• Cycling

Tiernan-Locke was keen on more testing, say former team

ESPN staff
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Jonathan Tiernan-Locke won the Tour of Britain in 2012 © PA Photos
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Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke was keen to undergo extra testing to put paid to speculation he was using performance-enhancing drugs after victories in 2012, according to his former team.

It was revealed in the Sunday Times last week that Tiernan-Locke has been made aware of a potential discrepancy in his biological passport.

On Thursday, Tiernan-Locke withdrew ahead of Sunday's road race at the World Championships in Italy citing a lack of form, when in fact it was due to a UCI inquiry over his suspect blood values.

Tiernan-Locke raced for Endura before joining Sky in October 2012 following his Tour of Britain win. Earlier in the year he won the Tour Mediterraneen and Tour du Haut Var.

Endura have defended their anti-doping policy and insist Tiernan-Locke complied with it fully.

A statement read: "Endura Racing's culture has always been entirely at odds with cheating in any form including the use of PEDs [Performance Enhancing Drugs] and nothing in Jonathan Tiernan-Locke's conduct during his 2012 season with the team gave rise to concerns that his approach was at odds with this in any way."

His early-season performances where questioned by a report in France, which led Endura and Tiernan-Locke to request to UCI put the rider on a biological passport. Endura were not part of the scheme as a UCI Continental-level team.

"Endura, with the full support of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, made a request to the UCI to be allowed to pay to have him put on a biological passport in order to counter the rumours of performance enhancing drugs that circulated after his wins in Tour Mediterraneen and Tour du Haut Var in 2012," the statement added.

"However this request was refused by the UCI."

Endura also stressed that no adverse results were found when Tiernan-Locke was made available to Team Garmin-Sharp and Team Sky - who had shown an interest in him - in April and May last year.

"At this early stage, without detailed information, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the reasons for inconsistencies in Jonathan Tiernan-Locke's biological passport data," Endura added.

"It is known that there are many possible legitimate causes including fatigue and ill-health, both of which we understand he has suffered from in the last year."

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