Henao cleared to resume racing after Sky studies his blood values

The Colombian climber was taken out of Sky's race program in March so his blood values could be given a closer look

PARIS (AFP) — Colombian rider Sergio Henao, sidelined by Sky after questions over his blood values surfaced earlier this year, has been cleared to return to competition in the Tour de Suisse beginning Saturday.

The 26-year-old climber was born at altitude in Rionegro and still lives and trains in the region. He was removed from the British team’s race program in March as a precautionary step as Sky sought a better understanding of his physiology and his body’s reaction to riding at altitude.

Sky said Wednesday that the findings of a 10-week study have provided “valuable new insights into the physiology of ‘altitude natives’ such as Colombian climbers.”

“By taking this structured, scientific approach, we’ve gained a better understanding of his readings and specific physiology and valuable insights into the effects of altitude,” team principal Dave Brailsford said.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Sergio back to racing and are looking forward to having him at the Tour of Switzerland. 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.

“He’s done everything that’s been asked of him, kept his focus and fully deserves to be racing.”