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Tiernan-Locke suspension confirmed by UK Anti-Doping

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 18, 2014, 14:17 BST,
Updated:
August 19, 2014, 3:51 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 18, 2014
Race leader Tiernan Locke in the press conference

Race leader Tiernan Locke in the press conference

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British rider's anomalies were wildly abnormal

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has confirmed the two-year suspension of former Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke in a statement released today.

"The Panel found that the explanation provided by the rider… did not sufficiently explain the abnormal values obtained from the sample,” a statement on the body’s website said. “Consequently they imposed a two-year period of ineligibility from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2015… Mr Tiernan-Locke has not appealed this decision."

Tiernan-Locke received a two-year ban after his biological passport showed anomalies that were “wildly abnormal”, according to the decision issued by UKAD. His ban was first noticed on the list of anti-doping violations on the UCI's website in July, and was later confirmed by the sport’s governing body. However, this is the first statement from UKAD, who presided over the case. Tiernan-Locke has since officially been fired by Team Sky.

After a strong 2012 Tiernan-Locke began courting a number of WorldTour teams. Tiernan-Locke gave his first passport test on September 22 of that year, six days after he won the Tour of Britain, which is the same test where the anomalies were detected.

According to the document detailing the case, Tiernan-Locke stated that the anomalies were down to a drinking binge two days earlier. The British rider told the panel that he had decided to celebrate his selection for the World Championships with his girlfriend and consumed more than 33 units of alcohol that evening. Tiernan-Locke went onto claim that he didn’t eat or drink the following day, save for some water he drank with pain killers.

UKAD rejected the reason, stating that it was unlikely he was in a state of dehydration during the time of the testing on the morning of the 22 September. They also dismissed the claim that Tiernan-Locke would go on such a binge three days away from his first senior appearance at the World Championships, although admitted that it was possible.

The reasoning went onto say that, “There was no dispute that the abnormalities in the sample were consistent with the use of an erythropoietic stimulant which had been discontinued approximately 10 to 14 days before the sample was taken.

"On the basis of the expert evidence discussed above we are entirely satisfied, to the required standard of proof of comfortable satisfaction taking into account the seriousness of the case, that the explanation advanced on behalf of the rider cannot explain the abnormal values obtained from the sample taken on 20 September 2012."

As a result of the decision, Tiernan-Locke has had his Tour of Britain title and World Championship result disqualified.

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