David Howman, CEO of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), criticised team Sky’s zero-tolerance approach led to several staff members leaving.

“If it is destroying their lives then you have got to wonder if it is a sound idea, not many are going to fess up if they lose their jobs. Zero tolerance doesn’t make much sense in the overall effort to clean up sport,” Howman told the Telegraph.

“In general we are concerned we are losing those who knew about the doping and what went on and we want them to feel free to come forward. If they are excluded because of a fear of losing their positions or other draconian processes it will once again lead to the omertà and that’s a regrettable loss of opportunity to clean the sport.”

Team Sky held a round of individual meetings with riders and staff members starting in October. Race Coach Bobby Julich and Sports Director Steven De Jongh quit and admitted to drug use during their pro careers around 15 years ago. Senior Sports Director Sean Yates, who raced and worked with Lance Armstrong, quit, citing family reasons and health problems.

Tour of Poland to start in Italy

The Tour of Poland will kick off its 70th edition next July nearly 1000 kilometres from home in Trentino, Italy. It will be more than a tourist visit, taking riders to Madonna di Campiglio and the Passo Pordoi.

“This vicinity is not defined by kilometres but by the historical and cultural events that link these two great nations together. Not to mention the friendship and goodwill that have always tied me to Italy, where I spent many years of my life, growing as a cyclist and garnering some of the most brilliant results of my career,” said race director, Czeslaw Lang in a press release.

“For the Tour de Pologne it will be an honour to ride on these roads and touch the highest surrounding peaks like the Alpe di Pampeago and Passo Pordoi, where the history of the Giro d’Italia was written.”

The eight-day race, July 27 to August 3, will travel on the roads of cycling legend, Francesco Moser. His nephew, Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) won this year’s race. After the first two stages, the race will transfer 900 kilometres to reach Poland.

Balocco sponsors Giro’s pink jersey

The Giro d’Italia’s pink leader’s jersey will have a new look next May with Balocco taking over sponsorship. Balocco signed a two-year deal on Tuesday for 2013 and 2014.

CEO Alberto Balocco said in a press release, “This sponsorship is a magnificent showcase, not only to generate brand awareness but also to get in touch with the millions of fans who follow the Giro, both in the media and along the roadside.”

The company is based in Fossano (Cuneo) near the Alps and the Galibier, where the race is scheduled to visit. Balocco replaces out-going sponsor Esta Thé.

Landis drops hacking appeal

Floyd Landis dropped his appeal in a computer hacking case yesterday. In November last year, a French court issued him a one-year suspended sentence that will now stand.

The American won the 2006 Tour de France, but lost the title days later after failing an anti-doping test for testosterone. In the wake of the scandal, he was charged with hacking the computers of the WADA-accredited laboratory near Paris, in Chatenay-Malabry. He denied the claim, but the court found him and his former trainer, Arnie Barker, guilty of fraudulently receiving the stolen documents and issued the sentence.

As the timeframe passed, Landis’ appeal was mostly symbolic.

Cannondale sign three

Top Italian team Cannondale – formerly known as Liquigas-Cannondale – is refining its 2013 squad. Yesterday, it announced three new riders: Canada’s David Boily and Guillaume Boivin from SpiderTech, and Dane Brian Vandborg. Vandborg already raced with the team in 2009 and 2010.

Cannondale signed Japanese neo-pro, Nariyuki Masuda two weeks ago.

Vincenzo Nibali, third in the Tour, leaves for Astana along with Valerio Agnoli and Alessandro Vanotti. Peter Sagan, Moreno Moser, Elia Viviani and Ivan Basso will lead Cannondale next season.

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  • hugh anderson

    So wada agree with our corrupt usda shower across the water,well thats no surprise.They are another shower trying to cover their own mess before the ship sinks, And give them a 6month ban because they admit to their own crimes,that also shows that the rules get made up as they go along and they expect the cycling fans to welcome this band of so called cycling heroes back into the peloton,dont think so.
    I for one still think lance is a great athlete,regrdless what this magazine or any other couch media reporters think.
    Wada cant think for itself,they should have enforced a 2 year ban on these cyclists.No wonder the fans are becoming fed up with all the hypocrasy in the magazines,media and elsewhere.
    When will this magazine and others start to show who really dragged cycling into the gutter,landis hamilton and hincappie(retired)who could not care less what happens to cycling now.
    If you think they are heroes,where does that leave lance. Or does the cycling magazines agree to reduced bans for some and not others,unless your name is armstrong.Perhaps wada,usada and any other adas should all be replaced then the fans have a clean slate to work from,and no ex dopers please.

  • Mike

    The World Anti Doping Agency condeming a team for being over zealous with there anti doping stance???????
    You could not make this up.
    Being forgiving of ex dopers is what got the sport in the position it is now. For years dopers have been welcomed back into the fold after the paltry two year, or in some cases less, ban. This would suggest to any semi literate person that it is not working. So what do you do?
    Leave things as they are acording to WADA.
    It seems we are surrounded by numpties, running cycling, and the agency that is charged with keeping it clean.

  • Oliver

    I agree with WADA; I think DB has made a rare mistake. I assume he is concerned with the danger of reputational damage to Team Sky, with less-informed (or less forgiving) people, particularly in the media, assuming that a team that employs former dopers cannot claim the moral high ground. It is admittedly a fine balance, but personally I would come down on the other side of the argument as stated by WADA.

  • Terry

    Well done WADA, finger on the pulse as usual, NOT! Get your ‘flipping’ heads out of the sand and wake up to what’s happening in our sport- SKY are bang on.

  • Morgan Rees

    WADA criticise a zero-tolerant approach??? Do they not realise the message they send out with this stance. If this is an official position, rather than a personal opinion of Howman, then they would have been far better to say nothing, or just have noted the action taken by Sky without further comment.

  • Sam1

    OGE sacked Matt White. So this wasnt showing ‘zero tolerance’? Its just Sky then? Oh, I see