The UCI has decided not to proceed any further with their review of Sergio Henao's biological passport data. Henao was suspended from racing by Team Sky while the review was taking place but will now be free to race in the coming weeks.
"On 20 April 2016, in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) Operating Guidelines, the independent experts of the Athlete Passport Management Unit* (APMU) in Lausanne, Switzerland, requested further information from Sergio Henao about his ABP values," a statement from the UCI read.
"As per the applicable ABP regulations, the rider's explanations were sent to the same experts for review. After examination, the independent experts came to the conclusion that there was no basis to proceed further."
The UCI's anti-doping body, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) notified Henao last month that they would be looking into a "potential anti-doping rule violation". The Colombian was given 20 days to respond to the letter and provide more information and an explanation regarding variations on his biological passport during the period of August 2011 to June 2015. He was subsequently suspended from racing by Team Sky, which meant he missed the Giro d'Italia.
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It was the second time that Henao had been internally suspended, after Team Sky first pulled him out of racing in 2014 due to their own questions regarding his biological passport. Henao later travelled to his native Colombia to undergo tests at altitude, as Sky looked into the physiological effects of living at altitude. Following the tests, Sky cleared him to race at the Tour de Suisse later that season. While out completing a recon of the stage 7 time trial, Henao was involved in a crash in which he fractured his patella, which forced him out of the remainder of the 2014 season.
"I keep asking myself: 'Why me?' There are innocent people in prison and this is the same," Henao told the El Espectador newspaper soon after news of the CADF investigation broke. "It was really hard receiving the news because I felt I was in an extraordinary moment of my career.
"At times it really saddens me and I cry at not being at the Giro. That's what has hit me hardest and left the sourest taste, because I was in the best moment of my career."
It is not yet known when Henao will return to racing but he has stated his intention to ride either the Criterium du Dauphine or the Tour de Suisse. He has also set his sights on the Tour de France after missing out on the Giro d'Italia.
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