Sky staff member linked with Lance

(File)(Shutterstock)
(File)(Shutterstock)

Lannemezan - Team Sky were facing increased scrutiny at the Tour de France on Thursday after it emerged that one of their staff members has previously worked with the disgraced American rider Lance Armstrong.

Team Sky have a zero tolerance anti-doping policy, meaning that all staff members must sign a statement saying they have never been involved in doping activities.

The British outfit, however, brought Belgian Peter Verbeken onboard as a 'soigneur' (carer) in 2012 and 2013 and he is now manager at their Belgian service headquarters.

Verbeken was also a soigneur with Armstrong's US Postal team in 1999 but has never been linked with any doping activities.

Sky manager Dave Brailsford, who usually has informal chats with reporters by the team bus ahead of stages on the Tour, was not available for comment on Thursday.

Sky have raised a few eyebrows in the peloton after Froome and his team mates demolished their rivals in the 10th stage, the first mountain finish of this year's Tour.

Froome insists he had been riding clean, saying on Wednesday he was open to undergoing physiological tests after the Tour, hoping to put the suspicions to bed.

Although no doping allegations were made, rumours have been flying around on the Tour, where Sky riders have been accused by some of adopting a heavy-handed approach to racing.

"The Team Sky riders were very aggressive to find their place in the peloton, I don't think it's correct. They're stronger than everyone, OK. But they were elbowing and punching their way to the front," Swiss FDJ rider Steve Morabito said.

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