Matt White

October 16, 2012

So Matt White is outed by USADA as a USPS doper, admits to it and is suspended while Cycling Australia investigates. This makes no sense.

Cycling Australia hired White after he was fired from Slipstream for sending a rider to Dr. Del Moral for a health check, instead of letting the team doctor refer the rider to a doctor as is the team policy.

Cycling Australia investigated White in 2011 to see if he could remain their performance coordinator and if he should be hired for Orica-Greenedge. This makes it strange to investigate him again. There are three options:

  1. In 2011, they forgot to ask White if he ever doped himself, in which case there is no point in having an investigation – the Cycling Australia board should simply step down.
  2. They asked White if he ever doped and he answered truthfully, in which case there is also no need for an investigation or a suspension – the Cycling Australia board should simply explain its decision and stand by it. Or alternatively, the board should resign again if they feel their decision in 2011, having had all the facts available to them, was wrong.
  3. They asked White if he ever doped and he lied, in which case there is also no need for an investigation or a suspension as he should be fired right away.

Thus, the investigation sounds more like a smoke screen, one that is gaining in popularity in cycling nowadays.

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38 Responses to “Matt White”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Very good points!

    I just read what Danielson said in his Affidavit.

    “The team doctor (redacted) (who is currently the team doctor for Liquigas-Cannondale) said some riders had second or third apartments which they used to store their performance enhancing drugs”.

    Has anyone at Liquigas-Cannondale said anything yet? Redacting the name, then outing him in parenthesis is hilarious. Tygert is a stud.

  2. Evan Shaw Says:

    It is a known phenomena for over entitled people to get caught and feel like victims, justify their behavior and resurrect themselves as a leader in the very cause they acted to corrupt. It is naive and dangerous to have former dopers as managers staff mentors. They can sound good but the over entitled person if they really changed would be humble and not seek power and influence. They fool themselves and us into being do goods.

    Better we should be led by those who are sought out as leaders not ose who seek it. Lets have someone like Ashenden or silly as it sounds Betsy Andreu as UCI head. Matt White was hired to teach nothing good. He is lying when he says he is an anti doper. They knew it.

  3. Tim H Says:

    Well put Gerard, you think it just might be, oh just maybe, a little cover up (of either their incompetence or complicity) related by Cycling Australia?

  4. Joe Papp Says:

    The only worse than the actual doping is the hypocrisy of everyone else.

    • Evan Shaw Says:

      Joe we have all made mistakes and are human. Look in a mirror and grow some humility. Talk about hypocrisy. Good god man. Be of service to others and don’t be our expert please. Of course just my opinion. Free country free speech. Write on.

      • Joe Papp Says:

        wtf? are you feeling subconsciously guilty about being a hypocrite or something? b/c I don’t recall having directed that comment towards you – or anyone in particular.

        • Evan Shaw Says:

          Running a scheme that involved pushing drugs onto god knows what young riders for big money for yourself now entitles you to be an expert about racing and our motives. OMG who knew.

        • moskowe Says:

          I don’t really get how Joe Papp lives with himself. Zero morals whatsoever.

  5. Leo Says:

    It’s all understandable in view of ASADA being a beurocracy: the public climate has suddenly changed, a lot, from 2011; therefore in any of the 3 situations you outlined an investigation is required. People might be overreacting to the word “investigation”.

  6. Evan Shaw Says:

    Some might find this BBC 2 hour show informative about the highs and lows of what Gerard is raising. Hamilton, Millar, LA Masseuse, and others asked difficult questions about where to go from here.

  7. Retro Active Says:

    What I find most hilarious about all this are the completely farcical claims that these guys were suddenly introduced to doping a year or two into a pro contract, simply asinine. Anyone who’s raced at a high amateur level knows the deal, particularily if one has raced in Europe. It took me two months, in spring ’90 as a junior transitioning to senior, to conclude that this sport was rotten top to bottom. It was completely obvious that trying to compete clean was futile even as an amateur, straight up told by the team that I wouldn’t get invites to big races, doping was a prerequisite not an option. EPO had just hit the scene and amateurs were dying. I quit in ’91 without having doped, held the vial in my hand and cracked up while reading the potential side affects. Best…decision…ever…

    • TheDude Says:

      More credible vignettes from the kermesse club at elite amateur is a great insight. This gives context to the spawning of the more glitzy portrayal of doping in cycle sport that we are privy to recently. Your note is refreshingly without hype and spin.

