British Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke will face anti-doping disciplinary action after his biological passport data was found to contain anomalies.

Cycle sport’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), issued a statement on Tuesday morning confirming that an “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 has asked that British Cycling commence disciplinary proceedings against Tiernan-Locke, and also confirmed that both UK Anti-Doping and the World Anti-Doping Agency had been informed of the action.

The news will come as a huge blow to the staunchly anti-doping Team Sky as Tiernan-Locke is the squad’s first rider to face discipline for anti-doping rule infringements.  

Team Sky issued a statement on Tuesday morning in reaction to the news, and confirmed that 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.”

The team also said: “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.”

Tiernan-Locke’s management company, Trinity Sports Management, issued a statement soon after the UCI announcement:

“Mr Tiernan-Locke vehemently denies the charges brought against him and has informed the UCI that he fully intends to contest them. 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.”

UK Anti-Doping director of legal Graham Arthur confirmed that it has been handed the Tiernan-Locke case for management: “We are progressing a case relating to a possible anti-doping rule violation. The matter is subject to confidentiality restrictions imposed by the Anti-Doping Rules, and as such we are unable to comment further. This protects the rights of all involved.

“All violations of the World Anti-Doping Code are published on our website if confirmed, when sanctions have been agreed and all appeal windows are over.”

News broke in September that Tiernan-Locke had received notification from the UCI that potential anomalies had been found in his anti-doping biological passport. A spokesman for the UCI confirmed to CW that
the anomaly relates back to September 2012, when he won the Tour of Britain riding for Endura Racing. Previously Team Sky and
journalist David Walsh had suggested this, without confirmation. The Devon man has not raced since September.

UCI Continental-level team Endura were not part of the UCI’s biological passport scheme, so it is results from individual test(s) taken in 2012 that have been compared to 2013′s baseline figures for Tiernan-Locke. 

In addition to the Tour of Britain win in 2012, Tiernan-Locke won the Tour of the Mediterranean, Tour du Haut Var and Tour Alsace. This year, Tiernan-Locke has struggled to find form and produce results citing fatigue and illness. He did not ride in this year’s Tour of Britain to defend his 2012 win.

Related links

Tiernan-Locke’s biological passport anomaly: former team issues statement

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke’s biological passport under scrutiny

  • stuart stanton

    have just read David Walsh’s book on Team Sky, right up to date deals with the unfolding of this sad matter since the World Championships. Required reading. Other people might find it just alittle bit edgy that a) Pat McQuaid’s son is T-L’s agent; b) Brian Cookson’s son works for Team Sky. They are no doubt 100% honourable blokes but an air of nepotism is always slightly untastly

  • Mike Cope

    The JTL story surely raises even more questions about the supposedly robust testing / checking by both Team Sky and possibly more importantly British Cycling .

    If British Cyclings systems are as thorough as we are constantly told , how come JTL was selected to ride the 2012 Worlds ? The fact that he was will inevitably call into question performances by other GB riders .

    Exactly what sort of testing does take place at Sky and BC ….we are constantly led to believe by DB that Sky / BC staff and riders are candidates for sainthood , but the way the Sky cull was handled last year , G Leinders involvement and this latest incident mean fans are owed long overdue detailed explanations by both D Brailsford and B Cookson .

  • roginoz of mercia

    yes,Dour Scot IS right .he has doped and should get the chop . Also people are natural in supporting their home team but NOT blindly as many of the above .Its the same here in Oz particularly in the big money team sports…..its always oh no they are Aussies they are good little boys. Personally I am more upset about the retirement of Juan Antonio Flecha…by the way Paul Sherwen , a fletcher was NOT an arrowmaker that was an arrowsmith . A fletcher put on the fletchings ( feathers ).The only team to support are the laboratory analysts.

  • Jim Rae

    Chris Froome’s comments regarding the never ending media innuendo from the 2013 TdF, and now the press association link of potential doping involving Jonathan Tiernan -Locke and his association with Team Sky really does ask serious questions about professional cycling’s transparency. Let me tell you all this. Years ago in the early 1980′s, I was enthralled seeing Robert Millar win for this country, and my love for the sport was cemented, but it didn’t have a concrete base. Even a blind person’s labrador dog was able to see (if not also smell), the stench of corruption which was inevitably going to unfold in the decades to come.
    As a dubious devotee of cycling, having spent my pretty pennies on the roadside watching the Tour of Britain, and much more Euros on the Alpe d’Huez, it’s about time that the supporters of this fantastic sport get to cheer on the TRUE ATHLETES of cycling, and not the phonies who cheat not only themselves, but also the fans who blindly cheer them as they “fly” by.

  • colnago dave

    Dour Scot, you are correct and that was the point I was making, JTL now rides for SKY and that is how the media will slant it

    Reders

    I had read the full report and was well aware JTL was not performing, however the flak will be directed at SKY as the general public do not know Endura

  • Dour scot

    The problem with this (as the above comment from colnago dave perfectly demonstrates) is that it will be carelessly morphed into the guilt of Sky despite the fact the irregularity happened before he joined them doesn’t relate to a banned substance.

    The general pubic don’t grasp the important context and just think “doping.”

  • Readers

    @Colan dave: if your were to read the FULL report you would read that these results were from samples taken while he raced for Endura. It has nothing to do with Team Sky. Just unfortunate that he now rides for them, well did.
    So why on earth will the sceptics start pointing their fingers at Wiggins and Froome ? Sky run their own tests as well as supplying the UCI/ WADA for test.

  • Jack

    No it won’t, the result is from before he was riding for Sky. If anything, it proves he is clean now but wasn’t before riding for Sky. Either way, I hope it was an anomaly and he’s clean, he was great at Endura.

  • JM

    Sky’s line is already clear – “Not on our watch.” Not sure it will open the floodgates as suggested. We await details of the anomalies. It won’t help JTL that his performances this year have not matched those of last year. Only time will tell.

  • pete

    The fact that in 2013 JTL wasn’t able to find anything like his previous form suggests very strongly that SKY are indeed what they say they are – clean.

  • sam

    How so? Its more a question for Endura, given the timing of the blood values in question – 2012.

  • cinelli dave

    I hope it is resolved quickly. I have had dealings with people who know him and are certain he would not deliberately have done it. As this has happened before him signing for Team Sky, than I hope common sense prevails and that people do realise that it is a team that is 100% against doping.

    I liked the respons that Wiggo gave on the TV documentary about his 2012 experiences. When asked about doping when he said he does it all for his kids and would not want to explain to them or the people in his home village that he was caught cheating.

    Look at the guys who have left Team Sky recently who had lied – in the wake of the Armstrong affair they have lost a lot of talented people who if they were willing to turn a blind eye would still be there now and in some areas it has weakened the team, but I am sure they will regroup.

    Froome has released his performance data and it has been analysed in the press. Both Froome and Wiggo are so vehemently against doping in what they say and do, that I for one believe them. I know there are sceptics out there and everyone has their own point of view, but lets not go casting aspersions without any shred of eveidence eh?

  • colnago dave

    Going to be interesting to see how SKY handle this one. If he is found guilty even if it is a similar situation to Contador it is going to open the floodgates against Wiggo and Froome plus team.