UCI asks British Cycling to open disciplinary proceedings against Jonathan Tiernan-Locke
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

UCI asks British Cycling to open disciplinary proceedings against Jonathan Tiernan-Locke

by Ben Atkins at 5:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
British rider’s biological passport data “demonstrated an anti-doping rule violation”

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has requested that British Cycling initiates disciplinary proceedings against Team Sky’s Jonathan Tiernan-Locke over anomalies in his biological passport. The 28-year-old’s suspect blood values are said to date back to September 2012, when he was an Endura Racing rider, and was on his way to victory in the Tour of Britain.

Tiernan-Locke’s 2013 season, his first at the top level, has been markedly different to the previous year - which also saw him the Tour Méditerranéen, the Tour du Haut-Var and the Tour Alsace - but he had attributed this in an interview with VeloNation to a new harder training regime and a tougher racing programme.

According to the UCI’s biological passport panel, however, his tumultuous 2012 may have been due to other reasons altogether.

“The analysis of the biological passport of Mr Jonathan Tiernan-Locke by the Experts Panel has demonstrated an anti-doping rule violation (use of prohibited substances and/or methods),” the UCI statement reads.

“Consequently and in compliance with the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the UCI has requested his National Federation to initiate disciplinary proceedings.”

Tiernan-Locke was set to represent Great Britain at the World championships in Florence, Italy, in September, but was withdrawn from the squad without official explanation shortly beforehand. It was then leaked to the Sunday Times that he had received a letter from the UCI, asking him to explain his blood values from the September 2012 period; this stage of the proceedings is usually kept confidential until disciplinary action is actually taken.

The letter was confirmed by Sky Procycling shortly afterwards, however.

“Team Sky has been informed by Jonathan Tiernan-Locke that the UCI has notified him of a potential discrepancy in his biological passport data,” the team said in a statement at the time.

“He has withdrawn from racing whilst his response to the UCI is prepared then considered by the UCI.”

Tiernan-Locke had been with Team Sky at its first training camp for the 2014 season, on the island of Mallorca. His future with the team, whose zero-tolerance anti-doping stance saw it lose a number of high profile names at the end of 2012 over historic admissions, now looks highly unlikely.

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