  8. Retro Active Says:

    BTW, my favourite doping story to date has to be from Eddy Planckaert after his Paris-Roubaix win in ’90. He was telling the press after the race that he spent time at some sort of health spa in Switzerland over the winter recieving some sort of foetal sheep (or some barnyard animal) injections. BWAAAHAAAHAA!
    I was in the Roubaix velodrome that day and when the news of these claims broke later that night I just shook my head, wtf. Of course he was doping with less “holistic” methods.

    • I remember that; it was so weird. Telling one horrendous story to cover another? It’s like having the police saying “We think you killed Mr. Jones” and replying “No, I have an alibi; I was killing Mr. Smith at that time”.

      • Retro Active Says:

        Injecting foetal animal tissue wasn’t banned so I guess he figured it was a credible story to explain his performance…clowns.
        In N.A. doping was more the exception than the rule, in Europe it was the reverse. Everyone was looking for “help” in all sorts of ways, some banned practices, others not. I sat in Bauer’s living room a few weeks prior to that P-R and asked him if it was possible to complete clean, honestly. He told me that he and Dag-Otto only did ozone therapy for recovery and managed. Something for everyone in Europe, so many strange practices…and then along came EPO.
        As a sidenote, you share the same last name as one of the most naturally talented cyclists I’ve ever seen. Canadian kid back when, won the Tour de L’Abitibi in ’90 (or ’91?). He and his older brother(think Greipel at 18, the older bro.- freak) quit too, too much doping.
        It’s not just the cream that rises to the top, scum does
        too. Personally I view cycling as a microcosm, society at large being the macro. Just my experience though.

  9. Evan Shaw Says:

    I must be thinking about this stuff too much. I actually responded to Joe P. OMG.. Off for a vacation lol. Seriously this stuff can rot your brain. Now I see why Gerard wanted a break!

  10. Neil Says:

    Here in Oz, Matt White’s sacking by Team Slipstream was reported as JV being a bit petty because he caught wind of White moving to Greenedge and wanted White out of the team before he could lure Slipstream’s promising Aussie youngsters away. I don’t remember any mention of del Moral’s history or the fact that both White and JV must have known exactly what services del Moral provided. I think the Aussie press may owe JV an apology?

    • slim jim Says:

      It was mentioned in cycling news and the bloke he sent to Del Moral war Trent Lowe. Both got the sack.

      At the time it was suggested that Vaughters was only standing up for principles as White was already leaving and Lowe wasn’t getting another contract.

      • Well, since I was part of the meetings to determine Matt White’s fate at Slipstream, I can say that those accusations are unfair to Vaughters for two reasons:

        1) White’s future connection to GreenEdge was never even mentioned in those meetings
        2) Vaughters wasn’t in favor of firing White until the very end.

        So the idea that Vaughters schemed to look for an excuse to get rid of White is double nonsense.

        • Slim Jim Says:

          Thanks for the insight.
          I’m not suggesting there was scheming as such; just a cynical “It’s easy to be principled when the guy’s already on the way out the door.”

  11. Paulr Says:

    A few deep breaths required? One of the better articles around well worth a read. Cycling certainly needs purging from this scourge but a bit more balance and a few less histrionics required. Allows for come clearer thinking me thinks.

    • Retro Active Says:

      It’s only bread and circuses. If you think there are histrionics happening now, over cycling, well…let’s just watch the news unfold.

      • paulr Says:

        Have you read the link?

        Clearly sometimes an aggressively direct approach can be justified, but there’s a cruel lack of empathy and perspective in the air these days, almost as if fans and journalists are taking revenge for decades of deceit. No equivocation from riders is permitted, because our newly minted ‘year zero’ cycling culture is policed by social media and web zealots ready to whip up an angry digital mob armed with pitchforks and flaming torches, primed to amplify rumour, lose the nuances and pass judgement forthwith. Which is rather ironic, given that documentary proof and reliable eye-witness accounts are not enough for Armstrong’s legal team but, at the same time, all that Twitter requires to condemn a rider are associations with a team. One position is as unedifying as the other.

        A lot of posturing taking place………………….sickening. Leadership non existent.. though there seem to be plenty of retrospective experts around.

  12. Grandeflatwhite Says:

    So you were there at Slipstream. Did White admit to doping before he was taken on? If not see your points 1,2,3 above.

    • Fair question.

      I was not at Slipstream when Matt White was hired, as we only joined in 2011 and this happened in January 2011. I was asked by the Slipstream board to sit in on their call and give my opinion, which I did (and which was to not give him a suspension but to fire him).

