Jonathan Tiernan-Locke says UKAD dismissed sample that would have cleared him

Sample was acknowledged by UKAD - but test wasn't conducted under bio passport programme or WADA protocols

by Simon_MacMichael   August 28, 2014  

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke GCN YouTube still

Former Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, currently serving a two-year ban due to abnormalities in his biological passport data, insists that a test carried out two days after the one that triggered his suspension is proof that he did not use performance-enhancing drugs – but adds that UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and experts from the UCI ignored it.

It was a sample taken from the 29-year-old on 22 September 2012 – during the week between his overall victory in the Tour of Britain, when he was riding for Endura Racing, and his debut for Great Britain at the World Championships, that led to his ban.

The full decision published by UKAD last week revealed that the Devon rider had blamed the abnormal values on his dehydration following a drinking binge in Bristol with his girlfriend on 20 September to celebrate his negotiation of a two-year contract with Team Sky.

But he says that a sample taken “at the request of Team Sky” at the Central Manchester University Hospital on 24 September – the day after the road race at the Worlds, where he was the protected British rider and finished 19th – demonstrates that he was clean, reports the Torquay Herald Express.

In its decision, UKAD acknowledged that as far as that test on 24 September was concerned, “there is no reason to question its accuracy,” although it noted that it was not carried out under the UCI’s Athlete Biological Passport programme, nor was it conducted in accordance with World Anti-Doping Agency protocols.

The rider maintains, however, that the sample showed his values returning to their normal parameters, and did not stop Team Sky from confirming his signing.

He told the newspaper: “The September 24 test was a key piece of evidence for us which was dismissed.

“That sample showed that the one test in question was just an anomaly from acute dehydration amongst other things.

“And in a doping scenario, you certainly wouldn’t have seen the values return to normal for possibly weeks, not 48 hours.”

While he has the right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the rider, who was fined £15,400, equivalent to 70 per cent of his gross income for 2012, and was also ordered to pay costs, said he cannot afford to pursue further action to try and clear his name.

He also said that he had queried with the UCI why they had not undertaken targeted testing of him following the suspicious values revealed by that 22 September test, adding that his next test came more than two months afterwards.

“The UCI had no good response, and could not explain why I was not tested in the period following the Worlds,” he said.

“We argued that, if they had done that, I would likely not be in this position.”

In the absence of a successful appeal against his ban, Tiernan-Locke will remain suspended until 31 December 2015.

29 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

He says they dismissed it, as though they didn't allow it to be taken into account. From the rest of the information given, it sounds like they looked at it and didn't agree with his assertions to the meaning of the result.

posted by step-hent [711 posts]
28th August 2014 - 21:40

37 Likes

Pretty sure that Sky would have footed the bill had that been the case.

posted by Joelsim [1766 posts]
28th August 2014 - 21:56

25 Likes

I would sell my grandmother to fund an appeal if I knew I was innocent

posted by ratattat [42 posts]
28th August 2014 - 23:06

40 Likes

A little taken back by how much a TOB winner earns.

posted by willythepimp [34 posts]
28th August 2014 - 23:59

26 Likes

Why is he complaining if he did not do the sample the correct way than that is his fault.
Surely he and who ever looks after him knew the rules and regulations as to how/where he should do the sample.

Good grief

posted by Binky [115 posts]
29th August 2014 - 0:08

24 Likes

willythepimp wrote:
A little taken back by how much a TOB winner earns.

I was a little taken back by how little. I guess this would be his Netapp-Endura salary though? The UCI minimum wage in 2012 was 23,000 euros for a Pro-Conti team. I would hope this income figure doesn't include prize money.

On that salary, a fine of 70% of your gross annual income plus presumably legal fees must be a nightmare, unless his Sky salary was substantially higher. No wonder he won't contest it further.

posted by giobox [357 posts]
29th August 2014 - 0:19

27 Likes

Binky wrote:
Why is he complaining if he did not do the sample the correct way than that is his fault.
Surely he and who ever looks after him knew the rules and regulations as to how/where he should do the sample.

