More riders may detail drug use

THE Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) believes more riders who were involved in - or know of - illegal drug use are considering confessing or providing information to the agency's investigation into cycling.

And to encourage them, ASADA says it will offer ''substantial assistance'', in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Agency code.

''It has been presented to us that there are people thinking about coming forward,'' ASADA chief executive Aurora Andruska said.

''What we are keen to do is to encourage them to come and talk to us. The message we are trying to give is, 'Come and tell us what your involvement is before someone is telling us about you'.''

ASADA began its investigation into doping in Australian cycling last month. It was launched after the United States Anti-Doping Agency released the findings of its investigation into Lance Armstrong and five former associates.

Named in that evidence was former Australian professional rider Matt White. A day later, White admitted to doping from 2001 to 2003 as a US Postal Service teammate of Armstrong.

White has since been axed as Cycling Australia's national men's road team coach and head sport director of the Australian Orica-GreenEDGE team. Australian cycling was thrown into further turmoil when another former Australian professional rider, Stephen Hodge, resigned as CA vice-president on the eve of White's sacking at CA.

Hodge admitted to doping in the last six years of his career on the ONCE and Festina teams.

To address its issues, CA recently appointed retired NSW Supreme Court chief judge James Wood to review its governance, practices and anti-doping policies.

And Orica-GreenEDGE has requested top anti-doping consultant Nicki Vance to review the team's procedures, riders and staff.

The ASADA investigation is to see if there have been any anti-doping breaches by Australians in light of evidence in the USADA report.

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