Jeannie Longo’s husband and coach Patrice Ciprelli has doping suspension overturned
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jeannie Longo’s husband and coach Patrice Ciprelli has doping suspension overturned

by Shane Stokes at 4:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
French court states it doubts legality of FFC ruling; wider investigation likely to continue

Jeannie LongoThe case is likely to drag on for some time but Jeannie Longo and her husband Patrice Ciprelli took the latest round in their battle against doping allegations when the Administrative Tribunal in Grenoble overturned a temporary French Cycling Federation (FFC) suspension on the latter.

Ciprelli, who has coached Longo for many years, was accused of buying EPO by former US pro Joe Papp, who said that he helped coordinate the sale. Papp was handed an eight year ban in recent days in connection with his dealing of banned substances, as well as a suspended three year prison sentence with a six month house arrest.

The FFC subsequently issued Ciprelli with a temporary suspension, pending a full investigation. Although Papp said that Ciprelli had told him the substances were for his wife, Longo, the FFC said last month that there was not sufficient grounds to suspend her.

According to AFP, the Adminstrative Tribunal suspended the decision due to what it said were “serious doubts” about the legality of the FFC decision to sideline Ciprelli. The federation was also ordered to pay 500 euros to him to help cover the court costs.

Ciprelli’s lawyer, Pierre Albert, told AFP: “We are very satisfied with this decision, which is the first step towards giving justice to M. Ciprelli and Madame Longo,” said Ciprelli’s lawyer, Pierre Albert.

Based on French media reports, today’s ruling does not appear to indicate whether or not the court believes Ciprelli is innocent, but rather deals with the legality of suspending him pending a full investigation.

Longo was last month said to have committed three whereabouts violations, thought to correspond to two missed tests and one failure to update her out of competition information. She could in theory incur a lengthy ban as a result. She has lodged a complaint against the AFLD, claiming that she is not obliged to be part of the testing pool.

The 52 year old has denied doping. She is a 59 time national champion and former world champion, and won the women’s Tour de France three times.


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