More Australian Fallout Over Armstrong Doping Scandal

SYDNEY, Oct 19, 2012 (AFP) – Senior Cycling Australia official Stephen
Hodge on Friday became the latest casualty of the US Anti-Doping Agency case
against Lance Armstrong when he said he would resign as vice-president.

Hodge, 51, had a nine-year professional road career from 1987 and said he
took part in doping for the last six of those years so he could gain team
selection to major races such as the Tour de France.

His confession came two days after Cycling Australia (CA) sacked Matt White
from a part-time role after he also admitted to doping during his pro career.

“My main motivation in doing this was to ensure CA wasn’t damaged by
choices I made 20 years ago, which in the current environment looked like a
real possibility,” Hodge told reporters.

He said the decision had weighed on him.

“The thing that makes me saddest is the impact on family and friends and
colleagues and other cyclists, who you’ve disappointed,” he said.

“I’m not sure it’s a weight off my shoulders, because I’ve caused a lot of
sadness in some ways.

“However, clearly for me it was the only thing and the right thing —
that’s a comfort, I guess.”

Hodge began his tenure on the board as the Chair of the Athlete’s
Commission in June 1999 and in 2007 he was elected vice-president of the
board, a position he has held up to now.

Hodge said in a letter written to and released by CA that during a stage of
his career as a professional cyclist he 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,” he said.

Hodge said when he made CA aware of his situation he offered to resign and
it was agreed that he would immediately stand aside from all CA board duties
in advance of submitting his 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,” Hodge said in his
letter.

He becomes the second Australian cycling figure to admit to taking
performance-enhancing drugs during their previous professional riding career.

White, 38, admitted last weekend that he was part of a strategy of doping
when he rode on the Armstrong-led US Postal Service cycling team from 2001 to
2003.

He said he was stepping down from his jobs as the sports director of the
emerging Australian professional team Orica-GreenEDGE and was subsequently
sacked from his role in Cycling Australia’s men’s road racing programme.

White is currently facing an investigation by the Australian Sports
Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), which said this week it became aware of
allegations of doping made against him by American cyclist Floyd Landis in
2010.

Hodge refused to draw any former or current Australian riders into his
decision to resign.

“I’m not calling on anyone else to take action. Today is about my decision
to do this,” he told Australian Associated Press.

“I made a decision for my own reasons and that, of course, is what everyone
is free to do.”

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