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Team Sky extends Tiernan-Locke's non-active status

By:
Cycling News
Published:
December 17, 2013, 12:02 GMT,
Updated:
December 17, 2013, 12:08 GMT
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 17, 2013

British team insists passport anomaly occurred before he joined the team

Team Sky has confirmed that Jonathan Tiernan-Locke will not compete for the team or take part in any team activities until a verdict is reached in his disciplinary process.

The British team first withdrew Tiernan Locke from competition on September 29, the day of the road race world championships, after the Sunday Times broke the news of the UCI asking him to explain suspicious blood values.

Tiernan Locke had been selected for the Great Britain team but withdrew three days before the race claiming he didn’t have the form to help the team.

In statements then and now, Team Sky said it understood that any anomalies in Tiernan-Locke's biological passport were from readings taken before he joined the WorldTour team.

Cyclingnews understands that Tiernan-Locke underwent testing and his values were screened by both Team Sky and Garmin during 2012 as they considered signing him. He also trained with Team Sky on several occasions before his victory at the Tour of Britain.

Brian Smith, the manager at Tiernan-Locke's Endura team in 2012 told Cyclingnews in September that "Sky, Garmin and Endura all thought there were no irregularities with Jonathan."

Tiernan Locke has not made public any medical or scientific reasons for the variations in his blood values that the UCI's anti-doping expert panel believes “has demonstrated an anti-doping rule violation.”

Team Sky also offered no further information on the case in its brief statement and has not revealed if it has held an internal investigation.

"Team Sky notes that Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has been charged with a violation of the UCI anti-doping rules," the brief statement reads.

"We have been informed that he intends to defend himself against that charge."

"Jonathan Tiernan-Locke will not ride for Team Sky or take part in any team activities – including training camps and all team duties – until a decision is made in this disciplinary hearing process."

"We understand that the violation was highlighted by an anomaly in his Biological Passport, in a reading taken before he signed for this team."

"There are no doubts about his approach or performance in Team Sky. This is a team that trains, races and wins clean."

"At this stage, we will add no further detail until this initial disciplinary process is concluded."

Tiernan-Locke's case is the fourth biological passport case of 2013 but the first involving a British rider, the first case involving a Team Sky rider and the first case since Brian Cookson became president of the UCI.

 

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