“Due to the extensive nature of the Usada report and the latest admission by Mr White, Asada will be seeking further information from Usada and Cycling Australia as the relevant national sporting organisation,” it said.
“This may take some time, but Asada has a duty to be both thorough and accurate in its investigation.
“Until this process is completed Asada will refrain from making any further comments.”
White's confession comes as fallout from the scandal widens, with Armstrong having been stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and banned from cycling for life after a long investigation by Usada.
Armstrong, who denies taking banned substances, has been accused by Usada of being at the heart of “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme” ever seen in sport. – Sapa-AFP