Team Sky has managed to get itself into a dreadful mess as the fallout from the Lance Armstrong mushroom cloud settles over a vast area. Zero tolerance was always a laudable soundbite but did anyone consider the immense potential for embarrassment when the gesture was inevitably revealed as hollow? John Major might have been a suitable consultant. He would surely have warned of the folly of such a ‘back to basics’ approach. Playing clever politics, being seen to be doing the right thing and positioning yourself firmly on the side of the virtuous, was akin to constructing a trap into which you could not fail to fall. There were no marginal gains here, just a pit of serpents.