Chris Froome says Jonathan Tiernan-Locke case will taint himself and Team Sky

TdF champ reacts to news of team-mate facing disciplinary proceedings; but former manager Brian Smith insists JTL

by Simon_MacMichael   December 18, 2013  

05 Chris Froome at the TDF 2013 launch © Simon MacMichael

Tour de France champion Chris Froome says the UCI’s decision, announced yesterday, that disciplinary proceedings should be opened against Jonathan Tiernan-Locke due to discrepancies in his biological passport data will “inevitably” taint his own achievements as well as Team Sky. But Tiernan-Locke’s former manager at Endura Racing, Brian Smith, insists the Devon-born rider is not a cheat.

Froome, who was himself subject to insinuations of doping from some quarters while winning the Tour de France in July, told the BBC that the case being opened against his team-mate will harm his own image and that of their team.

"Definitely. Inevitably that's the reality of it,” he said. “It's hugely unfortunate for the team this is now happening."

UCI president Brian Cookson has ordered an independent inquiry into the sport’s culture of doping. While Froome agreed that it was an issue that needs to be addressed, he expressed the hope that it could move on.

"I really do think the best thing to do with the whole doping culture of the sport, to move past that image that we've had in the past, is to talk about it," he said.

"Be completely open and say: 'Listen, this was is what happened in the sport back then but it's definitely not happening any more, and these are the reasons.'

"It needs to be talked about and we need to move on from that.

"But there is going to be a point when enough is enough, and we need to get on and start talking about the good things in the sport and the great racing that's getting missed now because we're harping on about what happened 10 years ago."

When concerns over Tiernan-Locke’s biological passport data were first made public in September, Team Sky insisted that the values in question related to late 2012, before he joined the WorldTour outfit for the 2013 season.

But Endura, the clothing brand that owned and sponsored the 28-year-old’s former team with which he won the 2012 Tour of Britain, said he spent much of that year training with Sky ahead of his move.

Former British national champion Smith, who managed the team, told the BBC: "I'm 100% behind him. He's not a doper. Endura racing had a no-doping stance and as far as I'm concerned he was true to his word.

"Throughout the Tour of Britain he was urine-tested every day and a blood booster would have shown up, so it doesn't make sense."

The BBC added that Tiernan-Locke’s manager, Andrew McQuaid – son of former UCI president, Pat McQuaid – had declined to comment, saying only that he was concentrating on the rider’s defence.

17 user comments

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Can't argue with Froome, I don't really see how JTL can actually prove he has taken nothing, and this is the problem, innocent or guilty he can't prove it. Thus it will reflect on Sky, there is no way Sky can disassociate from JTL, no way they can prove he was clean and as a result there will be an element that will assume the worst regardless of what the final decision is, consider that the final decision can't be final because they can't prove he has taken drugs either!!!

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posted by mrmo [1006 posts]
18th December 2013 - 14:17

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So his manager is a McQuaid !

As for Brian Smith, he's never liked Sky so its no surprise he's trying to chuck the blame their way.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2642 posts]
18th December 2013 - 14:20

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Froome making himself look guilty if you ask me......I know, no of you did or would ask me Devil

Most if not all people know that this relates to when JTL wasn't even with Sky, so guilty by association doesn't even work in this case Wave

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posted by Gkam84 [8639 posts]
18th December 2013 - 14:48

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Not sure why he felt he had to comment on this one. As has been said it relates to before JTL was at sky, and Sky has already stated that they are awaiting the outcome of his defense to this charges/allegations.

Personally not a fan of Froome, must feel he is due some attention after missing out to a Scot on SPOTY.

posted by NIrish [23 posts]
18th December 2013 - 15:17

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NIrish wrote:
Not sure why he felt he had to comment on this one. As has been said it relates to before JTL was at sky, and Sky has already stated that they are awaiting the outcome of his defense to this charges/allegations.

Personally not a fan of Froome, must feel he is due some attention after missing out to a Scot on SPOTY.

And if Froome was asked the question, and refused to answer, what has he got to hide....

Can't win!

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posted by mrmo [1006 posts]
18th December 2013 - 15:22

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NIrish wrote:
Not sure why he felt he had to comment on this one. As has been said it relates to before JTL was at sky, and Sky has already stated that they are awaiting the outcome of his defense to this charges/allegations.

