De Jongh leaves Sky over doping admission
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Monday, October 29, 2012

De Jongh leaves Sky over doping admission

by Shane Stokes at 1:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Directeur sportif exits team due to past transgression

Team SkyIn the wake of the departure of Bobby Julich and Sean Yates, another member of the Team Sky management team is departing the squad. Directeur sportif Steven de Jongh has admitted using a doping substance during his career and so, after three seasons with the team, he’s leaving the setup.

“There’s no doubt about Steven’s work with us or his approach. He’s been a highly-valued sports director and colleague over three seasons,” said team principal Dave Brailsford.

De Jongh was a professional from 1995 to 2009. The Dutchman debuted with the TVM team and was one of those who left the Tour de France when the squad came under pressure during the 1998 Festina Affair. He moved to Rabobank in 2000, and then to Quick Step in 2006.

As the dust continues to settle following the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong plus the US Postal Service team, and the Texan’s lifetime ban and disqualification from all results since 1998, Sky is speaking to all of its staff and riders to determine if they used banned substances at any point.

It has said that those who admit doing so will be supported, presumably by receiving a settlement to help them as they look for different roles in or outside the industry. However if anyone denies and is later determined not to have told the truth, the team has said they will be immediately sacked.

Julich admitted to using doping products early on in his career, while Yates has said that he is leaving due to health matters. He has continued to deny using banned substances, despite a positive test in the 1989 Tour of Belgium.

Brailsford thanked De Jongh for his honestly. “Steven deserves our respect for the courage he’s shown in being honest about the past and it’s right that we do our best to support him,” he said. “He has our best wishes for the next step in his career.”

The team will now have to recruit replacement personnel to fill the gaps left. It is unclear if any riders will have to depart.

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