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Banned cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke says bio passport wouldn't stand up in "proper court"

Ex-Sky rider says he's happy for Roman Kreuziger - but says process is loaded against riders...

Banned cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has hit out at the UCI’s biological passport, claiming it would not bear scrutiny in a “proper court,” and that the proces is loaded against riders. The ex-Team Sky rider also compared his situation to that of Tinkoff-Saxo’s Roman Kreuziger, cleared on similar charges.

The UCI appealed the decision last September of the Czech authorities to clear Kreuziger to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but the governing body dropped the case two days before the hearing, which had been scheduled for last week.

Tiernan-Locke, who said in April that he plans to return to racing next year when his ban ends, told the Western Morning News: “I’m really happy for Kreuziger that he has finally been cleared, but it’s so worrying that it got that far.

“I can only imagine the expense he must have incurred – and he must have been almost out the door on his way to Switzerland when the UCI decision came. It was so last-minute. His reputation has taken a massive hit, just like mine has, and also that of his team.”

Tiernan-Locke himself was handed a partly backdated two-year ban last July for irregularities in his athlete biological passport dating back to September 2012, when he was with Endura Racing.

He said the values in question, relating to the week between him winning the Tour of Britain and riding in the UCI Road World Championships, were due to dehydration after a night out celebrating his move to Sky with his girlfriend, claiming he drank 33 units of alcohol.

UK Anti-Doping’s National Anti-Doping panel dismissed his defence, however, and stripped him of that Tour of Britain win. He was also sacked by Team Sky, and while he has continued to assert his innocence.

He did not exercise his right to appeal the decision to the CAS, and said: “As far as taking my own case further, the small window of opportunity to go to CAS has long since passed, even if I could have afforded it.

“However, should the chance arise in the future where I could be heard at a proper court, I would grab it with both hands, as I’m confident the ‘passport’ would not stand up to the same scrutiny applied to forensics there.”

He added: “I’ve never wanted to hurt the sport of cycling – I hope to race again next year. But as I found out, the process is so weighted against the athlete.

“For the UCI, the passport has to seem infallible, so they need to win cases at almost any cost. And it’s wrong that, on the back of that, they have the power of God, it seems.”

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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37 comments

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Gkam84 | 8 years ago
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33 units is only a bottle of Absolut Vodka, I remember in my younger days between four guys in a flat, we could easily polish off 6 bottles of it in the course of a night, talking 6-2, so 8 hours, but we weren't just necking it, you could easily consume that much in 6 hours and still be able to cycle, to what level would depend on your level of coping, you'd have a rather sore head.

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farrell replied to Gkam84 | 8 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

33 units is only a bottle of Absolut Vodka, I remember in my younger days between four guys in a flat, we could easily polish off 6 bottles of it in the course of a night, talking 6-2, so 8 hours, but we weren't just necking it, you could easily consume that much in 6 hours and still be able to cycle, to what level would depend on your level of coping, you'd have a rather sore head.

What level did you race to?

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Bob's Bikes | 8 years ago
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He said the values in question, were due to dehydration after a night out claiming he drank 33 units of alcohol.

That's approx 15 pints, now I am not a skinny super fit cyclist instead I am quite a big lad and a bit of a drinker but not that bloody much!

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farrell replied to Bob's Bikes | 8 years ago
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FATBEGGARONABIKE wrote:

He said the values in question, were due to dehydration after a night out claiming he drank 33 units of alcohol.

That's approx 15 pints, now I am not a skinny super fit cyclist instead I am quite a big lad and a bit of a drinker but not that bloody much!

I find drinking that amount fairly believable.

However, drinking that amount in 6 hours is a bit more difficult to fathom.

But drinking that amount, in six hours and then flying out and managing to be the fastest British rider at the world championships? Pull the other one JTL, it's got bells on.

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fukawitribe replied to Bob's Bikes | 8 years ago
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FATBEGGARONABIKE wrote:

He said the values in question, were due to dehydration after a night out claiming he drank 33 units of alcohol.

