Australian named in cycling drug case

THE head of Australia's new cycling team, Matt White, has been named in the United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation into Lance Armstrong as a drug user by one of his former teammates central to the inquiry.

White, who rode on the Armstrong-led US Postal Services team from 2001 to 2003, is now the head sports director of Orica-GreenEDGE cycling team. He is also Cycling Australia's professional co-ordinator and a national selector. And as part of his Cycling Australia position, he was men's road team sports director at the London Olympics.

The 38-year-old Sydneysider was named in USADA's ''reasoned decision'' document from evidence submitted by another ex-USPS teammate, American Floyd Landis.

Landis, who tested positive for excessive testosterone levels in the 2006 Tour de France that he initially won, only to lose the title and get a two-year ban, names White in a copied email in the USADA dossier.

His name is in an ''exhibit'' to Landis' affidavit that adjoins its 202-page ''reasoned decision'' for the handing down of a life ban to Armstrong and stripping all his results since August 1998.

In point 35 of Landis' 14-page affidavit, he describes how the then USPS head sports director, Johan Bruyneel, ''initiated a separate conversation over the phone with me on how to use Human Growth Hormone [HGH]'' during a training block for the 2003 Vuelta a Espana.

Landis recalls how he bought HGH and Andriol, an oral testosterone, from team ''trainer'' Jose Marti, who lived in Valencia, Spain, and along with Bruyneel and doctor Luis Garcia del Moral were three of five former Armstrong associates also charged by USADA. Landis says: ''I then spent substantial time training with fellow USPS team members 'Rider-9' and Michael Barry and shared, and discussed, the use of HGH, testosterone and EPO with them while training.''

Barry, a Canadian, has admitted to doping and, while now retired, was banned by USADA on Wednesday for six months and stripped of his results from May 13, 2003 to July 31, 2006.

The redaction of a name and insertion of ''Rider-9'' is to keep that person's identity anonymous. But it becomes clear in ''Exhibit B'' of Landis' affidavit in a copied document titled ''Forwarded conversation'', sent from Landis to an anonymous recipient on April 30, 2010.

On page 2 of that document, the last two lines of the first paragraph that again refer to 2003 are almost verbatim to what Landis said in his affidavit. They read: ''While training for that Vuelta, I spent a good deal of time training with Matthew White and Michael Barry and shared the testosterone and EPO that we had and discussed the use thereof while training.''

White is not the only Australian named in USADA's ''reasoned decision'' into its case against Armstrong, Bruyneel, del Moral, Marti, Dr Pedro Celaya and Italian trainer Michele Ferrari.

Other Australians named include Queensland's Allan Davis and the ACT's Michael Rogers. Davis, now a member of Orica-GreenEDGE, has been named in evidence pertaining to the 2006 Operation Puerto sting in Spain. While he was later cleared by a Spanish court, the USADA dossier names Davis in Appendix K, among riders connected to Dr Eufamiano Fuentes.

Rogers, who rides for the British Sky team, was named in American rider Levi Leipheimer's affidavit as one of several cyclists who attended training camps in 2005 at Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, with Ferrari. But Rogers told The Age that during his association with Ferrari while on the T-Mobile team, he was never offered drugs. Attempts to contact White were unsuccessful.

PHOTO: Jamie Smetkowski.

PHOTO: Jamie Smetkowski.


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