No one is confusing cycling for one of the world’s greatest sport, but since the sporting body’s most, and only, recognisable figure has been brought down in one of the biggest scandals of the year, the effects are being felt worldwide.
Australia lost its second high profile cycling figure in a week when Cycling Australia vice-president Stephen Hodge confessed to doping and resigned from his position Friday.
The news comes just days Australian cycling head coach Matt White was named in the damning United States Doping Agency’s “Reasoned Decision” that brought down cycling legend Lance Armstrong as user of banned substances.
Hodge, a former cycler and Olympian, admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs between 1989 and 1995 in an attempt to avoid being dropped for some of the sport’s biggest events.
Hodge left his position at Cycling Australia because he didn’t want to further damage the sport’s crippled image.
"I am sorry I did it. It was wrong. I apologise unreservedly to CA, my family, friends, colleagues and cycling fans," said Hodge.
The resignations come in the wake of news that Dutch cycling sponsor Rabobank was ending its dealings in the sport at the end of the year. The news greatly effects four Australian riders; Mark Renshaw, Graeme Brown, Jack Bobridge and David Tanner; who are now in need of a new major sponsor.
"Rabobank has come to this decision following publication of the report from the American doping authority USADA last week. This report speaks volumes," the bank announced in a statement.
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