Team Sky faces scrutiny for employing former US Postal soigneur

Team Sky came under further scrutiny today at the Tour de France after The Telegraph reported a former US Postal Service soigneur is currently on their staff.

Peter Verbeken, who worked with Sky as a “carer” for two seasons and now manages the team’s service course in Belgium, worked with Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service team for at least six months in 1999, according to The Telegraph, which also reported that sources suggest Verbeken could have been employed with US Postal for two seasons.

Verbeken worked on a freelance basis with US Postal in 1999, according to The Telegraph, joining the team at a number of races, including Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. He joined Team Sky from HTC-Highroad in 2012.

Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford told The Telegraph there was no suggestion Verbeken had done anything wrong, and that Verbeken had “gone through our recruitment process like everybody else.”

Although there is no evidence to suggest Verbeken was involved with US Postal’s doping programmeThe Telegraph argued that Sky’s zero-tolerance policy should make them “ultra cautious” about employing a person linked with the US Postal team, and Verbeken’s employment called into questions Sky’s recruitment process.

A Team Sky spokesperson defended the team’s zero-tolerance policy and recruitment, however, telling The Telegraph Sky have taken a leadership position on anti-doping since their inception.

“Our zero tolerance policy is well-known and well-established – nowhere more so than within our own staff who have all been interviewed extensively about their careers before joining the team," the spokesperson said. "We are proud of the part we are playing in creating a new culture for cycling and showing you can win clean.” 

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