Personally not a fan of Froome, must feel he is due some attention after missing out to a Scot on SPOTY.

I expect some BBC journo asked him a question along the lines of "Do you think the JTL thing will reflect badly on you?" and he answered. I wouldn't say that's attention seeking.

posted by Chuck [351 posts]
18th December 2013 - 15:27

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And we thought McQuaid was buried!!

antonio

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posted by antonio [923 posts]
18th December 2013 - 15:37

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I don't think Brian Smith is trying to put the boot in to Sky, I think he is trying to support Jon.

I also think he is challenging Sky's comment that 'all this was before he had anything to do with us' which is frankly untrue... yes he wasn't contracted, but he was training almost exclusively under BC and Sky for the second half of 2012.

I didn't like to read Froome's comments, but as Chuck suggested, more than likely he was being quoted on a specific question asked, rather than actively promoting his opinion.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [180 posts]
18th December 2013 - 16:01

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Can we just wait until all the information comes out on JTL. As far as I'm concerned he's innocent until it is proven his results could not be produced naturally or due to any health issue. They have found an abnormality, not proof of chugging the special stuff.

posted by Simmo72 [263 posts]
18th December 2013 - 17:47

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I read this as Froome nailing the coffin shut on JTL at Sky. Everyone knows he wasn't at Sky in 2012 so Froome is showing him the door just in case and before there is any chance of an 'all clear' and he finds himself having to line up with JTL.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1161 posts]
18th December 2013 - 18:15

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Bit of a selfish statement from Froomw if you ask me!
Nothing sticking the knife in to a fellow team mate and country men...... Thinking

'Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you'

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posted by livestrongnick [1661 posts]
18th December 2013 - 18:30

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livestrongnick wrote:
Bit of a selfish statement from Froomw if you ask me!
Nothing sticking the knife in to a fellow team mate and country men...... Thinking

Have to disagree, what can Froome say if asked about JTL?

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posted by mrmo [1006 posts]
18th December 2013 - 19:47

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Froomey has it wrong there.... Nobody is going on about what happened 10yrs ago.....! We are completely in the present and idiots are still doing it, ahem cough cough ... Micheal Rodgers, clenbuterol... It may be used as a fat stripper however that still leads to better performance (also a bronchiole medication) so opens the airways hence more oxygen intake. He obviously enjoyed his food over the last few months.

The trouble with real life is that there is no danger music.

The Cable Guy

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posted by Cyclist [119 posts]
18th December 2013 - 20:31

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Cyclist wrote:
Froomey has it wrong there.... Nobody is going on about what happened 10yrs ago.....! We are completely in the present and idiots are still doing it, ahem cough cough ... Micheal Rodgers, clenbuterol... It may be used as a fat stripper however that still leads to better performance (also a bronchiole medication) so opens the airways hence more oxygen intake. He obviously enjoyed his food over the last few months.

Those who want to hide the truth about doping in sport are going on about what happened 10 years ago. Those who have eyes to see and brains to think are talking about the here and now. The doping is different, but it is still there. You are definitely right about fat-stripping drugs especially for Grand Tour preparation - I had never seem stickmen time-trial like diesel trains until this last 2 seasons.

posted by daddyELVIS [337 posts]
18th December 2013 - 22:32

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Tell me more about these 'fat-stripping' drugs. Thinking
6ft 200lbs BMI 27

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1161 posts]
19th December 2013 - 4:26

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"Be completely open and say: 'Listen, this was is what happened in the sport back then but it's definitely not happening any more, and these are the reasons.'

"It needs to be talked about and we need to move on from that.

"But there is going to be a point when enough is enough, and we need to get on and start talking about the good things in the sport and the great racing that's getting missed now because we're harping on about what happened 10 years ago."

This is getting very irritating listening to riders like Froome. It's not what happened ten years ago, you dickwad, it's the last two. And Rogers' provisional suspension for clenbuterol was yesterday.

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posted by dullard [140 posts]
19th December 2013 - 13:56

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I always thought one was innocent until proven guilty. Seems so many ex spurts here have dropped the hammer already. If daily urine test didn't show anything then I suspect he'll still be found guilty unless he has a card close to his chest.
Me....I think he's clean.

posted by Guyz2010 [280 posts]
20th December 2013 - 17:41

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