Olympic golden girl Anna Meares is confident Australian track cycling is clean and will avoid a similar fate to the national road racing program, which has been rocked by the Lance Armstrong doping saga.
The fallout continued yesterday after it was announced Armstrong had been officially stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles.
Meares (pictured) has taken the rest of this year off after winning gold in London, following what was the final chapter in her long-standing rivalry with now retired Brit Victoria Pendleton.
The 29-year-old maintained track cycling had nothing to hide.
"I'm quite open to answer questions about it.
"I don't particularly like the issues that arise in the men's road professional scene, can then affect how people look at me.
"I don't think anyone has that association with me at all.
"But I think just keeping open with people and keep the communication level open, the response has been quite good."
Meares was the toast of the nation when she bounced back from bronze in the team sprint and the disappointment of finishing fifth behind Pendleton in the keiren, to beat her great rival in the final of the individual sprint.
The golden performance of Meares and hurdling star Sally Pearson helped raise the spirits of the nation, after an Olympic campaign which managed to yield just one gold in the first nine days of competition.
Australian track cycling has previously been subject to inquiries into drug use.
However, Meares said the evidence of track cycling's drug transparency was shown in the case of Russian Victoria Baranova being booted out of the Olympics after testing positive to testosterone.
‘‘I was surprised to hear that myself,’’ she said.
‘‘We weren’t the only sport that had issues, [but] Lance is really now highlighting and putting a spotlight on some of those things.’’
While the Armstrong affair has cast a pall over road cycling in light of the revelations of blood doping, Meares believes the discipline will recover.
The sport was thrown into turmoil when former Tour De France rider and coach Matt White was found to be involved in doping, then Cycling Australia vice-president Stephen Hodge stood down for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
‘‘All of this, it’s associated with issues in the past,’’ Meares said.
‘‘It’s not in association with current issues. I like the fact that it’s a sport really trying to clean itself up.
‘‘We’re not the only sport that has issues either, [but] I understand this is a very big international story and it’s probably going to remain that way for a long time.
‘‘I’ve got no doubt that the future success of Australian cycling in particular is going to be great across all disciplines.’’
Meares, in Wollongong yesterday for a corporate speaking event, will take the rest of the year off to regroup, before focusing on a title at another Olympic campaign in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.
Among her remaining career goals are winning more Olympic gold in the keirin and the team sprint and breaking the magical 33-second barrier.
However, she admits Pendleton’s retirement has left a gaping hole in her career.
‘‘One of the things I got asked after London was ‘will I miss Victoria?’’’ Meares said.
‘‘I didn’t really know how to answer it, because I didn’t think I would.
‘‘But the more I think about it, I am going to miss her a lot.’’