Team Sky: Yates exit not enforced
Team Sky continue to re-affirm their zero tolerance policy to doping but stressed that Sean Yates' departure was not enforced.
Yates left his position as lead sports director on Sunday and has promptly retired from professional cycling citing personal reasons. However, an article in the Sunday Telegraph suggested the 52-year-old had lost his job after an interview with general manager Dave Brailsford.
The British team released a statement, however, saying: "Sean Yates, Team Sky's lead sports director since 2010, has decided to retire from cycling after three decades in the sport."
It continued: "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."
Yates' decision comes just three days after Team Sky lost another key staff member when Bobby Julich stood down from his role as race coach. American Julich admitted to having taken a banned substance in the late 1990s during his racing career and his two-year spell came to an end on Thursday.
Yates himself acknowledges there will be whispers surrounding the timing of his departure but insists he has nothing to hide.
In a statement released to Press Association Sport, he said: "The last three years with Team Sky have been fantastic and a highlight of my long career in cycling."
He added: "I have suffered with my health in recent years and have spent a lot of time away from my home so I feel the time is right to focus on myself and my family.
"I realise the timing of my retirement will lead to speculation given what is currently going on in the sport, but I can walk away with my head held high knowing I have done nothing wrong."