Team Sky boss promises zero tolerance on doping in future
TEAM Sky principal Dave Brailsford is keen to make a clear distinction between the past and the here and now in enforcing a zero-tolerance policy to doping.
The British team, home of Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, will ask every rider and member of staff to sign a statement to confirm they have never been involved in doping, or be sacked.
The move comes in the wake of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's 1,000-page report into the practices of Lance Armstrong's United States Postal Service team.
Brailsford said: "When you look at the extent of what's been uncovered in the last week or so and the documents that have come out and the witness statements it is quite shocking. It's way worse than many of us ever thought.
"Given the revelations of the last couple of weeks I think it's important, even with a team that is beyond doubt like ours, that we sit down and take this seriously.
"In light of new information you have to reaffirm these things and I think it's important that we do.
"We've had an absolutely brilliant summer, we've had some brilliant results, we've won the Tour de France with a clean British rider for the first time, but when there are more difficult issues to address, let's not waste time, let's confront them."
Michael Barry, who spent three seasons at Team Sky before retiring last month, gave evidence to USADA and admitted to doping.
Despite now being an anti-doping advocate, his admission contravenes Team Sky's policy.
"It was disappointing, but it was at a time when Michael was in a previous part of his career, several seasons ago," Brailsford added.
"We started out with a zero-tolerance policy and he did nothing that we could ever question whilst he was at Sky. In fact he was a strong advocate of anti-doping; he's at the forefront of that to be honest.
"There's the past in this sport, which is becoming more and more clear, there's the present and there's the future.
"For sure the past in this sport has got something to answer for. It's quite clear. In the late 90s early 2000s there was certainly a big institutionalised doping programme in teams like US Postal and several riders got caught up in that."
Brailsford is confident the sport is cleaner than ever, with proof coming in the time taken to ascend climbs compared to the drug-riddled period.
"In the Tour de France of late times have got slower and slower, which contrasts the normal progression of sport," Brailsford added.
"There's only one explanation and it's that the sport has cleaned up.
"That's a clear indication that the sport has moved in the right direction, people are doing a lot to make sure all the results can be authentic."