Australia Appoints Former Judge to Head Review of Cycling Body

A review of Cycling Australia, which lost two officials last month after they admitted to doping during their racing careers, will be headed by retired chief judge James Wood.

The examination is necessary to “ensure the confidence and trust of the Australian public is restored” in the sport’s national governing body, Australian Sports Minister Kate Lundy said in a statement on her website announcing Wood’s appointment.

“I would like to see a tight time-frame, four to six weeks, for this review,” Lundy told reporters today in Melbourne. “I would be very keen to see the recommendations before Christmas.”

Matt White, Cycling Australia’s national men’s road team coordinator, was fired on Oct. 17 after he admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs when riding on Lance Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service team in the early 2000s. Stephen Hodge, a vice-president of the governing body, resigned two days later saying he had doped during a career that ended in 1996.

Wood will examine Cycling Australia’s governance and administration, including its recruitment, employment and appointment practices, Lundy said. It will also analyze the organization’s anti-doping policies and recommend any improvement that should be made.

The government will refer any recommendations to the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority with a view to developing policies and guidelines across all sports in the country.

“It is important that we see this review as an opportunity to improve governance and anti-doping practices across the board,” Lundy said in the statement.

White also was fired on Nov. 1 as sport director of Orica-GreenEDGE, Australia’s only professional cycling team. His doping admission came after he was mentioned in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s report that resulted in Armstrong being stripped of all seven of his Tour de France victories. The International Cycling Union, or UCI, endorsed the decision on Oct. 22.

Armstrong, who has denied doping and said he never failed a drug test, declined to take the USADA case to arbitration.

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