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Team Sky director Yates exits, denies doping link

Team Sky director Yates exits, denies doping link

Team Sky lead sports director Sean Yates, who helped Bradley Wiggins win the Tour de France in July, announced his retirement Sunday and denied it was due to the doping crisis engulfing cycling.
The British team also insisted that Yates' departure was not linked to its crackdown on team members' connections to doping in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal.
"After Team Sky reaffirmed its position on anti-doping, the management team started a series of individual interviews with riders, management and support staff," Team Sky said in a statement. "Sean has been interviewed and there were no admissions or disclosures that would have required him to leave the team."
The 52-year-old Yates was a high-profile recruit for Team Sky at its inception three years ago.
"I have suffered with my health in recent years and have spent a lot of time away from my home so I feel the time is right to focus on myself and my family," Yates said. "I realize the timing of my retirement will lead to speculation given what is currently going on in the sport but I can walk away with my head held high knowing I have done nothing wrong."
Team Sky is enforcing a zero-tolerance approach to doping as cycling tries to clean up its image after Armstrong was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles due to extensive evidence that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Yates' former Motorola teammate Bobby Julich was forced to leave his Team Sky coaching job last week after admitting to using drugs during the late 1990s when he finished third in the Tour de France.
But Yates left Sunday with the praise of Team Sky team principal Dave Brailsford.
"After a long career in professional cycling, he has told us that he wants to move on, for purely personal reasons," Brailsford said. "Sean has been a great support to the riders on the road and a valuable colleague to us all. We wish him the best for the next step in his life."


Updated : 2021-08-01 06:51 GMT+08:00