It has been announced by Team Sky that Sergio Henao returned to Europe last Monday after completing an altitude part of research programme, and even though the British squad is yet to collect and analyze final data, they have announced the 26-year old Colombian as reserve rider for Tour de Suisse and Criterium du Dauphine.
Henao has been taken off the race programme soon after participating at the Tour of Oman in February, as Team Sky questioned high hematocrit values in the blood tests performed by the squad in October, when the rider was at home in Colombia.
As the British squad suspected that questionable blood values might have been an effect of prolonged periods spent on sea level for altitude natives, they sent Henao to Colombia in order to take part in research programme.
The 26-year old Colombian returned to Europe this week to complete the sea-level part of the research, and even though he is yet to be cleared to the British squad, they expressed their trust in the positive final outcome by including him into rosters for Tour de Suisse and Criterium du Dauphine as a reserve rider.
With the Tour de France kicking off in just a month, Team Sky is about to name their roster for their most important campaign of the 2014 season and it is not a big secret that with several rider being unavailable due to injuries and with very uncertain disposition of Froome’s key domestique Richie Porte, Henao would be a valuable enforcement in the mountains.
Thus, despite having only nine days of racing in his legs, the 26-year old Colombian is very likely to participate in the 2014 edition of the French grand tour.
"Sergio Henao returned to Europe on Monday to complete his altitude research programme. After six weeks of comprehensive scientific evaluation in the mountains of Colombia, Sergio will now undertake his final tests at sea level in Nice."
"Within the next two weeks, the independent experts will conclude their analysis and produce a final report. The team will then determine the right steps to take."
"Team Sky will also make all data and findings from the research programme available to WADA, the UCI and CADF. To prepare for any potential return to racing, provisional entries have been made for Sergio - as a reserve - at the Criterium du Dauphine and the Tour de Suisse."
"However, no decisions will be taken until the scientific research is completed and has been properly assessed."
A further statement will be made when the tests have been completed analysed.
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