Good grief

I'm not sure you have read the article properly.

The test was done at the request of Team Sky as part of their checks before he signed for them. It was nothing to do with anti-doping and it wasn't done to form part of his defence as it took place a year before he was even charged.

posted by NeilG83 [273 posts]
29th August 2014 - 0:20

26 Likes

Why is he complaining if he did not do the sample the correct way than that is his fault.
Surely he and who ever looks after him knew the rules and regulations as to how/where he should do the sample.

He didn't 'do' the sample, that isn't at all how it works, you don't just piss in a cup when you fancy and post it in down the post office. Nor do you ring up UKAD and request one to be done because you fancy it

What he's saying is that while the UKAD testing samples may appear abnormal, one taken a few days later in hospital is and corroborates his reasoning for the UKAD samples being off, which if it does would seem likely.

SamSkjord's picture

posted by SamSkjord [34 posts]
29th August 2014 - 0:28

21 Likes

We also know from Armstrong, Hamilton etc that it is possible to change values and hide evidence fairly quickly - knowing that testers were arriving gave them the chance to make adjustments and cover up.

So the assertion that a test two days later shows everything was OK doesn't seem credible.

Maybe it depends what the anomalies were supposed to be evidence of, and as far as I know that hasn't been detailed.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [622 posts]
29th August 2014 - 7:46

19 Likes

Straws. Clutching at. JTL credibility is zero, so HIS assertions mean little. If Sky thought he had a reasonable excuse you'd think they would be making more noises about this second sample. But UKADA can't accept external samples which make riders look innocent. That rather defeats the purpose of the testing. JTL obviously still in the denial stage, but then if you had persuaded your friends and family you were innocent you'd want to defend yourself in their eyes.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1429 posts]
29th August 2014 - 8:30

17 Likes

KEEP FIGHTING JTL!

Pepita rides again!

posted by pepita1 [191 posts]
29th August 2014 - 9:26

16 Likes

"Straws. Clutching at. JTL credibility is zero, so HIS assertions mean little. "
One assumes that you are the medics who took the sample or maybe JTL himself. No one else knows.
Otherwise just more idiotic guess work based on half arsed web junk and personal prejudice.
This sort of thing is pointless at best.

posted by mattsccm [289 posts]
29th August 2014 - 9:37

11 Likes

Colin Peyresourde wrote:
Straws. Clutching at. JTL credibility is zero, so HIS assertions mean little. If Sky thought he had a reasonable excuse you'd think they would be making more noises about this second sample.

Or maybe it made it easier for Sky to get rid of a rider who wasn't performing and opened a place on the roster to someone else?

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1646 posts]
29th August 2014 - 10:20

11 Likes

Right, so what he's saying is that when he was tested on the 20th, it was riddled with signs of doping.

But in a test he did at a later date, after a fairly big race and presumably much further after the time any doping had taken place, his blood appeared much more normal.

It's not like doping wears off and blood returns to normal is it?

I'm losing a lot of sympathy for JTL, and a lot of my sympathy is being eroded by shit articles in the Torquay Herald.

posted by farrell [1712 posts]
29th August 2014 - 10:54

10 Likes

See paragraph 45 of the PDF linked from the story. Summary: the ABP experts are not allowed to consider the sample, but looking at its values they say it is still abnormal. I don't think it would have made any difference to his defence if it was considered.

The point of the ABP is that it is based on a series of carefully collected and analysed samples over time. You can't go tossing in samples analysed on different equipment.

Oh, and if this excluded sample does show his values returning to normal, that doesn't mean he wasn't doping.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1396 posts]
29th August 2014 - 11:03

10 Likes

mattsccm wrote:
"Straws. Clutching at. JTL credibility is zero, so HIS assertions mean little. "
One assumes that you are the medics who took the sample or maybe JTL himself. No one else knows.
Otherwise just more idiotic guess work based on half arsed web junk and personal prejudice.

The UKAD report makes it clear that they believe that his explanation for the sample that led to his suspension was implausible. Furthermore, it appears that the doctor employed in his defence could offer little or nothing to back up that explanation.

