Team Sky's Sergio Henao will race at the Tour de Suisse this weekend after an internal enquiry and urine and blood test cleared the Colombian, Team Sky has confirmed.
Henao will line up with Bradley Wiggins at the nine-day race and if his performances are at a desired level, he could become one of Sky's key men at July's Tour de France.
Team Sky suspended the Colombian from their racing programme soon after the February's Tour of Oman after the team's monthly checks showed irregular values in the rider's blood data.
Sky sent Henao to his native Colombia in order to find out how living at altitude affects the body and the rider returned to Europe in late May ad has undergone more tests at non-altitude levels.
A team from the University of Sheffield has conducted the research together with the Colombian anti-doping authorities. After commencing in Europe, the tests continued for six weeks in South America and concluded in Nice last week with base-level tests.
The British cycling outfit has revealed the results have been handed over to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) and each of the urine tests are included in Henao's biological passport. Furthermore, the researchers are aiming to publish a scientific paper in the coming months based on the research.
“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 Sky manager Dave Brailsford said in a statement.
“We’re very pleased to welcome Sergio back to racing and are looking forward to having him at the Tour de Suisse. 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.”
The final start list for the Swiss tour will not be decided before the afternoon before the race start but Henao, Wiggins along with Edvald Boasson Hagen and Kanstantin Siutsou have all been listed as reserves on the official entry list, meaning they could potentially all be included by the Team to race.
Included in the team for the nine-day race, the last preparation for the Tour de France for several riders, are Italian Dario Cataldo, Joe Dombrowski and Philip Deignan.
According to French newspaper L'Equipe, the Colombian climber might be in line to lead Team Sky in Switzerland in what is a very mountainous tour, with Wiggins believed to have gained some weight as preparation for track riding for England at the Commmonwealth Games to take place in Glasgow in July.
Tour the Suisse takes off on Saturday with a 9.4 kilometre time trial in Bellinzona.
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