Mark Whitehead came to prominence as a junior, making the USA team for the 1978 and 1979 World Junior Track Championships. He won 10 national titles in his career, starting with the 1981 Madison, a title he won again in 1983. At the 1983 World Track Championships, Whitehead placed fifth in the points race, but was disappointed in 1984 when he failed to make the Olympic final in that event. Whitehead’s performance at the 1984 Olympics was later marred when it revealed he was one of the US cyclists who blood doped in preparation for that event, which at the time was not illegal, but was considered unethical. Whitehead rode for a few years as a pro in the 1980s and then retired in 1989 and became a cycling coach. He was briefly married to Olympic cyclist Rebecca Twigg.