Cycling Australia statement regarding the USADA investigation
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) yesterday released its reasoned decision on the disqualification of American cyclist Lance Armstrong as well as hundreds of pages of documentation and information related to the USADA investigation into the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team.
Cycling Australia is not the relevant authority in this case and we will leave it to the International Cycling Union (UCI) to respond directly to the specifics of the USADA case.
However we share the disappointment of cycling fans that feel let down when people they looked up to as sporting heroes turn out to be cheats.
"Our members, staff, officials, volunteers and fans are passionate about cycling and all of them are entitled to feel angry when cheats tarnish our sport," said Cycling Australia President Klaus Mueller. "We hope the magnitude and profile of this case will prove to be a turning point for the sport and an opportunity for everyone involved in cycling to reinforce their commitment and efforts to stamp out doping."
Mr Mueller says it will take time to digest the mass of documents made available on the USADA website.
"Until we've had a chance to do that it's impossible to say whether any Cycling Australia members are implicated," said Mr Mueller.
"But it might now be time to consider a range of options including an amnesty for athletes who have cheated in the past to own up to any wrongdoing and have their confessions mitigate any subsequent penalties," he said. "This would be dependent on the nature and extent of any infraction/s.
"This case also provides an opportunity for the Australian Government to review the resources and powers of ASADA especially in light of the extensive investigation and action taken by USADA in their pursuit of this case."
Mr Mueller noted a lot of work has already been done to change the culture of professional cycling and to create an environment that encourages and supports fairplay and sportsmanship.
"As the sport's governing body it's our responsibility to do everything possible to protect our members and the sport but we urge everyone involved with cycling to do their part as well to help us do that."
At a media conference this afternoon in Melbourne Mr Mueller confirmed that if any Australians are implicated "we will make the necessary inquiries and speak to those athletes past or present".