British Cycling give Jonathan Tiernan-Locke a second-category racing licence on his return from doping ban

Former professional Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has been given a second category racing licence by British Cycling as he makes his comeback to the sport after serving a doping suspension.

The Devon rider, who rode for Team Sky and Endura before his two-year ban, is unhappy with the decision to give him a second cat licence, as he was hoping to re-enter racing at a higher level.

Talking to the Torquay Herald Express, the 31-year-old said: “I know these things can be discretionary, and I haven’t been allowed to ride for two years. But I held an elite licence every year I raced since 2003, so I think BC might give me at least a first cat one now.”

“It would be a bit petty if they make me start as a second cat, and I would be concerned if they stick to it because that might make it more difficult for me to get into national races, especially early in the season,” he said.

>>> Jonathan Tiernan-Locke banned for two years, loses 2012 Tour of Britain title

Tiernan-Locke is due to make his return to racing at the Primavera Road Race on Sunday, February 28. He is hoping that BC will upgrade the licence before the event.

Tiernan-Locke was banned from riding for two years, until December 31 2015, for anomalies in his anti-doping biological passport relating to samples taken in 2012.

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke

He was also stripped of the 2012 Tour of Britain victory and sacked by Team Sky. Sky had signed Tiernan-Locke for 2013 on the strength of his 2012 season, where he also won the Tour Alsace and Tour du Haut Var.

Tiernan-Locke has always maintained his innocence, and blamed the adverse anti-doping test result on a night of drinking. He appealed against the suspension to UK Anti-Doping, but this was overturned.

Although it is rumoured that several teams have expressed an interest in having Tiernan-Locke ride for them in 2016, he will take part in the Primavera Road Race as an independent rider.

  • P S

    I see an awful lot of hate posted about JTL…

    For what it’s worth….this lad has clearly had his issues both on and off the bike. Without doubt he probably has more talent than 99.9% of us will ever have, he’s a natural. He never tested positive, that’s a fact…personally I heard of rumours that emanated from the pro peloton that they thought he might be doping when suddenly he hit a rich seam of form and won key races, no one apart from JTL and those very close to him will ever know the truth. That’s his burden to bare…and if he can walk around with his head held high that’s fine by me.

    He deserves a second chance, everyone does. He’s also served his sentence and quite frankly seeing posts making analogies using paedophiles as a comparison is quite frankly disgusting considering what we are dealing with here. JTL has a loyal following down in his native region and that’s really encouraging to see, there are many key players in the bike world whom have placed their trust in him and his return, he would be seriously letting down them and all that are closest to him.

    I’d hazard a bet that many of the negative posters here probably idolise and display images of the great cycle gods on their garage walls of the late and great gladiators, probably many of them previous serial convicted or suspected dopers…maybe ride up Mt Ventoux and bow their heads and shed a tear for the late great Tommy Simpson…

    Personally I’d love to see JTL ride with the second Cat’s, now that’s a race I’d travel to watch!

    Good luck fella, look forward to seeing you back in the peloton.

  • bowwow rapha

    He’s been a third cat ever since. He wanted a 4th, but they said no!!

  • Thank you for your erudite post.

  • Michael

    Ok, so your response to the question is to avoid answering it honestly by resorting to deflection and then waffling a lot of libellous innuendo about the other poster rather than addressing the subject at hand.

    Ending by inventing the false idea that I haven’t “treated people decently” which is pitifully ironic given the garbage about myself and other people that you fill your posts with – this one included.

  • Michael: Without appearing to be rude, I really do think you need treatment. You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with this topic and attacking those that can not agree with you. My stance is quite simple. Treat others as you would be treated yourself. The rude posts about JTL or DM in these threads are beyond my comprehension. The questions you raise need further discussion and not a knee-jerk reaction. A discussion that we could have if we were geographically closer but not one that contributes to this thread. If you disagree with me, that is one issue, but to go to the extent that you do to goad people here suggests to me that you really are in need of a bit of counselling. If you ever come to Chiang Mai I would be happy to ride out with you and discuss your points in more detail. All I ask you to do is to treat people decently which appears to be beyond your remit.

