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De Jongh leaves Team Sky after doping confession

MYT 1:50:01 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Team Sky sports director Steven de Jongh has quit after three years following his admission that he took a banned substance earlier in his career, the British team said on Monday.

"Steven deserves our respect for the courage he's shown in being honest about the past and it's right that we do our best to support him," team head Dave Brailsford said in a statement.

Netherlands' second-placed Steven De Jongh of Quick Step (L) and France's winner Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis celebrate on the podium of the 63rd Dwars door Vlaanderen (Across the Flanders) cycling race in Waregem, March 26, 2008. REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet
Netherlands' second-placed Steven De Jongh of Quick Step (L) and France's winner Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis celebrate on the podium of the 63rd Dwars door Vlaanderen (Across the Flanders) cycling race in Waregem, March 26, 2008. REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet

"There's no doubt about Steven's work with us or his approach. He's been a highly valued Sports Director and colleague over three seasons," Brailsford added of the Dutchman, who retired in 2009.

As a result of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, Team Sky asked every member of the team to sign up to a written policy saying they had no past or present involvement with drugs.

Armstrong was stripped this month of his seven Tour de France titles from 1999-2005 for doping.

Sky race coach Bobby Julich left the team on Thursday after admitting he took a banned substance during his riding career.

Another sports director Sean Yates left Sky on Sunday, although the team said his departure was not a result of their zero-tolerance anti-doping stance.

(Reporting by Tom Pilcher, Editing by John Mehaffey)

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