That's approx 15 pints

...only if it's really weak beer  1

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stevie63 | 8 years ago
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I would feel sorry for him if he just held his hands up admitted he doped, apologised to his fans and promised to ride clean on his return.

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andyp | 8 years ago
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'I feel sorry for JTL.'

I don't. He doped.

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daddyELVIS replied to andyp | 8 years ago
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andyp wrote:

'I feel sorry for JTL.'

I don't. He doped.

Just like all the others (in fact his programme probably not as sophisticated as the top riders). I don't live in the land of fairies!

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fukawitribe replied to daddyELVIS | 8 years ago
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daddyELVIS wrote:
andyp wrote:

'I feel sorry for JTL.'

I don't. He doped.

Just like all the others (in fact his programme probably not as sophisticated as the top riders). I don't live in the land of fairies!

You are if you believe that everyone else is definitely doping.

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daddyELVIS replied to fukawitribe | 8 years ago
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fukawitribe wrote:
daddyELVIS wrote:
andyp wrote:

'I feel sorry for JTL.'

I don't. He doped.

Just like all the others (in fact his programme probably not as sophisticated as the top riders). I don't live in the land of fairies!

You are if you believe that everyone else is definitely doping.

You are if you believe most are not! - but then you probably don't class TUE abuse and corticosteroid abuse as doping.

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fukawitribe replied to daddyELVIS | 8 years ago
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daddyELVIS wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
daddyELVIS wrote:
andyp wrote:

'I feel sorry for JTL.'

I don't. He doped.

Just like all the others (in fact his programme probably not as sophisticated as the top riders). I don't live in the land of fairies!

You are if you believe that everyone else is definitely doping.

You are if you believe most are not! - but then you probably don't class TUE abuse and corticosteroid abuse as doping.

I didn't say 'most', I said everyone- just as you keep saying. Stop the over generalisations or back it up.

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daddyELVIS replied to fukawitribe | 8 years ago
0 likes
fukawitribe wrote:
daddyELVIS wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
daddyELVIS wrote:
andyp wrote:

'I feel sorry for JTL.'

I don't. He doped.

Just like all the others (in fact his programme probably not as sophisticated as the top riders). I don't live in the land of fairies!

You are if you believe that everyone else is definitely doping.

You are if you believe most are not! - but then you probably don't class TUE abuse and corticosteroid abuse as doping.

I didn't say 'most', I said everyone- just as you keep saying. Stop the over generalisations or back it up.

It's a turn-of-phrase, you know that. I'm certain Taylor Phinney doesn't dope, but then a cyclist with that much talent hardly winning anything is sad!

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fukawitribe replied to daddyELVIS | 8 years ago
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daddyELVIS wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:

I didn't say 'most', I said everyone- just as you keep saying. Stop the over generalisations or back it up.

It's a turn-of-phrase, you know that. I'm certain Taylor Phinney doesn't dope, but then a cyclist with that much talent hardly winning anything is sad!

You keep using it, and in more certain terms than this (as you also know) - the same as Colin asserting that the top 20% of all endurance sports are doping. It's almost certainly bollocks so just stop doing it and say what you think rather than for effect.

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daddyELVIS replied to fukawitribe | 8 years ago
0 likes
fukawitribe wrote:
daddyELVIS wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:

I didn't say 'most', I said everyone- just as you keep saying. Stop the over generalisations or back it up.

It's a turn-of-phrase, you know that. I'm certain Taylor Phinney doesn't dope, but then a cyclist with that much talent hardly winning anything is sad!

You keep using it, and in more certain terms than this (as you also know) - the same as Colin asserting that the top 20% of all endurance sports are doping. It's almost certainly bollocks so just stop doing it and say what you think rather than for effect.

Keep believing! You'll no doubt believe Farah is clean then?