  • Michael

    Answer the question.

    You said the guy has served his time.

    So, we’ve got a pedophile, loves kids, available weekends. Do you hire him to babysit? It’s Valentine’s day, you could take the wife out.

    Right? Not so keen eh? Suddenly your liberal ideas about rehabilitation changed?

    Well, it’s pretty much the same for other crimes too. You want your daughter to marry a guy who has been in prison 3 times for spousal abuse? He loves her! No?

    So, no, in every walk of life after your sentence has finished that’s not the end. It’s not against justice nor democracy to consider it takes a lot more for trust to be regained than simply waiting until whatever sentence was given to have ended. (Indeed, you seem completely ignorant about things like parole and the rehabilitation of offenders act)

    One more. You’re an insurance company. Peter Pissquick comes in, do you charge him more because of his drunk driving convictions? Yes? Really? How so? I thought your just society would mean he’s paid his price.

    Sheesh. How you had the audacity to say I was being ridiculous after the pile of fetid tripe you typed into this thread I don’t know. Get a grip Franklin.

  • Michael, you can be so ridiculous at times.

  • Michael

    That’s not true. Many have admitted they cheated.

  • Michael

    “In every walk of life, Tim, you serve your time and then are free to get on with your life if you’ve committed a ‘crime'”

    Really? You’d hire a pedophile to babysit your kids would you?

    I’d be more inclined to accept him back with a clean slate had he shown remorse or admitted what he did. As it is, he’s trying to kid anyone who will listen that drinking a few too many sherberts is performance enhancing which will please some of the regulars down at the Bell.

  • J1
  • Andrew

    I don’t think this applies to Dave M as a World Tour team picked him when his ban ended, from memory CSC and Saunier both offered contracts and he picked the latter as they guaranteed him a spot in their 2006 TdF team. As JLT is not signed to a CT, PCT or a WT team then he would have to goto the national body.

  • Giles Cudmore

    Seems petty by BC really, not heard of other federations doing anything like this to riders after bans. Millar dropped from a greater height but went back in at same level he left from.

  • Dudley Samuels

    BTW – Locke blamed it on a nights drinking – well I am racing next week and hope for a good result on Sunday coz I am out on the lash on the Saturday – lets hope I don’t get tested !!!!!!!!!!

  • Dudley Samuels

    Is he on drugs – did he not read the rules

    Am I 100% wrong or is this guy a total bell end .He was banned because he was a “bob hoper – doper” and taking the “juice” and he’s moaning about a 2nd cat licence. In my eyes he’s lucky to get any licence , I wouldn’t give him a driving licence. If he works hard enough and ride clean then he will get an elite licence just like the rest of us have to to get our licences upgraded – bloody piss taker.

  • TG

    What license did Dave Millar get after his ban?

  • Mark Jones

    I was a big fan of JTL and really wanted him to be clean. Either way he was stupid and if he was innocent then he was very irresponsible to go to the World championships after drinking so much. As much I was a fan of him on the bike, he always appeared arrogant in interviews, so I think he would struggle to make it back to a decent level anyway.

  • In every walk of life, Tim, you serve your time and then are free to get on with your life if you’ve committed a ‘crime’. Someone who has been done for shoplifting, theft or a drunk driving charge for example get their fine, licence ban or whatever. Once they’ve served that particular sentence they are free to move on. That’s the nature of a just and democratic society. Unfortunately you guys don’t think that rule applies to cyclists who (in this case) have been done for a blood passport infraction (which indicates that they may or may not have taken Peds). When you say that “once a cheat … always a cheat” that statement initself denies any justice or opportunity for rehabilitation for an ‘offender’. It also says more about you than your victim. In psychological terms those that are quickest to point the finger, or shout the loudest are often people with something to hide. I think you should let go, nice and gently, and allow JTL to race again and not be subject to ongoing smear campaigns. If he made a mistake, he’s served his time. If he’s a serial doper, as you so righteously infer, then he’ll get caught again. That’s up to him, but give him a break and a chance. Please.

