Following the UCI's decision to not proceed any further with their review of Sergio Henao's biological passport data, Team Sky's Principal Dave Brailsford released a statement on their Facebook page saying he was not surprised by the outcome.
"We are pleased but not surprised by this outcome. We have always believed in Sergio and he has always had our full support."
Henao received a notification from the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) in April that they were reviewing a "potential anti-doping rule violation". He was given 20 days to provide an explanation regarding variations on his biological passport during the period of August 2011 to June 2015.
He was temporarily suspended from racing by Team Sky while the review took place, but is now free to race in the coming weeks.
"This decision obviously means he can now get back to racing and I am sure he will be ready to make a big contribution to the team during the rest of the season."
Henao's racing schedule has not been confirmed but the Colombian said he was pleased the review was compete and looking forward to his return to racing.
"I am happy that this is finally over. It's been a difficult period for me but I know I have done nothing wrong, so I was confident that the UCI would come to this decision. I am looking forward to getting back on the team and racing."
This wasn't the first time Henao's profile has been flagged. In 2014, Team Sky internally raised concerns over readings taken from out-of-competition tests. At that time, Henao returned to his home in Colombia for testing to see how living at altitude effected his body. He also had similar tests done at sea level.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Sheffield in cooperation with the Colombian anti-doping authorities, after which findings were given to WADA, the UCI and CADF.
That independent review was intended for publication but two years have passed and so far it has not be published. Team Sky told Cyclingnews in April, that the medical team involved in conducting the tests were responsible for the publication of the independent review, not Team Sky.
In his statement on Team Sky's Facebook page regarding Henao's recent brush with the biologic passport, Brailsford reiterated the importance of research regarding the physiology of riders who come from high altitude locations.
"What this process has highlighted is the gap in research regarding the physiology of athletes like Sergio who are born and raised at altitude and who continue to spend prolonged periods of time living at altitude.
"This is something I am sure that the anti-doping authorities will want to look at further in the interests of clean competition but also in the interests of others like Sergio."
Kirsten Frattini has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level all the way to the World Cup. She is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. Kirsten has worked in both print and digital publishing. She started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006, and was responsible for reporting from the US and Canadian racing scene. Now as a Production Editor, she produces international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits global news and writes features.
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