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Yates leaves Team Sky with 'head held high'

ESPN staff
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Sean Yates played a key role in Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France triumph © PA Photos
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Sean Yates, a former team-mate of Lance Armstrong, has announced his retirement from cycling.

Team Sky confirmed the departure of their sporting director but insisted it was not related to the team's zero-tolerance drugs policy.

A statement on the team's website said: "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, who retired as a full-time rider in 1996 following a career as a domestique, helped steer Armstrong to the last of his seven Tour de France titles (which have since been rescinded) at the Discovery Team in 2005.

"The last three years with Team Sky have been fantastic and a highlight of my long career in cycling," Yates said in a statement to the Press Association.

"I'm proud to have been involved with the team at such an incredible time for the sport. 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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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