Team Sky rider Sergio Henao has been withdrawn by the team for the second time in his professional cycling career after concerns were raised by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).

On Wednesday, Team Sky announced the news on its website. The team remarked Sergio has this week been contacted by the CADF with a request for more information with regards to readings on his Athlete Blood Passport from August 2011 to June 2015 and added these include the same readings which prompted us to undertake further research in 2014. Team Sky also said in the statement that we continue to support Sergio and remain confident in the independent scientific research which was undertaken. The statement further reads that we will be helping Sergio make his case robustly over the coming period and the rider will also withdraw from racing until the issue is resolved given this contact from the CADF and the very obvious distraction to him. Team Sky also said there is no obligation on us to do this but it is team policy if and when a formal process such as this begins.

Henao’s team remarked we continue to support Sergio and remain confident in the independent scientific research which was undertaken. Team Sky added it is our hope that this can be looked at and resolved quickly by all the relevant authorities so Sergio can start racing again soon.

This was after concerns regarding his biological passport arose. The biological passport collects data on the use of legal and illegal drugs and the readings of Henao demonstrated some discrepancy for the second time in his career.

The Colombian, who was previously withdrawn in 2014, said he works hard and has made a lot of sacrifices for where he is today. Henao made a return to race at the Tour de Suisse after he was withdrawn for the first time following the findings of scientific experts at the conclusion of the independent research program. The 10-week program gave Team Sky the highest level of confidence in Sergio’s previous data and profiles. At that time, Team Sky remarked the study provided valuable new insights into the physiology of ‘altitude natives’ such as Colombian climbers.

Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford had then remarked that we have (by taking this structured, scientific approach) gained a better understanding of his readings and specific physiology and valuable insights into the effects of altitude. Brailsford had also commented that we are very pleased to welcome Sergio back to racing and are looking forward to having him at the Tour de Suisse and said our approach has been fair to both the rider and the team, and whilst it was our decision to take him out of racing, it is also ours that he returns with our full backing.

The research program was conducted by a team from the University of Sheffield with the cooperation of the Colombian anti-doping authorities started in Europe, continued for 6-weeks at altitude in Colombia, and finished with final base-level tests in Nice.

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