      Before we joined Slipstream, I did ask Jonathan about his past, which he answered truthfully. He was obviously also aware of Matt White’s past when he hired him and without even asking, since they were together on the same team.

      More to the point of asking questions to sports directors before hiring them, when we started the TestTeam, I did ask the question to each of them and we also inquired with some of their previous employers, both when they were sports directors and when they were riders.

      If you ask any of the sports directors, I think they will be able to confirm that their first meeting with me was not very pleasant. It was really unpleasant actually, I don’t like questioning people’s honesty (and that’s what you do, whichever way you slice it) but I think it is a necessary step of the hiring process.

      None of this is watertight of course, but at least if something comes up and people have lied to you, it’s not so difficult to take decisive action.

      • Grandeflatwhite Says:

        Gerard, thanks for your feedback. I am glad to have discovered your blog. Reading CA’s decision it appears the right call for a national team however sacking everyone who is named or admits doping appears to me to be counter productive to getting others to admit their past and come clean. Every case will be different but surely not everyone deserves to be sacked. I wonder what OPQS would have done had Levi been 5 years younger?

  13. Retro Active Says:

    I read the link before, and… I’m only striking the same pose I have been for over twenty years. I’m hardly alone in having understood how dirty this sport is for a long, long time. Been on cycling boards sporadically for over a decade talking about this, with heaps of abuse hurled my way, people don’t want to know they want to believe. Big deal. What’s truly sickening are those who are still involved still playing the three monkeys routine, and those who just want it all to go away, so it doesn’t, only repeats and repeats.
    There’s massive corruption being unveiled in all aspects of our society at the moment, puts all the hoopla about Lance, and cycling or sport for that matter, in perspective and context – if you care to notice. All this late-breaking outrage about trivial bread and circuses is rather pathetic. There are far, far bigger problems that have been ignored that are now surfacing which was my point.

    • paulr Says:

      Yes yes and yes, i think we are coming fromt he same point of view. Would be good for the sport if it all came out. Like you the sudden outrage is what i find amusing / pathetic.

    • moskowe Says:

      What I am starting to realize is that this is by no way restricted to cycling. I’ve long known that every top rider in the sport is dirty, but I’m impressed with the determination cycling fans and authorities have in uncovering doping cases. Say what you want about the corruption in the UCI, a couple of cyclists (important ones, too) get popped every now and then. That never happens in other sports, and god knows how much goes on there too.

      If we look at it realistically, the sport will never be clean. It’s just not going to happen. It’s sad, but it’s the truth.

  14. Peter Cutter Says:

    Another great post Gerard. What do you think about OPQS sacking Levi, but keeping someone like Jose Ibarguren on the books, the doctor present at Euskatel, Lampre and Saunier Duval when they ran into trouble (including Pipoli and Ricco at the tour). It always seems to me that when any truth is spoken about drugs in this sport, its the riders who get the bullet, while the doctors, DSs and facilitators always seem to find another home.

  15. Tim Webber Says:

    Matt White’s contract with CA has been terminated. This email was sent by CA to its members this afternoon.


    A message from the Board of Cycling Australia to the members and supporters of cycling
    It has been a difficult week, to say the least, for those who love the sport of cycling.

    The fallout from the file released by the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) resulting from its investigation into doping allegations against Lance Armstrong and the many other riders implicated, has been incredibly damaging for cycling worldwide. The evidence presented is damning, the behaviour of the key players is morally reprehensible and cycling fans have every right to feel let down.

    The Board of Cycling Australia (CA) met last night via teleconference for an initial discussion from the perspective of Australian cycling. The Board recognises its responsibility and role in the fight against doping within our sphere of influence here in Australia and among Australian cyclists. We also firmly believe there are many good things happening in the sport and it is equally important to continue to play our part in leading the sport into a future of growth and optimism.

    Critical to this is the need to reassert where we stand on doping.

    As stated clearly in the CA Anti-Doping Policy: “Cycling Australia condemns doping as fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport”. The Board of CA is committed to the fight against doping in sport and in cycling in particular. We have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to any athlete found guilty of cheating through the use of performance enhancing drugs and to any other person who aids and abets that process.
    As has been the case in the past, CA undertakes to fully cooperate with any investigation conducted by an accredited authority into an allegation of an Anti Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) against an Australian cyclist. This obligation also extends to any athlete, employee, contractor or member who might be asked to assist with any such inquiry.
    CA will redouble its efforts to protect the integrity of the environment within which people participate in the sport of cycling in Australia. This includes engaging and working with stakeholders and government agencies, such as the Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority (ASADA) and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), to maximise our ability to meet this challenge.
    A key issue for Australian cycling that arose out of the USADA dossier released last week was the naming of Matthew White as being implicated in doping practices conducted by the US Postal Services team.

