Bobby Julich leaves Team Sky after doping admission
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bobby Julich leaves Team Sky after doping admission

by Shane Stokes at 11:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Race coach no longer part of setup due to confession

Bobby JulichAlthough he’s been a valued part of the team for the past two seasons, Sky has now announced that Bobby Julich will depart the squad after admitting to taking an undisclosed banned substance while racing as a professional in the late 1990s.

The American finished third overall in the 1998 Tour de France, a race afflicted by the Festina Affair but held at a time when EPO use was rife in the sport.

Today’s announcement will fuel suggestions that the timing and nature of the admission will relate to both that period and the substance, although it will be up to Julich to provide clarification.

“Bobby has shown courage in admitting to the errors he made long before his time with Team Sky. We understand that this is a difficult step for him and we’ve done our best to support him,” said team principal Dave Brailsford.

“It’s important to emphasise that there have been no doubts about his work with us or his approach as a coach. He has done a good job and been a good colleague during his two years with us. Bobby has our best wishes for the future.”

The team came under pressure to speak frankly to its riders and staff as a result of the investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team. While there is limited overlap, the size and significance of that investigation put doping into the spotlight and as a self-declared no tolerance team, Brailsford said that he would likely fire anyone who admitted to doping.

Julich had been due to work with the incoming neo pros Joe Dombrowski and Ian Boswell, but must now seek work elsewhere. He is yet to comment on the matter.

Brailsford said that the team would press forward with its policy. “We’ve made clear our commitment to being a clean team and been open about the steps we’re taking. Although it’s never easy to part, we believe this is the right thing to do.”

Sean Yates, another member of the management team, is likely to face the same talk. He tested positive during the 1989 Tour of Belgium, but was not sanctioned due to a technicality. He also worked as part of the Discovery Channel team when a doping network was in place. He has denied all knowledge of such practices.


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