GENEVA (AFP) — World cycling’s governing body has started disciplinary proceedings against Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke for a doping violation, the UCI said on Tuesday.
“The 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 said in a statement.
In line with UCI anti-doping rules, the governing body said it had asked British Cycling to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the rider.
It declined to comment further.
In September, Sky announced that Tiernan-Locke faced an investigation by the UCI over unexplained discrepancies in his biological passport and that he had withdrawn from racing.
The 28-year-old joined Sky in January after winning last year’s Tour of Britain.
The UCI uses biological passports to monitor riders’ blood readings for signs of doping offences.
Sky said the data being assessed came from Tiernan-Locke’s time with former team Endura.
In a statement released to the media, Tiernan-Locke denied he had done anything wrong.
“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,” the statement says.
“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.”
Sky released a statement via its website:
“Team Sky notes that 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.”