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Lundy calls for Cycling Australia review

Lundy calls for Cycling Australia review
October 20, 2012

Minister for Sport Kate Lundy has called for an exhaustive review of Cycling Australia and is considering giving Australia's anti-doping agency enhanced investigative powers to clean up the sport.

Following revelations from the US doping authority about the use of drugs in cycling, Senator Lundy has asked the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) to brief her on whether its testing and investigation regime is strong enough.
Senator Lundy says she has asked the authority to provide her advice as soon as possible, stating "I have every confidence I'll receive that advice from ASADA soon.

"The most important thing is restoring confidence in the sport of cycling.

"Unfortunately these revelations have shocked people involved in that sport to the very core, not lease because of the role that Lance Armstrong appears to have played."

It comes as disgraced seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong made his first public appearance in the US since he was officially named a doping ringleader.

Senator Lundy says everything must be done to clean up the sport adding "I think the revelations of late have been devastating both for the fans of the sport of cycling and participants who've long held people they've perceived as genuine heroes in such high esteem to find out all along, there's so many people out there cheating through doping."

Cycling Australia Vice-President Stephen Hodge resigned yesterday after admitting to being a drug cheat for six years during his professional cycling career, including during the Tour de France in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Hodge had been a Director of Cycling Australia for 13 years.

Hodge says he had to use performance enhancing drugs to remain competitive and be selected explaining "riders shouldn't be in a position to have to make these choices, and I think for me over the last few years, that's really what's been my main concern, in all the work that I have done on the Cycling Australia board is that this is not a position athletes should be in."

Earlier in the week, Cycling Australia sacked Matt White as the coordinator of the men's road team because of his admission he took drugs while a member of Lance Armstrong's cycling team.

The revelations have led to speculation that the fallout from the scandal might not have played out in full just yet.

Cycling commentator Matthew Keenan says Hodge should get some credit for coming clean, stating "the fact that he used performance-enhancing drugs reflects very poorly on the system that gave him the environment where he thought that was OK to do."

However, Keenan says taking drugs to remain competitive and be selected is still not an excuse, adding "it's an explanation to say that he had to take the drugs to stay competitive, but it's still not an excuse.

"Hodge did have options, and one of those options would simply be that maybe this is not the sport for me, and I can go to finish my university degree and become a banker, become a plumber, whatever it may be.

"He did have options. Ultimately, he is responsible for his own choices."

Keenan says not all riders were doping at that time, concluding "there's some riders during that period who had a reputation for being clean."And that is a poor reflection on the sport, that guys had a reputation for being clean, as opposed to the other way around, which indicates that Stephen Hodge certainly felt as if he was cornered and his only option to fulfil his childhood dream - ride the Tour de France, be competitive at the world championships - was to take drugs, which is an appalling position for somebody to be in."





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