Cycling: Team Sky issue staff with anti-doping ultimatum in light of Lance Armstrong revelations

 

In the wake of USADA's revelations concerning Lance Armstrong and his US Postal squad, Britain's Team Sky have intensified their anti-doping policies by asking staff and riders to confirm in a written declaration they have no past or present connection with doping – or they will have to leave the team.

Team Principal Dave Brailsford said: "We will sit down with every member of staff, every rider and have an interview and discussion," Brailsford said, "but it won't be sitting in a room with a light in their face, it will be supportive."

"We tried to have a [zero tolerance] policy and we are not going to change that. It has proved very challenging to implement. We want to have a balance between supporting someone, not throwing them out of the door and never seeing them again, saying we will support you, this is an opportunity, but if you lie again, there will be no support at all."

Sky's anti-doping policies had come under scrutiny prior to the Armstrong case following their signing of Dutch doctor Geert Leinders, who had worked on the Netherlands' leading team, Rabobank, in 2007 when two of the squad were potentially involved in doping. Leinders part-time contract with Sky was not renewed earlier this year.

A former US Postal rider on Sky's books, Canadian Michael Barry, had testified in the Armstrong case and admitted to doping during his time with the American team. Barry had already retired after taking part in his last race for Sky in early September.

Sky have said they are convinced both Barry and Leinders gave no grounds for any kind of suspicion during their time with the British team.

Levi Leipheimer was booted off his Omega Pharma team in Belgium yesterday following his admission that he doped earlier in his career.

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