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SYDNEY (VN) — Australian professional cycling team Orica-GreenEDGE on Thursday sacked Matt White as sports director over his role in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
Last month White admitted he took drugs when he rode on the Armstrong-led U.S. Postal Service team from 2001 to 2003. GreenEDGE said it was severing ties as part of a range of initiatives to reaffirm its hardline stance on doping.
Also last month, Cycling Australia fired White as coordinator of the national men’s road team and began an investigation.
“Orica-GreenEDGE is a clean team and our commitment to being clean has been a foundation principle of the team since the day of its inception,” team owner Gerry Ryan said in a statement in announcing White had been sacked.
“To maintain public confidence in our strict adherence to this principle OGE has appointed an eminent and independent external expert to audit the rigor and effectiveness of the team’s anti-doping policies and procedures.”
That expert, Nicki Vance, established testing and international programs for the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA); headed the Anti-Doping Program for the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games; and was a start-up director for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). She has been an independent anti-doping consultant since 2002.
“Cycling must take the opportunity now to make the right decisions for the future of the sport as a whole,” said Shayne Bannan, Orica’s general manager. “We want to contribute to this process and we want to involve both the teams and the UCI. We’re a new team in the sport and it’s important to us to show initiative for something so fundamental for cycling.”