Sergio Henao has been sidelined by Team Sky after the rider was notified about blood values tracked over a period of four years by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).
This news was announced by Team Sky on its website. The British professional cycling team that competes in the UCI World Tour said the Colombian racing cyclist would be sidelined while it worked with him for proving his innocence. Team Sky announced 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. It added Sergio has not failed a drug test and the CADF process is conducted confidentially.
The Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation enquiry is in relation to the biological passport of the athlete and levels tracked between August 2011 and June of last year, which indicates that the CADG may be investigating the rider for possible blood manipulations.
Previously, Team Sky had made his biological passport the subject of discussion just over two years ago. Team Sky then announced that it had temporarily suspended Henao from competition after a March 2014 story by La Gazzetta dello Sport that reported that Sergio Henao had been sidelined because of unexplained blood readings. At that time, Team Sky acknowledged that this was the case. It also commented that questions were raised by experts conducting internal monitoring of riders about the rider’s out of competition values at altitude. Then, Team Principal Dave Brailsford remarked the team had contacted the world governing body of cycling and the CADF over the matter. Brailsford also remarked at that time independent scientific research would be commissioned to better understand the effects of prolonged periods at altitude after returning from sea level, specifically on altitude natives. The Team Principal also remarked the study results would be made available to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the world governing body of cycling, and the CADF.
The team then announced in June 2014 that the scientific experts had concluded their ten week assessment and had provided the highest level of confidence in Sergio Henao’s previous data and profiles. Team Sky had also commented then it is of the view that this study would give important insights into the physiology of altitude natives and a scientific research paper would be published in the months ahead.
Dr Eddie Hampton, who had led the research, did not provided reason about the delay in publication. Hampton remarked the research around this case has been taken very seriously and we undertook a large amount of complex scientific analysis before giving our recommendation for Sergio to be allowed to return to racing. The lead researcher also said it is still our intention to publish the results in the scientific literature and added there are many processes to take into account when you write and publish scientific papers and delays of over a year are not unusual in these cases. Hampton further added we hope it can be done as soon as possible.