  • Tim packer

    Mick rock.. This doper won’t do anything now!! Watch this space

  • Mechanix

    It’s all very straightforward. Categories reflect performance not ability. He has no performances for two years so drops down a cat for each year. They are the rules. Whether he denies doping or not it’s rules that got him banned, rules that set the ban length, and rules that allow him to race again. True, BC can make exceptions and award a higher category. But exceptions are normally applied to allow for circumstances such as injury or participation in disciplines or events that make BC points impossible or impractical to acquire. In other words for things that are either outside the rider’s control and/or for positive reasons related to performance in events outside BC points structure. Not for riders who are being punished for doping or or other violations of disciplinary code.

  • Mike Prytherch

    Absolutely Mick, I don’t know if he did it or not and neither do you, but I have a choice as you do, we can believe all the scientists, the very clever people who devise the tests who have no interest in hanging an innocent man (plus the appeals court as well), or an athlete who surprised everybody with his results and has everything to lose, just like all the other liars who have been proven to of taken drugs, how many times have the tests been wrong ? how many times have the athletes lied ? on the basis of probability and based upon who has the most to lose I decided to go with the testers and consider him a cheat and a doper.

  • Richard Braginton

    blimey how many placings is that

  • Sheldon

    I would have thought BC would give him a 1st licence, he will soon move up, but with a 2nd licence he may have difficulty getting into the premiers. Good luck to the fella, it will be interesting to see how he gets on. If he wins will the doubters say he is on drugs?

  • ummm…

    that solution is too easy i think, although i believe there are certain drugs that should not be on the list. if everyone took what they wanted, as long as done so legally in their country, then that may have an adverse effect on youth participation and trickle up the sport. what governing bodies need to do is to be serious. either they test and give out career ending punishments to everyone – or they dont but dont explicitly say go ahead and dope.

    however, i dont really give a poo if these sports die because drug usage is made OK. Its equally as likely that people wont care because there is money to be made. gonna be athletes dying left and right tho. it is a toss up as to what can happen.

  • Tim packer

    Once a cheat always a cheat.. Until the sport starts setting examples these dopers will keep cheating.. Ban the scumbag doper for ever

  • Hamish

    Aye, let everyone take whatever they want, that will make things better…

  • Hamish

    “He denies it” Lol, of course he does, as has every doper that has ever been caught!

  • Mick Rock

    No, I certainly don’t, but you still don’t have any evidence for what you say. He’s served a suspension for what he may or may not have done. Now let’s give him another chance to show what he can do at elite level.

  • J1

    You have to gain 200 points for 1st cat (from racing in 2nd cat) and 300 points for elite (from racing in 1st cat).

  • Chris Williams

    He is lucky to get a second chance!!!!! Do some legal work to gain your 1st cat licence!

  • ummm…

    i just want to see the pretty bikes go fast. can we stop pretending? pro sport is pathetic with their faux moralisms.

  • ummm…

    every sport is rife with doping. if i was a pro athlete id moan all day too. the governing bodies of these sports are jokes. life is unfair and NO firm or institution is without its flaws, however when it comes to sport there is no moral high ground. id be pissed too. what is their rationale behind him getting a cat 2? because he may have lost some dexterity in the peloton?

  • Tim packer

    Mick rock!! The man is a cheater liar and doper!! And he still has the nerve to moan about things!! Perhaps you think dopers deserve a place in cycling!!

  • Richard Braginton

    how many placing does it take to move up to 1st cat then elite

  • Mick Rock

    He denies it, and you don’t have a clue either way.

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    Note to B.C. It’s hard to sustain the moral high ground whilst being petty and small-minded. You should set an example.

  • Mike Prytherch

    Jonathan Tiernan-Locke unhappy… never heard that before… always seems unhappy doesn’t he, perhaps he should’ve thought of the consequences before him cheated and took drugs.

  • J1

    Good.