AOC calls for O'Grady resignation
Australian Olympic Committee media director Mike Tancred says Stuart O'Grady has been asked to resign from the AOC Athletes' Commission after the cyclist admitted using the banned drug EPO before the 2008 Tour de France.PT2M2S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2qn6i 620 349 July 25, 2013
Six months ago Stuart O'Grady had a choice. He'd been confronted, previously, with opportunities to reveal himself as a one-time doper, but this time was different. Most obviously, the king of modern-day cycling, or at least the miracle man myth of Lance Armstrong, was dead.
A hardened veteran of the professional peloton, O'Grady felt more acutely than most the aftershocks of Armstrong's demise. One man brought down in the screaming heap was Matt White, the exceptionally talented chief directeur sportif at Orica-GreenEDGE.
Essentially he was O'Grady's coach when he was unceremoniously disowned by Australian cycling and Olympic authorities and lost his job at Orica-GreenEDGE after confessing his own past doping sins.
Opportunity lost: Australia's Stuart O'Grady leading the peleton at this year's Tour de France. Photo: Getty Images
Amid all this, as he received red-carpet welcomes at another Tour Down Under, where for yet another year he was celebrated as an increasingly treasured hero in his home state, O'Grady weighed up whether he should walk the same plank. What was the incentive, though? White was discredited, ostracised and unemployed. ''Stuey'', in contrast, continued to be an icon of South Australia.
But in January, O'Grady had an opportunity to truly live by the traits that, with or without EPO, distinguished him on the bike: when the going got tough, O'Grady got going.
The four-time Olympic medallist was presented with that unique chance when, at the instruction of his Orica-GreenEDGE team, he was interviewed by anti-doping expert of high repute Nicki Vance. Commissioned to conduct a broad-ranging, independent review of the new team and all of its staff, Vance was a key part of Orica-GreenEDGE's answer to White's downfall. But when she asked O'Grady squarely, six months ago, whether he had ever doped, he was unwilling to face - on what could have been his own terms - the truth that he'd been a cheat. He lied and, in so doing, perpetuated belief that this tough-as-nails Aussie had somehow refused to succumb to the lowest act in sport.
Part of the importance of the Vance report was that it gave the impression that Orica-GreenEDGE was committed to confronting cycling's dirty past warts and all. When O'Grady decided to keep his sins secret he failed the team and everything it says it stands for.