Sky to require no-doping signatures from team staff, riders

British squad will terminate any staff member or rider refusing to sign its doping statement

LONDON (AFP) — British ProTeam Sky revealed Wednesday that it will require each of its riders and management to sign a pledge swearing that they have never doped. The team will terminate those refusing to sign the pledge.

Sky, for whom Bradley Wiggins triumphed in the Tour de France this year, said that all staff must be clean as the sport continues to reel from the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

“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,” said a Sky statement.

“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.

“We are making this statement because we believe it is important to be open about the steps we are taking.”

Sky, which also boasts the talents of Tour de France runner-up Chris Froome and former world champion Mark Cavendish, said the team felt obliged to show fans that it is committed to clean sport.

“We want a team in which riders are free of the risks of doping and in which fans — new and old — can believe without any doubt or hesitation. There is no place in Team Sky for those with an involvement in doping, whether past or present. This applies to management, support staff and riders,” added the statement. “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.”

Sky announced last week that it had parted ways with Geert Leinders, a former Rabobank team doctor with ties to doping at the Dutch squad. The team employs former Armstrong teammates Sean Yates and Bobby Julich as a sports director and race coach, respectively, though neither man has been publicly named in the USADA investigation.