Stephen Hodge resigns from the Board of Cycling Australia
Cycling Australia Vice President, Stephen Hodge, has today resigned from the Board effective immediately.
In his resignation letter addressed to the Board and members Mr Hodge has revealed that during a stage of his career as a professional cyclist he took performance-enhancing drugs.
"In light of the current circumstances Stephen has made it clear he doesn't want a mistake he made two decades ago to affect the work of Cycling Australia to take the sport forward," said Cycling Australia President, Klaus Mueller.
Mr Hodge turned professional in 1987 and raced in the European peloton up until his retirement at the end of 1996. He began his tenure on the board as the Chair of the Athlete's Commission in June 1999. At the 2007 Annual General Meeting Mr Hodge was elected Vice President of the Board, a position he has held since that time.
"I would like to personally thank Stephen for his immense contribution to the sport in a volunteer capacity," said Mr Mueller. "When his professional cycling career ended he became a tireless worker for the sport and for almost 15 years has freely given up his time as an advocate for the rights of athletes and to promote and develop the sport in Australia."
"At all times while Stephen was on the Board with me he acted with high principle and great integrity and has been a staunch opponent of doping.
"I commend him for his decision to speak out," said Mr. Mueller.
The content of Mr Hodge's letter, received today by Cycling Australia, is printed below:
"Dear CA Board and CA members,
I am writing to tender my resignation as a Cycling Australia (CA) Director effective immediately.
Prior to the CA Board meeting on the 16 October 2012 I advised Graham Fredericks and Klaus Mueller that during a stage of my career as a professional cyclist I took performance enhancing drugs—a decision I am not proud of.
I am sorry I did it. It was wrong. I apologise unreservedly to CA, my family, friends, colleagues and cycling fans.
When I made Graham and Klaus aware of my situation I offered to resign. It was agreed that I would immediately stand aside from all CA Board duties in advance of submitting a formal resignation. At no point have I been involved in any CA Board meetings or discussions in relation to the termination of Matt White's contract.
During my time on the CA Board, I have shared CA's strong commitment to the fight against doping. I believe other cyclists should never have to face the same pressures I did during my professional career.
I would also like to believe that in my 13 years as a director of CA I have been able to make a valuable contribution in this regard, as well as helping to encourage the growth and strength of cycling as a sport in Australia.
I am proud to have been associated with this work and believe cycling has come a long way—and in fact has led the way in many instances.
It goes without saying that these are challenging times for cycling. But I feel more hopeful than ever for the future of a sport I love
It has been a privilege to serve on the Board and I am grateful for the time and opportunity of working with you all. I wish CA every success.