17 December 2013: Sky Pro Cycling rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke charged with doping
Report by Gavin Hughes and Mark Sharon
UCI confirmed that they will pursue disciplinary proceedings against Sky Pro Cycling rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke. In a statement released on 17 December - the UCI announced that analysis of the Biological Passport of Tiernan-Locke demonstrated an anti-doping rule violation.
Team Sky stated that Tiernan-Locke intends to defend himself against the charge and while the disciplinary process is ongoing - that he will not ride for Team Sky, or take part in any team activities including training camps:
"Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has been charged with a violation of the UCI anti-doping rules.
We have been informed that he intends to defend himself against that charge.
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke will not ride for Team Sky or take part in any team activities – including training camps and all team duties – until a decision is made in this disciplinary hearing process.
We understand that the violation was highlighted by an anomaly in his Biological Passport, in a reading taken before he signed for this team.
There are no doubts about his approach or performance in Team Sky. This is a team that trains, races and wins clean.
At this stage, we will add no further detail until this initial disciplinary process is concluded."
Team Sky also stated that the anomalies in his Biological Passport were found in readings taken before he joined Sky and was with Endura Racing. It was as an Endura Racing rider that Tiernan-Locke won the 2012 Tour of Britain - he signed a two year contract with Sky shortly after the ToB success. His first season with Sky has not seen him meet the expectations that were promised in the 2012 ToB, with many fearing a recurrence of his Epstein-Barr illness affecting performances.
This is a storm that has been brewing for some months with Tiernan-Locke pulling out of the Great Britain Worlds Road Race team on the eve of the race.
Sky have demonstrated a hard line attitude to any member of its staff (riding or non-riding) who have previously been connected with doping and have a zero tolerance policy for any employee who has a history of doping.
Read more on the Sky website here
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