With one dirty little secret out, Cycling Australia is considering an amnesty to reveal just how clean Australian riders were during the Lance Armstrong doping era.
Matt White, one of the most influential figures in Australian cycling, admitted on Saturday to being involved in doping during his riding career.
He was outed in the American documents that revealed Armstrong as a drug cheat.
White has stood down from his position as Cycling Australia’s (CA) men’s road co-ordinator and sports director at Australian professional road team Orica-GreenEDGE.
But the question now is whether other Australians were doping during an era in which one leading rider and drug cheat, American Tyler Hamilton, says 80 per cent of the peloton were doping to some degree.
CA president Klaus Mueller admits an amnesty must be considered to reveal whether White’s confession is just the tip of the iceberg.
Mueller says it is possible Australian cyclists involved in riding during that period “may have misled us”.
“The material is coming out to suggest that certainly up until 2005, that there was certainly in some teams systemic cheating,” Mueller said yesterday.
“That’s one of the factors we need to take into account in determining whether there ought to be an amnesty (for Australian cyclists).
“It would be conditional on any athlete to whom we give an amnesty coming clean and disclosing all relevant issues in relation to his conduct . . . and the conduct of others.”
Mueller admits his organisation could have made more thorough checks before appointing White, whose future in his two key roles will be discussed at a board meeting this week.
Before taking on his current roles, White had been dismissed from another pro team, Garmin-Cervelo, for referring Australian rider Trent Rowe to now-disgraced ex-Armstrong doctor Luis Garcia del Moral.
Mueller said that matter would also be re-examined in the wake of White’s admission.
When asked if CA should have been more thorough before appointing White Mueller said: “We, I suppose, we’re as naive as most people involved in the sport . . . we didn’t understand the extent of – certainly in the US Postal team – the systemic cheating taking place.”
But Mueller insists White has not compromised the integrity of Australia’s national road program.
Testimony from disgraced Tour de France winner Floyd Landis outed White – the American saying he had shared testosterone and EPO with him while riding for the US Postal team in 2003.
Mueller said he spoke to White late on Saturday and he agreed to stand aside until CA and Australia’s anti-doping body ASADA had fully investigated.
White said in his statement on Saturday night: “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."