TEAM SKY last night became embroiled in the purge on doping sweeping cycling when coach Bobby Julich left the British outfit after admitting using banned substances.
The American confessed to taking the blood-booster EPO between 1996 and 1998, when he was a pro rider for Cofidis and finished third in the Tour de France.
Julich’s departure came after Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford last week demanded that all employees own up to any past misdemeanours.
It follows the decision of world governing body the UCI to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour titles after a raft of charges from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Julich, who joined Team Sky last year and in July helped Bradley Wiggins become the first Briton to win the Tour, said he was losing his “dream job”.
“I apologise to everyone, especially those associated with Team Sky for my past indiscretions,” he added. “I made some poor decisions and have paid and will pay a huge price.”
Brailsford praised Julich’s “courage” and stressed there had been “no doubts about his work with us”. He added: “Although it’s never easy to part, we believe this is the right thing to do.”
Armstrong, who was also banned for life by the UCI, denies doping but has not contested USADA’s charges.