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Garmin-Cervelo Cans Matt White Nearly Two Years After “Mistake”

Posted by bikezilla on January 23, 2011


*UPDATE

Way back in April 2009 (right, nearly 2 years ago) Garmin-Slipstream’s Director Sportif, Matt White, sent one of the team’s riders, Trent Lowe, to a physician who was not on the Team’s “Approved” list.

— The Doctor? Luis Garcia del Moral, a former U.S. Postal team doctor.

Wasn’t Garmin-Cervelo manager Jonathan Vaughters there helping Lance Armstrong win the Tour de France during the same time frame (1999) as the good doctor? Why, yes, he was.

With damned near every rider around Lance Armstrong proven to have doped at some point during their time with him, and with Vaughter’s considerable success as a climber during that time, one would have to suspect that he has firsthand knowledge of Dr del Moral’s crimes and methods.

So White sent the team’s new young rider to an unapproved physician who, oh by the way, has strongly suspected links to doping and direct links to Vaughters himself.

— But wait, there’s more!

Remember when Vaughters vented a nasty little rant vs the GreenEdge Australian national cycling project for, at least allegedly, trying to pilfer Director Sportif Matt White, plus riders Cameron Meyer and Jack Bobridge (all Australians) from team Garmin-Cervelo ahead of the August 1st date for open hunting.

— Now Vaughters wants us to believe that White’s dismissal is all about violating team rules; rules broken nearly two years previous to White’s termination.

Even if you believe that the team was entirely in the dark about this (because there’s no communication internally regarding sick riders and no one actually looks at the bills when they come in), why did it take from “the final stages of 2010” until now to get rid of him?

All through the off season he was kept on. All through training camp he was kept on. He worked closely with Vaughters in the build up to the 2011 Tour Down Under.

After guiding sensational young rider, Cameron Meyer to one TUD stage victory through a long, beautiful and unlikely breakaway, into the Ochre (leader’s) jersey, and then to the overall victory, THEN White is let go.

— Vaughters is an extraordinarily intelligent man and if you follow him and his team at all, then you know that he’s NOT an “out of touch” kind of manager. He really gives a shit about every rider, manager and support person on that team, and he’s deeply connected to the team on all levels.

Jonathan, you KNEW about this well before the end of the 2010 season. But even if you didn’t, it doesn’t take 2 – 6 months to fire an employee for an egregious rules violation, the kind that violates the very core of stated team values.

Something isn’t what you’d have us believe here, yet you persist in treating us like we’re all stupid.

— So what is the real reason for White’s dismissal?

Is it Dr del Moral’s probable connections to doping and the embarrassment of having him in any way associated with “the clean team”? If so, why wasn’t it thought such an embarrassment nearly two years ago when White sent Lowe to him?

Is it White’s connection to GreenEdge? Is he viewed as a traitor? Has he worked to undermine the contracts of Meyer and Bobridge? Or just to ensure that they don’t remain with Garmin-Cervelo once their contracts expire?

It’s more than a little fishy that White gets fired and is instantly singing the “I guess I’ll just go to GreenEdge” song. So I have to doubt his loyalty to Garmin and Vaughters.

That has to hurt a guy like Jonathan, who is involved with his staff and riders even on an emotional level. It’d be especially painful after a similar situation led to Team Sky stealing Bradley Wiggins away from him.

Or is it that White, through his own questionable association with the good doctor, threatened to reveal ugly truths about Vaughters’ time with Postal and his interactions with del Moral during that period?

Did White go to Vaughters and say, “Listen, I don’t want to embarrass you, but if you don’t let me go I’m gonna squeal like a little piggy.”

To which Vaughters might have replied, “Fine. But first you stay and get these guys through the TDU. After that we’ll work something out that makes the fewest waves for both of us and part company.”?

Whatever it is, I don’t buy Garmin-Cervelo’s company line. It’s clear misdirection and I hate being played for a sucker.

UPDATE”*

Take a few minutes to read the linked article below.

It was actually Lowe who threatened to go public with the Dr del Moral info, just prior to Vaughters’ decision to can White.

Which says a few things.

1. This was a known issue within the team for some time.

2. It wasn’t seen as a big deal until someone thought the press might get hold of it.

3. There was absolute knowledge of the implications of the del Moral / doping / Vaughters connection all along.

4. “Team Clean” is a facade and the “team policy” “zero tolerance” bit is nothing but a smokescreen.

5. I was right about this being based on threat to out the team’s use of del Moral.

I totally agree that cutting ties with White was the right move and would have been the right move even if this issue never existed.

But it seems clear to me that Vaughters is slinging a truckload of bullshiite, and that there is undoubtedly a lot of other stuff that isn’t what he and the team have made it seem over the past few years. Garmin doesn’t really look like professional cycling’s bastion of integrity and clean living, the shining light fighting off the darkness, anymore.

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One Response to “Garmin-Cervelo Cans Matt White Nearly Two Years After “Mistake””

  1. BotanyBay said

    “Matt, can you please move a little to the left? We want it to look like we didn’t just throw you under the bus. We want it to look like it was your fault” -JV

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