Sean Yates and Steven De Jongh leave Sky

By Cyclingnews and BikeRadar | Monday, October 29, 2012 5.00pm

This story was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.

Team Sky has announced that Sean Yates and Steven de Jongh have left their roles as sports directors in the British team.

Yates’ past as a former teammate and directeur sportif of Lance Armstrong had sparked widespread speculation that his position at Team Sky was untenable. On Saturday night The Sunday Telegraph reported that Yates had left Team Sky as a consequence of the zero tolerance anti-doping policy interview process. The Telegraph reported that Yates had left  "after admitting an involvement in doping."

Team Sky rebuked this suggestion, saying that “Sean has been interviewed and there were no admissions or disclosures that would have required him to leave the team.”

Steven de Jongh on the other hand, has admitted taking EPO. "After the team reaffirmed its position on anti-doping, Steven disclosed that he had taken a banned substance earlier in his career as a professional rider," said a Team Sky statement.

De Jongh wrote on his website: "I took EPO on a few occasions from 1998 to 2000. It was very easy to get hold of and I knew it couldn’t be detected. I was a fairly young rider, the opportunity was there right in front of me and it was a pretty big challenge to stay away from the temptation. There was no pressure at all from my team, the Directors or the Doctors to take it. This was my choice.

"I stopped because it was wrong and it wasn’t worth the risks – to my health, to the family I wanted, or of getting caught. The years after I’d stopped doping were sometimes hard. But cycling was slowly getting better and I managed to win races clean. I think the ‘whereabouts system’ and biological passport were great things for this sport."

Sean Yates was part of Team Sky from 2010 and was directeur sportif when Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France. 

Yates told the Press Association said he has nothing to hide by quitting, but is instead looking to spend more time with his family.

"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," he is reported as saying.

"I realise 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."

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