Yates quits Team Sky and retires from cycling
Sunday, 28 October 2012
October 28 – Team Sky sporting director Sean Yates has retired from cycling, insisting that the decision has nothing to do with the Lance Armstrong doping scandal that has rocked the sport.
The 52-year-old former professional cyclist (pictured above) from Surrey has been Team Sky sporting director since 2010 and was instrumental in their phenomenal Tour de France success this summer where Bradley Wiggins won the prestigious race and teammate Chris Froome finished second.
After three decades in the sport, Yates has decided to retire in a move that comes just days after Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping.
"I realise the timing of my retirement will lead to speculation but I can walk away with my head high knowing I have done nothing wrong," he said.
"The last three years with Team Sky have been fantastic and a highlight of my long career in cycling."
Yates, the 1992 British champion, is one of only five Britons to wear the yellow jersey and also won stages in the Tour in 1988.
He rode with a young Armstrong at Motorola and, after moving into coaching, was reunited with Armstrong at Discovery in 2005, when the American won the last of his seven now rescinded titles.
Armstrong and Yates also worked together in 2009 at Astana, when Armstrong finished third behind team-mate and winner Alberto Contador.
After Armstrong was stripped of his titles, Team Sky asked staff to sign a statement guaranteeing they had no previous involvement in doping.
The issue saw coach Bobby Julich leave the outfit after he admitted using the blood-boosting agent EPO when a rider.
But the British team have said that Yates' retirement has nothing to do with doping.
"Sean Yates, Team Sky's lead sports director since 2010, has decided to retire from cycling after three decades in the sport," said a Team Sky statement.
"After Team Sky reaffirmed its position on anti-doping, the management team started a series of individual interviews with riders, management and support staff.
"Sean has been interviewed and there were no admissions or disclosures that would have required him to leave the team."