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New ban for Jonathan Tiernan-Locke - for drink-driving

Ex-Team Sky rider currently serving drugs ban was two and a half times over the limit

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, who claimed that a drinking binge was to blame for the anomalies in his biological passport data that led to him being banned from cycling for two years, has now been banned from driving.

Police found the former Team Sky rider to be two and a half times over the legal limit for alcohol when they stopped him in Plymouth city centre early in the morning of 24 April, reports the Plymouth Herald.

He had been spotted at 3.45am on CCTV leaving a bar and getting into his Range Rover to drive to another bar a short distance away.

Police arrested him while he was on foot and he was taken to Charles Cross Police Station, where according to Gareth Warden, prosecuting, there was “an issue” with the 30-year-old undergoing a breath test.

Instead, officers gave him the opportunity to give a sample of blood. He was discovered to have 204 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, more than two and a half times the limit of 80 milligrams.

Tiernan-Locke pleaded guilty and magistrates banned him from driving for 17 months, although that suspension may be reduced by a quarter should h attend a drink drive rehabilitation course he has been offered.

He was also fined £140 and told to pay £85 court costs, a £20 victim surcharge and a criminal courts charge of £150.

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

The blood values at issue related to the week between the Devon rider winning the 2012 Tour of Britain and taking part in the UCI World Championship as Great Britain’s protected rider.

He claimed the readings were due to dehydration after drinking 33 units of alcohol during a night out with his girlfriend in Bristol to celebrate his move to Team Sky.

UK Anti-Doping's disciplinary panel rejected thatr argument and found that the data were due to his having used a prohiited substance or method.

Tiernan-Locke continues to insist he is innocent, and last month said the UCI’s biological passport programme wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny in a “proper court.”

He has said that he plans to return to racing once his ban ends at the end of the year, most likely with a domestic team, and claimed in April that he had received approaches from teams looking to sign him.

Simon joined 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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