A biological passport case has been opened by the Cycling Anti Doping Foundation (CADF), the anti-doping arm of the UCI, against Team Sky rider Sergio Henao.

The Colombian has 20 days to respond to the request of CADF for more explanations and information relating to his blood profile from a period from August 2011 to June 2015. Henao has been temporarily withdrawn from racing by Team Sky for the second time in his career as a result of opening of the case.

Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford remarked the physiology of ‘altitude natives’ is a complex area. Brailsford added the science is limited and in recent years we have proactively sought to understand it better by undertaking detailed scientific research – both for Sergio and for the benefit of clean sport more widely.

The rider posted a reaction on the Team Sky website and said he has been beyond disappointed. Henao added he had worked incredibly hard to get back to racing fitness after shattering his knee last year – but he knows who he is, how hard he have worked and the sacrifices he have made to be where he is today. The Team Sky said he is calm and confident that this will be resolved soon so he can get back to racing as soon as possible.

The UCI commented this stage is confidential as per the applicable regulations, when the independent experts in charge of reviewing biological passport profiles require further information from the athlete. The UCI and CADF however confirm given that this is already in the public domain that Sergio Henao has been asked to provide explanations for his ABP values and added his explanations will be sent back to the same experts for review and assessment as per WADA’s ABP process and also commented that the UCI and CADF cannot comment further in the meantime.

In March 2014, Henao was first withdrawn from racing and was subsequently placed on a Team Sky ‘altitude research program’ of testing. The rider was cleared to race by his team in June 2014 after he was cleared of any wrongdoing by an internal investigation and urine and blood tests. Team Sky, while clearing Henao, had confirmed that their internal testing program was conducted by a team from the University of Sheffield with the cooperation of the Colombian anti-doping authorities. Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford then said we were left with three choices, one was let him carry on and then see whether in seven months’ time he gets a letter from the UCI or not, we could stop him totally and say we are not happy with the situation but because it is new information that would be very harsh and so we decided on a third option where we try and find a new approach but it is a very difficult situation.

The 2014 testing program started in Europe, continued for six-weeks at altitude in Colombia, and finished with final base-level tests in Nice. The program findings were given to the CADF, the world governing body of cycling, and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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