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Tiernan-Locke protests his innocence as UCI open disciplinary proceedings

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has vehemently denied any wrongdoing after the International Cycling Union opened disciplinary proceedings over alleged doping by the Team Sky rider.

Discrepancies in the 28-year-old's biological passport data demonstrated an anti-doping violation, according to cycling's governing body, and he will not take part in any duties with Team Sky until a decision is made in the disciplinary process.

Tiernan-Locke, the 2012 Tour of Britain winner, maintains his innocence, but will have to wait for a resolution as there is no clear timescale in place. A statement released by the Englishman's management company read: "Mr Tiernan-Locke vehemently denies the charges brought against him and has informed the UCI that he fully intends to contest them.

"Mr Tiernan-Locke will not ride for Team Sky, attend training camps or undertake any team duties until a decision is made in these proceedings. Mr Tiernan-Locke is looking forward to a speedy and just resolution of these unfortunate charges."

The Plymouth rider withdrew from the Great Britain team for the Road World Championships road race at the end of September, citing poor form, but it was revealed on the day of the event he had withdrawn from competition over "possible discrepancies" in his biological passport and he was asked to explain his results to the UCI. Tiernan-Locke has battled with chronic fatigue syndrome in the past and illness may form part of his defence but, nearly three months on, it appears his explanation was not adequate after the UCI instructed British Cycling to discipline the rider.

"The analysis of the biological passport of Mr Jonathan Tiernan-Locke by the experts panel has demonstrated an anti-doping rule violation [use of prohibited substances and/or methods]," a UCI statement said.

"Consequently and in compliance with the UCI anti-doping rules, the UCI has requested his national federation to initiate disciplinary proceedings."

British Cycling confirmed it had received the UCI's request and that "those proceedings will be managed independently of British Cycling by UK Anti-Doping".

Tiernan-Locke remains under contract with Team Sky - who have a zero-tolerance anti-doping policy - for another year, but it is conceivable he will never pull on the black and blue uniform again, even if cleared.

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