Sky team members issued with ultimatum
Britain’s Sky Procycling team rides during the Men’s Team Time Trial at the UCI Road World Championships on September 16, 2012 in Valkenburg. The UCI Cycling Road World Championships are held in the Netherlands from September 16 until September 23. (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/GettyImages)
Oct 17 (Reuters) – Members of the British cycling team Sky will be sacked unless they sign a document saying they have never doped, the team said on Wednesday.
In a statement Sky said any team members, including riders, staff and management, who refused to sign or were found to have lied would be kicked out.
“Over the coming weeks, we will talk individually with each team member and ask everyone, at every level of the team, to sign up to a clear written policy, confirming that they have no past or present involvement in doping,” the statement said.
“Should anyone choose not to sign up to our clear policy they will have to leave the team, as will anyone who does sign but is subsequently found to be in breach.”
Sky, whose team includes Tour de France winner and multi-Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins plus former world champion Mark Cavendish, said they were taken the step to erase any suspicions about their team in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal.
The American was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after deciding not to answer charges that his success was fueled by performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong has denied any wrongdoing but USADA said the case against him, which included sworn testimony from 26 people, was undeniable proof he had cheated.
“Like others, we have been shocked by recent revelations of systemic doping in cycling’s past. So we have taken steps to reaffirm our commitment to being a clean team,” said Sky.
“We are making this statement because we believe it is important to be open about the steps we are taking.”