Endura Racing reaffirms anti-doping stance after alleged Tiernan-Locke passport anomalies
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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Endura Racing reaffirms anti-doping stance after alleged Tiernan-Locke passport anomalies

by Ben Atkins at 8:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Former British team tried and failed to get additional testing in successful 2012 season

jonathan tiernan-lockeEndura Racing, the former Continental team of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (JTL), has released a statement to declare its anti-doping stance, and the measures it tried to take in the 2012 season. The majority of the team joined the newly formed NetApp-Endura team as Endura merged with German Team NetApp in 2013. Some remained at Continental level with other UK-based teams, but Tiernan-Locke was the one rider to take the step up to the top level with Sky Procycling.

It was reported in the Sunday Times this week that the British rider had received a letter from the International Cycling Union (UCI), asking him to provide an explanation for some apparently irregular blood values on his biological passport. This has since been confirmed by Team Sky, and has been given as the reason behind Tiernan-Locke’s withdrawal from Great Britain’s team for the World championship road race.

“At this early stage, without detailed information, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the reasons for inconsistencies in JTL’s biological passport data although it is known that there are many possible legitimate causes including fatigue and ill-health both of which we understand JTL has suffered from in the last year,” reads the statement from the former Continental team.

Tiernan-Locke’s irregularities reportedly date from September last year, when he was riding for Endura Racing, but the Continental team’s management claims that the British rider was training - and being observed by - two ProTeams at the time, in the shape of both Team Sky and Garmin-Sharp.

“JTL joined Endura Racing in January 2012 and, when it became clear he had WordTour potential, was made available to Team Garmin-Sharp in April for physiological tests,” the statement continues. “No adverse results were reported back.
 
“He then accompanied Team Sky on their Tenerife training camp in May,” it adds. “Team Sky had full access to JTL from the point it was agreed for him to train with them at this camp. This includes the period covering the last quarter of 2012. According to JTL, he undertook physiological tests for Team Sky directly after the World Championships in 2012 and although Endura never received any data from these tests, neither was anything raised by Team Sky as unusual or concerning.”

As a Continental team, Endura Racing was not part of the UCI’s biological passport system, and therefore was not subject to the same controls as those at Professional Continental and ProTeam level. Endura Racing, as part of its own anti-doping stance, tried to overcome this, it claims, but was unsuccessful.

“Endura Racing previously made attempts to arrange for additional spontaneous testing for its riders through [UK Anti-Doping],” the team’s statement affirms. “Unfortunately this request was rejected however Endura Racing’s willingness to fund additional testing to expose its riders to a more prolific test regime than the mandatory requirements is clear evidence of Endura’s position on the matter.
 
“Endura, with the full support of JTL, also made a request to the UCI to be allowed to pay to have him put on a biological passport in order to counter the rumours of PEDs that circulated after his wins in Tour Méditerranéen and Tour du Haut Var in early season racing during 2012 however this request was refused by the UCI,” it adds.

While reaffirming its own stance on anti-doping, the team’s statement emphasises that Tiernan-Locke himself had chosen to either sign with Garmin-Sharp or Team Sky - both of who have zero-tolerance anti-doping stances - and ends with the statement that it will make no further comment until the process has been completed.

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Endura Statement on Jonathan Tiernan-Locke

In response to The Sunday Times article published on Sunday 29th September, Endura Ltd, owners of Endura Racing Professional Cycle Team during 2012 when Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (JTL) was riding for the Team, make the following statement:
 
At this early stage, without detailed information, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the reasons for inconsistencies in JTL’s biological passport data although it is known that there are many possible legitimate causes including fatigue and ill-health both of which we understand JTL has suffered from in the last year.
 
A process, that ought to have remained confidential, is underway and we obviously hope that JTL is able to provide information that is acceptable to the UCI for their enquiry in order for him to clear his name.
 
As regards Endura Racing’s team culture relating to PEDs, the team owners and management have always been explicit and vociferous in condemnation of their use and although limited in its resources as a UCI Continental licensed team, Endura Racing previously made attempts to arrange for additional spontaneous testing for its riders through UKAD. Unfortunately this request was rejected however Endura Racing’s willingness to fund additional testing to expose its riders to a more prolific test regime than the mandatory requirements is clear evidence of Endura’s position on the matter.
 
Endura, with the full support of JTL, also made a request to the UCI to be allowed to pay to have him put on a biological passport in order to counter the rumours of PEDs that circulated after his wins in Tour Méditerranéen and Tour du Haut Var in early season racing during 2012 however this request was refused by the UCI.
 
Endura Racing’s culture has always been entirely at odds with cheating in any form including the use of PEDs and nothing in JTL’s conduct during his 2012 season with the Team gave rise to concerns that his approach was at odds with this in any way.
 
JTL joined Endura Racing in January 2012 and, when it became clear he had WordTour potential, was made available to Team Garmin-Sharp in April for physiological tests. No adverse results were reported back.
 
He then accompanied Team Sky on their Tenerife training camp in May. Team Sky had full access to JTL from the point it was agreed for him to train with them at this camp. This includes the period covering the last quarter of 2012. According to JTL, he undertook physiological tests for Team Sky directly after the World Championships in 2012 and although Endura never received any data from these tests, neither was anything raised by Team Sky as unusual or concerning.
 
JTL chose Endura Racing in 2012 in the full knowledge that the Team was committed to ensuring that its riders were all clean and that it had made efforts to provide additional scrutiny of its riders through UKAD.  In April 2012, when presented with expressions of interest for many WorldTour teams, JTL chose to narrow his options to Team Garmin-Sharp and Team Sky, both of which have well documented zero tolerance positions on doping.
 
Endura will make no further comments on the matter until the process is complete.

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