Australia’s former Olympian Matt White on Saturday confessed to being a part of the deepening Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy and quit his roles with Australian pro cycling team Orica-GreenEDGE and Cycling Australia.
White, 38, admitted to being part of a general strategy of doping when he rode on the Armstrong-led US Postal Services team from 2001 to 2003.
He announced he was stepping down from his jobs as the sports director of the emerging Australian professional team Orica-GreenEDGE and coordinator of Cycling Australia’s men’s road racing programme.
“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,” White said in a statement.
“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.”
White’s confession comes amid fallout from the widening scandal, with Armstrong having been stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and banned from all sport for life after a long investigation by the United States Sports Drugs Agency.
White was named in USADA’s findings from evidence submitted by former teammate Floyd Landis, who has been central to the inquiry, reports said Saturday.
In the USADA report Landis — who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for doping — gave evidence that White took the blood booster EPO and testosterone, The Sydney Morning Herald said.
In a development late Saturday, White said he had decided to stand down from his positions.
“Given my admissions, I have been in contact with my employees and will be voluntarily standing down from my positions with the National Men’s High Performance Programme 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,” he said in his statement.
“I will be refraining from making any further comments until this process has run its due course.”
The Orica-GreenEDGE team said it supported White’s decision to stand down from the team.
“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,” the GreenEDGE team said in a statement.
“We hope for a quick and clear resolution of this issue and will await the decision of the relevant authorities.”
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.