"I'm still a young man with plenty to offer" says Jonathan Tiernan-Locke as he considers his future after doping ban
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has said that he must forget racing after being banned for two years as a result of anomalies in his anti-doping biological passport. The British cyclist rode with team Endura and won several stage races in 2012, but off-values forced him to a stop after he joined Team Sky in 2013.
“I got into riding because I loved it not because I thought it would be a great way of earning a living,” he told local newspaper, the Plymouth Herald. “After all this, I don’t know if my heart is still in it. There has been so much negativity and I’m still a young man with plenty to offer, especially after this experience.
“I’m looking at a few options: maybe working in the travel industry as a cycle tour guide, or possibly doing some coaching.
“The only constraints I face are on competing in UCI events – it’s a bummer but that’s the state of play. One good thing that has come out of it, though, is that you find out who your real friends are. Fortunately, I’ve got a few who are willing to help me.”
While racing for the third division Endura team in the 2012 season, Tiernan-Locke won the Tour Méditerranéen, the Tour du Haut-Var, the Tour Alsace and home race, the Tour of Britain. He then placed 19th at the World Championships road race, in Valkenburg.
He had a quiet year for Team Sky in 2013 that ended at the Florence Worlds when Great Britain sent him home and news leaked that he was found to have abnormal levels in his biological passport.
He lost most of his results and his job when the UK National Anti-Doping Panel ruled against him in July. His passport readings indicated he was cheating with a drug, such as banned blood-booster EPO, or with blood transfusions.
At his anti-doping hearing in July, the 29-year-old blamed the one off reading on a night spent drinking. He and his lawyer argued that he had 33 units of alcohol before leaving to the 2012 Valkenburg Worlds where he was tested in the lead-up. UK Anti-Doping dismissed this reasoning and banned him from racing until December 31, 2015.