SYDNEY (AFP) –
Senior Cycling Australia official Stephen Hodge has resigned from the board after admitting taking performance-enhancing drugs during his professional riding career, according to CA.
Friday’s departure of vice-president Hodge with immediate effect follows former Olympian Matt White who was sacked on Wednesday by CA from its men’s road racing programme for his role in the far-reaching Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
CA said Hodge revealed in his resignation letter to the CA board and members 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,” CA President Klaus Mueller said in a statement.
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 and in 2007 Hodge was elected vice-president of the board, a position he has held up to now.
Hodge said in a letter to the CA board 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 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,” Hodge said in his letter.
Hodge 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.