It's not an unfair statement to say that his credibility on the matter is zero, or certainly close to it, in my view.

posted by dp24 [196 posts]
29th August 2014 - 11:24

10 Likes

For gods sake, Tiernan-Locke, just man up and take your punishment. As for South Devon's newspapers, does his mum own them or something? The 'journo' who keeps writing the 'justice for JTL' articles clearly cant be arsed to read up on how the ABP works.

Let me guess....nice Devon boys don't dope...

posted by Sam1 [220 posts]
29th August 2014 - 11:24

8 Likes

mrmo wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:
Straws. Clutching at. JTL credibility is zero, so HIS assertions mean little. If Sky thought he had a reasonable excuse you'd think they would be making more noises about this second sample.

Or maybe it made it easier for Sky to get rid of a rider who wasn't performing and opened a place on the roster to someone else?

With JTL on the roster, Sky weren't up to the full 30 riders they could have had on their roster, either last year or this. And they've been paying his salary since right up until the UKAD decision was announced a few weeks ago. So it can hardly have been a money-saving exercise, either. And for all the bad PR that came along with his ADRV? Hardly worth it, eh?

posted by Sam1 [220 posts]
29th August 2014 - 11:29

7 Likes

farrell wrote:
Right, so what he's saying is that when he was tested on the 20th, it was riddled with signs of doping.

But in a test he did at a later date, after a fairly big race and presumably much further after the time any doping had taken place, his blood appeared much more normal.

It's not like doping wears off and blood returns to normal is it?

I'm losing a lot of sympathy for JTL, and a lot of my sympathy is being eroded by shit articles in the Torquay Herald.

From all the other dope confessionals we're heard recently, the whole point of managing your 'glow time' was that 48 hrs is quite enough depending on the substances, so the bit about "months, not 48hrs" is a bit dodgy.

As for the Torquay Herald, well there's no bias there is there?!

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3601 posts]
29th August 2014 - 11:37

5 Likes

Also, I'm pretty sure that there isn't a "Central Manchester University Hospital". There are a bunch of hospitals, such as the Eye Hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary, that make up the Central Manchester University Hospital Trust.

David Thomas should really give this up and stop thinking that he is the Devonshire Nancy Drew.

posted by farrell [1712 posts]
29th August 2014 - 11:40

6 Likes

Thank you for explaining chaps Smile

posted by Binky [115 posts]
29th August 2014 - 11:55

10 Likes

two days before the World's he decides that the best way to celebrate is to get completely wasted? Either that's not quite the whole truth, or the guy has an abuse problem that he needs to get under control sooner than later. Or both.
Either way, if I were Sky, he'd be on his bike, as it were.

posted by clayfit [44 posts]
29th August 2014 - 12:27

7 Likes

Jesus, the level of ignorance posted on this thread is beyond a joke.

First up... 'glow time', specifically talks about how long synthetic EPO can be detected in the blood after administration.

If the effects of doping only last 48hours than they are a bit pointless.

JTL's guilty charge was based on comparing the levels of mature red blood cells with new blood cells. If you are not doing anything to boost blood values, there will be a set relationship between these two figures.

This is how the Passport system works... because the 'glow' time is so short, you need to look for the effects of doping, not the actual doping itself.

The test given on the 22nd September was completely out of whack... which was then not repeated at any time in the future. The conclusion was that something had been deliberately done to alter those figures around the time of the first test.

There was no substances found, he hadn't been caught taking EPO, so talk of glow time is stupid.

The test taken on the 24th September is very relevant if it does indeed show blood values returning to normal.

The point of measuring the ratio of mature and immature blood cells is effective as you can't just hydrate your way to a clean test result. If the parameters are normal in one of these tests, they are normal.

You can't get normal values in 48hours by false methods or by doping, so if accurate, and representative, it sheds doubts on one or the other of the two test results. Blood returns to normal, but takes a long time to do so... finishing a race won't mean your blood returns to normal.

The point to remember at this stage, is that the drink binge story is also similarly questionable, because dehydration won't effect blood cell ratios.