Avatar
fukawitribe replied to daddyELVIS | 8 years ago
0 likes
daddyELVIS wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
daddyELVIS wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:

I didn't say 'most', I said everyone- just as you keep saying. Stop the over generalisations or back it up.

It's a turn-of-phrase, you know that. I'm certain Taylor Phinney doesn't dope, but then a cyclist with that much talent hardly winning anything is sad!

You keep using it, and in more certain terms than this (as you also know) - the same as Colin asserting that the top 20% of all endurance sports are doping. It's almost certainly bollocks so just stop doing it and say what you think rather than for effect.

Keep believing! You'll no doubt believe Farah is clean then?

Grow up.

Avatar
daddyELVIS replied to fukawitribe | 8 years ago
0 likes
fukawitribe wrote:
daddyELVIS wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:
daddyELVIS wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:

I didn't say 'most', I said everyone- just as you keep saying. Stop the over generalisations or back it up.

It's a turn-of-phrase, you know that. I'm certain Taylor Phinney doesn't dope, but then a cyclist with that much talent hardly winning anything is sad!

You keep using it, and in more certain terms than this (as you also know) - the same as Colin asserting that the top 20% of all endurance sports are doping. It's almost certainly bollocks so just stop doing it and say what you think rather than for effect.

Keep believing! You'll no doubt believe Farah is clean then?

Grow up.

You said 'it's almost certainly bollocks'. I say, when it comes to distance running it's clearly almost certainly certain!

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andyp replied to daddyELVIS | 8 years ago
0 likes
daddyELVIS wrote:
andyp wrote:

'I feel sorry for JTL.'

I don't. He doped.

Just like all the others (in fact his programme probably not as sophisticated as the top riders). I don't live in the land of fairies!

Nor do I. It doesn't matter a jot whether everyone else is doing it. He did, and he got caught. Tough shit.
Same goes for anyone else doping, whatever the level.

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daddyELVIS replied to andyp | 8 years ago
0 likes
andyp wrote:
daddyELVIS wrote:
andyp wrote:

'I feel sorry for JTL.'

I don't. He doped.

Just like all the others (in fact his programme probably not as sophisticated as the top riders). I don't live in the land of fairies!

Nor do I. It doesn't matter a jot whether everyone else is doing it. He did, and he got caught. Tough shit.
Same goes for anyone else doping, whatever the level.

The issue isn't as simple as that, I'm afraid. And unless you understand that nearly every top-class athlete is doping ('legal' doping included), then you can't even start to address the problem. Banning a few bad apples won't work.

Avatar
daddyELVIS replied to andyp | 8 years ago
0 likes
andyp wrote:
daddyELVIS wrote:
andyp wrote:

'I feel sorry for JTL.'

I don't. He doped.

Just like all the others (in fact his programme probably not as sophisticated as the top riders). I don't live in the land of fairies!

Nor do I. It doesn't matter a jot whether everyone else is doing it. He did, and he got caught. Tough shit.
Same goes for anyone else doping, whatever the level.

The issue isn't as simple as that, I'm afraid. And unless you understand that nearly every top-class athlete is doping ('legal' doping included), then you can't even start to address the problem. Banning a few bad apples won't work.

Avatar
daddyELVIS | 8 years ago
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I feel sorry for JTL. Another one low down in the food chain popped, while stars higher up get away with it! Something smells fishy here. I don't think he really believes he's innocent, but I think he's really pissed-off because he knows others (including Brits) are doping and getting away with it! Of course he can't say anything because he wants a team to sign him when his ban ends.

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Colin Peyresourde replied to daddyELVIS | 8 years ago
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daddyELVIS wrote:

I feel sorry for JTL. Another one low down in the food chain popped, while stars higher up get away with it! Something smells fishy here. I don't think he really believes he's innocent, but I think he's really pissed-off because he knows others (including Brits) are doping and getting away with it! Of course he can't say anything because he wants a team to sign him when his ban ends.

Are you saying he's Floyd Landis?

