Cycling: Bobby Julich leaves Team Sky as first casualty of zero-tolerance doping policy
Sky staff member and former Tour de France podium finisher Bobby Julich has left the team after confessing to using a banned drug as a professional in the late 1990s.
A racing coach with the team, the American ex-pro is the first to quit after Sky announced last week that they would be interviewing all staff and riders so they could sign a document "confirming they have no past or present involvement in doping".
Asked how long this could take and how many remained to be interviewed, a Team Sky spokesman told The Independent today that the process was "ongoing." However, the team principal, Dave Brailsford, said last week it "might take years," and that he had no idea how many people might eventually leave.
Julich was third in the 1998 Tour de France, an Olympic silver medallist in 2004 and a winner of Paris-Nice in 2005, He joined Sky as a coach in 2011, and has been focusing on the squad's team time trialling. In a lengthy confession on the website cyclingnews.com, Julich said he had started taking the banned blood booster EPO from August 1996.
"I knew that it was wrong, but over those two years, the attitude surrounding the use of EPO in the peloton was so casual and accepted that I personally lost perspective of the gravity of the situation."
Julich stopped using it after the 1998 Tour when his wife found out and threatened to leave him. Sky's policy of asking staff with a doping past, however distant, to leave, has come in for a mixed reaction from some leading figures in cycling's fight against doping. Earlier this week, Julich's former team-mate and Garmin manager Jonathan Vaughters criticised Sky's policy, saying: "Management has to do everything they possibly can to prevent that [doping] from occurring. That is their responsibility. I just don't see that team management's responsibility is to chase ghosts from the past."
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Latest in Sport
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...