    For the past two seasons, Matt has been employed by CA as a part-time contractor in the role of Elite Men’s Road National Coordinator. In that role he has made a significant, valuable contribution to our men’s national teams and at no time do we believe his influence or actions went against the best interests of the sport.

    However, the admissions contained within his public statement of 13 October clearly place him in breach of the CA Anti-Doping Policy and Code of Conduct. Accordingly, the Board has determined that his ongoing employment with CA is untenable and Matt was formally advised overnight of the termination of his contract.

    We have been criticised in some quarters for the decision to appoint Matt in the first place and we understand the concerns that have been raised.

    At the time of his initial appointment in January 2011 Matt was a senior Director Sportif with the Garmin Slipstream team registered with the International Cycling Union (UCI).
    Garmin terminated his contract in January 2011 on the grounds he had contravened team policy.
    As a result of this decision CA made inquiries with a number of individuals and organisations including ASADA, the UCI and senior management at Garmin Slipstream, before determining there were no grounds to prevent Matt continuing in his role with CA.
    The Board has recognised the current situation calls for the review of our internal processes for the appointment of staff and contractors and while this process will begin immediately it will also be a key item to be addressed in more detail by the CA Board at its scheduled November meeting.

    Over the past few days there have been a number of initiatives tabled in the media by CA President, Klaus Mueller with a view to encouraging debate here in Australia as to what are the appropriate ‘tools’ to combat doping in sport. CA was an active player in the establishment of ASADA in 2005/06 and we have witnessed its effectiveness on more than one occasion since. ASADA is a leader in the world of sports anti-doping agencies and Australians should be very proud of the job done by the Authority. It is an ongoing challenge for all future governments and the sporting community to ensure ASADA is appropriately resourced.

    In the past 24 hours the Hon Senator Kate Lundy, Minister for Sport, announced a Memorandum of Understanding between ASADA and the Australian Crime Commission, effectively strengthening the collaborative investigative capabilities of ASADA. CA congratulates and supports the Minister for this initiative.

    John Coates AC, President of the Australian Olympic Committee, has written to the Minister seeking stronger powers for ASADA, including the authority to compel witnesses to comply with doping investigations. Again, CA supports the serious consideration of such initiatives.

    The board, in its discussion last night, canvassed several of the suggestions that have been in the public arena this past week and resolved that an amnesty is not consistent with CA’s strong anti-doping position. The Board does however support criminalising doping as it sends a strong message that such conduct is unacceptable and adds the resources of the police to the fight against this blight on sport.

    CA has also been taken to task lately regarding our public support of the UCI and its initiatives and commitment to the fight against doping in the sport.

    We acknowledge that there is now clear evidence that the UCI, until recent times, failed to fully and properly do its part to stamp out doping. We stand by our belief that the UCI deserves significant credit in a number of areas, namely its persistence in dealing with the Operation Puerto files and the ground-breaking introduction of the Biological Passport.

    We believe there is also reasonable evidence to support the view that the current professional peloton is much ‘cleaner’ and fair competition is now taking place. However, we concede questions do remain.

    How the UCI responds to the USADA file and how it addresses the allegations within it will be critical to the reputation of the organisation and that of the sport of cycling. We at CA encourage the UCI take this very real opportunity to steer the sport into a new future.

    The Board of Cycling Australia

    • “We acknowledge that there is now clear evidence that the UCI, until recent times, failed to fully and properly do its part to stamp out doping.”

      And your conclusion therefore is …?

      • justacyclist Says:

        Further, “We believe there is also reasonable evidence to support the view that the current professional peloton is much ‘cleaner’ and fair competition is now taking place.” There is no “evidence” that has been presented by official stakeholders. There are statements and opinions making an unsupported claim. The credibility of cycling stakeholders is so seriously damaged that unsupported claims appear simply as the continuation of “spin”.

        Data exists but it is dependent on interpretation and interpretation brings subjectivity. While some may interpret the data to be a cleaner Giro and TdeF, the Vuelta can be interpreted oppositely.

        … no expert here, just an opinion.

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