I understand why the Sky test, the test that SKY chose to do on their own back, and passed JTL fit to ride for them on the basis of, can not be used as evidence.

If accurate, it means the other test is innaccurate, or something other than EPO or manipulation of blood via transfusion has taken place. A test result from a non WADA UKADA source can not be taken in evidence over that of a sanctioned test.

I find it very irksome how the chorus of 'his silence speaks volumes about his guilt' instantly changes when he does speak out to 'why won't he give up and just take it like a man?' Which is it??? Or do we just want him to bugger off and stop challenging our polarized views whether guilty or innocent?

I don't know if JTL is guilty or not.. I believe the guy, I believe what he's told me, but I don't know.... and thats the point, I don't know for sure, so I can't shout from the rooftops that its the crime of the century or the biggest misjustice... I don't see how some can be so unwaveringly scathing.

My final comment is if this SKY test does shoe normal values (not sure what it shows so can't say) than I for one would suggest that its the latter... as despite what some of you think, he didn't have the finances or the contacts to be undertaking what would need to have been the most sophisticated blood doping programme ever seen to be able to manipulate his blood that much in such a short period of time.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [432 posts]
29th August 2014 - 14:29

15 Likes

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
Jesus, the level of ignorance posted on this thread is beyond a joke.

First up... 'glow time', specifically talks about how long synthetic EPO can be detected in the blood after administration.

If the effects of doping only last 48hours than they are a bit pointless.

...

Quote:

Fair enough, it was me that mentioned the g-word, so I stand corrected. That said though, I've been mostly hovering on the fence on this one, as I don't claim to know one way or the other.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3601 posts]
29th August 2014 - 14:52

5 Likes

Point 45 of the linked PDF decision rips his argument up and tosses it in the bin. They did look at the values in the sample even though its not admissable under Wada rules and they were still outside the normal ranges.

http://www.ukad.org.uk/anti-doping-rule-violations/download-decision/a/6605

posted by litespeed_di2 [8 posts]
29th August 2014 - 14:53

8 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
Jesus, the level of ignorance posted on this thread is beyond a joke.

First up... 'glow time', specifically talks about how long synthetic EPO can be detected in the blood after administration.

If the effects of doping only last 48hours than they are a bit pointless.

...

Quote:

Fair enough, it was me that mentioned the g-word, so I stand corrected. That said though, I've been mostly hovering on the fence on this one, as I don't claim to know one way or the other.

Sorry, my comments weren't directed specifically at you, it was just that yours was the last one I read...

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [432 posts]
29th August 2014 - 15:34

3 Likes

litespeed_di2 wrote:
Point 45 of the linked PDF decision rips his argument up and tosses it in the bin. They did look at the values in the sample even though its not admissable under Wada rules and they were still outside the normal ranges.

http://www.ukad.org.uk/anti-doping-rule-violations/download-decision/a/6605

...and Sky still signed him! Mmm, interesting.

posted by daddyELVIS [498 posts]
29th August 2014 - 15:43

8 Likes

daddyELVIS wrote:
litespeed_di2 wrote:
Point 45 of the linked PDF decision rips his argument up and tosses it in the bin. They did look at the values in the sample even though its not admissable under Wada rules and they were still outside the normal ranges.

http://www.ukad.org.uk/anti-doping-rule-violations/download-decision/a/6605

...and Sky still signed him! Mmm, interesting.

You can't tell from one sample from an athlete what is normal. To catch someone the Athlete Biological Passport needs many samples collected over a long time period.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1396 posts]
29th August 2014 - 17:36

7 Likes

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
You can't get normal values in 48hours by false methods or by doping, so if accurate, and representative, it sheds doubts on one or the other of the two test results. Blood returns to normal, but takes a long time to do so... finishing a race won't mean your blood returns to normal.

The second "Sky / Manchester" sample was still abnormal, and the "apparent increase in reticulocyte readings" were probably within experimental error compared to the first. (Paragraph 45 of the published judgement.)

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1396 posts]
29th August 2014 - 17:42

3 Likes