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ianrobo replied to daddyELVIS | 8 years ago
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daddyELVIS wrote:

I feel sorry for JTL. Another one low down in the food chain popped, while stars higher up get away with it! Something smells fishy here. I don't think he really believes he's innocent, but I think he's really pissed-off because he knows others (including Brits) are doping and getting away with it! Of course he can't say anything because he wants a team to sign him when his ban ends.

and that is Omertà in action for you. Some teams have been shown to take on repentant dopers, Garmin. However if what you say is true then of course we will never get to the bottom of it.

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AJ101 replied to daddyELVIS | 8 years ago
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daddyELVIS wrote:

I feel sorry for JTL. Another one low down in the food chain popped, while stars higher up get away with it! Something smells fishy here. I don't think he really believes he's innocent, but I think he's really pissed-off because he knows others (including Brits) are doping and getting away with it! Of course he can't say anything because he wants a team to sign him when his ban ends.

To be honest the timing of JTLs misfortune always sucked for me.

Like it was Fat Pat's parting gift to a his English successor.

Any number of riders could have got popped, but here, in the last days of a falling empire, attention was focused on a lowly Englishman.

And yes, its rarely the big stars that are in favour that get done, they tend to fall foul of the police or a local anti doping office. I doubt the UCI really want their big names getting caught and messing up the gravy train. But a few lowly riders, yep throw them under the bus.

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Col hunter | 8 years ago
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Who goes out the day b4 the biggest race of ure life and gets hammered? Worst excuse i've ever heard. Guilty as sin when i heard that one!

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Colin Peyresourde replied to Col hunter | 8 years ago
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Hoof Hearted wrote:

Who goes out the day b4 the biggest race of ure life and gets hammered? Worst excuse i've ever heard. Guilty as sin when i heard that one!

Yes, the probability that he went out and doped before the biggest race of his life seems a more likely corollary of the evidence.

JTL's claim is the weak claim of a doper, it's the claim that Armstrong hid behind, which is that in a court it has to be 'beyond all reasonable doubt' - it used to be harder back in the day because they could not detect exogenous EPO or blood doping, but that has changed.

The biggest problem is the cost of testing. The bio-passport is just a 50% hematocrit test in another form. It limits the doping, but doesn't get rid of it.....which is better than nothing. Has anyone read this:

http://inrng.com/2015/06/abolish-the-mpcc/

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fukawitribe replied to Colin Peyresourde | 8 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Has anyone read this:

http://inrng.com/2015/06/abolish-the-mpcc/

Interesting - Rollands level was inbetween a 'normal' level for morning and afternoon in an adult.

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Toro Toro | 8 years ago
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What the documentaries show is that it may be possible to get a false negative.

If you have any understanding of science or stats, that shows exactly nothing about the probability of what Tiernan-Locke claims, a false negative.

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Stratman replied to Toro Toro | 8 years ago
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Toro Toro wrote:

What the documentaries show is that it may be possible to get a false negative.

If you have any understanding of science or stats, that shows exactly nothing about the probability of what The Tiernan-Locke claims, a false negative.

I think you meant 'false positive' at the end, and of course you are right

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cat1commuter replied to Stratman | 8 years ago
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Stratman wrote:
Toro Toro wrote:

What the documentaries show is that it may be possible to get a false negative.

If you have any understanding of science or stats, that shows exactly nothing about the probability of what The Tiernan-Locke claims, a false negative.

I think you meant 'false positive' at the end, and of course you are right

No, he means false negative. The threshold is set deliberately high so you don't get false positives. The evidence that you can cheat and still not test positive makes it worse for JTL.

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Toro Toro replied to Stratman | 8 years ago
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Stratman wrote:
Toro Toro wrote:

What the documentaries show is that it may be possible to get a false negative.

If you have any understanding of science or stats, that shows exactly nothing about the probability of what The Tiernan-Locke claims, a false negative.

I think you meant 'false positive' at the end, and of course you are right

D'oh, yes!

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