Tiernan Locke training with Team Sky, but future still uncertain
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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Tiernan Locke training with Team Sky, but future still uncertain

by Shane Stokes at 12:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
No news yet about biological passport case

Jonathan Tiernan LockeJonathan Tiernan Locke has joined his Sky team-mates at the squad’s first training camp of the winter, travelling to Majorca to rack up kilometres in advance of a season he still doesn’t know if he’ll be able to contest.

The British rider withdrew from racing at the end of September, heading home early from the world road race championships after being told that his biological passport showed erratic readings.

Since then the rider has been waiting for the outcome of a UCI enquiry into whether or not the blood levels were caused by doping.

The biological passport issue first emerged on September 29th when the Sunday Times printed a story stating that there were anomalies which the UCI felt needed investigation. Tiernan Locke was initially given twenty days to provide an explanation, but later received an extension which enabled him to get more information together; this was then submitted to the UCI.

The Sunday Times stated that the suspect blood values dated back to September of last year, the same month he won the Tour of Britain and thus secured a contract with Team Sky. Tiernan Locke had been racing with the Continental Endura team at the time, and showed a marked improvement on previous results.

Normally biological passport cases only become apparent if the expert panel conclude that doping was responsible for the suspect values, and bring a case.

It is thought that the basis for Tiernan Locke’s defence is illness, which he feels caused a change in his blood levels.

Contacted in recent weeks, his team, his agent and the UCI have all declined to comment on the matter, saying that it is an ongoing process.

However, according to the Herald Express, the rider should have a better idea of what his future holds when he returns from the camp.

The get-together is the first such reunion between Tiernan Locke and his team.

He had a disappointing season in 2013, telling VeloNation that the team’s training programme didn’t work well for him and that he intended going back to his previous approach.

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