UCI President Brian Cookson has responded to claims made by Jonathan Tiernan-Locke in relation to his UK Anti-doping (UKAD ) hearing and subsequent doping ban, telling the British rider he is “putting himself in a deeper and deeper hole.”
During an interview with Cyclingnews at the Tour de France presentation in Paris, the UCI President confirmed that the UCI would appeal the Roman Kreuziger's case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Cookson also defended the validity and strength of the Biological Passport.
“The Passport is a wonderful tool and the only people that seem to challenge it are the ones that fall foul of it. I’ve seen some very foolish statements recently regarding the Passport. It’s been a great way of helping our sport to clean up the problems of doping. It’s not solved every problem but it’s a wonderful tool,” he said.
Cookson’s reference to ‘foolish statements’ referred to an interview with Jonanthan Tiernan-Locke, which Cyclingnews published earlier this week. The now-suspended former Endura and Team Sky athlete was given a two-year ban for a doping violation based on his Biological Passport data. However he called his hearing – run by UKAD – as a “mickey mouse court”.
Tiernan-Locke’s abnormal Passport reading dates back to 2012, when the rider was part of the Endura Racing team. He signed for Team Sky for 2013 and has always claimed to his innocence.
“I think the things that Jonathan Tiernan-Locke was saying in his recent interview are way out of line,” Cookson told Cyclingnews.
“Mr Tiernan-Locke needs to consider his situation very carefully. He has to look at the terms and conditions of his sanction. I see that he’s talking about coaching again, well I’m afraid that he’s banned from coaching or any event in any capacity that has anything to do with the UCI or any national federation affiliated with the UCI.”
“To hear Jonathan say things like the UKAD anti-doping hearing was a mickey mouse court, I think that’s very foolish and not a wise thing to have said. I’m giving him a message that’s quite clear, he’s putting himself in a deeper and deeper hole. He would be wise to accept his sanction and if he wants to return in two years then let’s see what happens.”
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