Tiernan Locke protests innocence, ‘fully intends to contest’ UCI’s charges of doping
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tiernan Locke protests innocence, ‘fully intends to contest’ UCI’s charges of doping

by Shane Stokes at 5:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
British rider’s agent McQuaid says Tiernan Locke will step back from Team Sky until final decision

Jonathan Tiernan LockeFollowing on from the UCI’s announcement this morning that has requested disciplinary proceedings against him, Jonathan Tiernan Locke has strongly protested the UCI’s assertion that he has broken anti-doping regulations and has indicated that he plans to fight the charges.

In September Tiernan Locke went home early from the world championships after being informed that the UCI had identified biological passport irregularities. A long delay followed, with extra time given for him to provide further documentation to defend his position, but the UCI response today indicated that it believes he has indeed been using what it called prohibited substances and/or methods.

His agent Andrew McQuaid has issued a statement in response to that, indicating that the Sky rider rejects the UCI’s position and is determined to defend his position.

“Mr Tiernan Locke vehemently denies the charges brought against him and has informed the UCI that he fully intends to contest them,” McQuaid said. “Mr Tiernan Locke will not ride for Team Sky, attend training camps or undertake any team duties until a decision is made in these proceedings.

“Mr Tiernan Locke is looking forward to a speedy and just resolution of these unfortunate charges. Until a decision has been reached, Mr Tiernan Locke will make no further comment on the matter.”

Tiernan Locke impressed last year while with the Endura Racing continental team. Early on he won the Tour of the Mediterranean and the Tour du Haut Var, taking advantage of explosive power on short to medium length climbs. He then went on to take the Vuelta a la Region de Murcia.

Later in the year he had another flurry of good results, winning two stages plus the overall classification in the Tour Alsace and then scooping victory in his home race, the Tour of Britain.

The latter result was an indication to Sky that he had the ability to handle big competition, and the team signed him up to WorldTour level.

However he has been far off that form this year. In August he told VeloNation that he had been unable to cope with the training loads prescribed by Team Sky’s coaches, and that he wanted to return to his previous, more instinctive system of training.

“Everything was less last year. I definitely trained less. I think my physiology responds to the ‘less is more’ school of training,” he claimed. “I am in a team with a lot of guys who can time trial and do long climbs and from my experience in cycling, those sort of guys, riders with that physiology, they can take on a high workload in training. Those sort of guys have slow twitch muscle fibres and whatever else and they absorb a lot of training.

“Whereas myself, I find if I train too much it comes back at me. I have done it in the past, training myself and looking for a bit more…you always think, ‘I am going well now, so if I keep pushing and pushing I should build up,’ but I don’t respond well to that. Past a certain point, I seem to just go downhill and need to rest to come out of it.”

It is understood that his suspect biological passport values date back to last year’s Tour of Britain. The pending disciplinary hearing will determine if he was using EPO or blood doping during that time, or if there is another explanation for the variation in blood values now deemed sufficiently questionable by the UCI’s biological experts to warrant a doping hearing.

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