Jeannie Longo suing AFLD for more than one million euro
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jeannie Longo suing AFLD for more than one million euro

by Shane Stokes at 10:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Former world number one attacking anti-doping body in French courts

Jeannie LongoSeeking victory in the courts after she came under the anti-doping spotlight in the buildup to the last Olympic Games, Jeannie Longo is looking for more than 1.1 million euro in damages from the French anti doping agency AFLD. The 55 year old former world number one has taken a case and was heard yesterday before the Conseil d’État in Paris on the matter.

According to ALP, Longo is fighting on several grounds. She is protesting her inclusion in the target group of tested riders in 2012, challenging the constitutionality of that, plus the renewal of her registration in 2013. She is also claiming that her reputation has been damaged, due in part to the coverage of her husband Patrice Ciprelli’s purchase of EPO on the internet and the charges he is facing.

Yesterday the public prosecutor Xavier Domino accepted that her appearance on the list of targeted athletes does undermine her privacy and the protection of her persional data, but argues that these measures are both necessary and proportunate in light of the mission of the agency. He noted that one of its top goals is to preserve the health of athletes.

Domino noted that she ‘practices a discipline affected by doping and pursues a high level career at an unusual age.’ He has requested that the judges reject her demands.

In response, her defence has disagreed with his stance and argues that the AFLD’s combination of the powers of control and punishment doesn’t respect the rules of separation needed for personal rights.

A decision will be made in the coming weeks.

Glittering career with autumnal shadows:

Longo is the longest-racing high profile female competitor in the sport, competing for over three decades and taking over one thousand victories in that time. She clocked up three editions of the women’s Tour de France, gold and silver medals in Olympic Road race plus silver and bronze in Olympic time trial.

In addition to those achievements, she also racked up nine road world championship titles (five in the road race, four in the TT), four track world championship titles (pursuit and points races), as well as three silvers and three bronze medals. Her palmares also includes multiple French titles, including eleven gold medals in the time trial.

She had plans to ride another Olympic Games in London in 2012 but fell under suspicion in September 2011 when it emerged that she had committed three whereabouts violations. She avoided a possible suspension when it became clear that the AFLD had not observed a new law requiring athletes to be told each year that they are part of the testing pool.

However questions remained as the former US pro and self-confessed dealer of doping products Joe Papp said that Patrice Ciprelli was one of his clients, and had told him that the EPO he purchased from Papp was intended for his wife.

In February of last year Ciprelli was charged with the importation of the banned substance EPO. According to a source who spoke to AFP then, he is said to have spent 15,000 euros on 15 purchases of EPO since 2007.

The last of these purchases dated to May 2011, weeks before Longo took yet another French time trial championship. EPO takes several weeks to work.

Ciprelli initially claimed to be innocent, saying that his email and credit cards had been compromised and that he had intended to purchase dietary supplements only.

He soon cracked and admitted buying EPO, but claimed it was for his personal use. He told investigators that he was trying to recover from a number of cycling accidents.

He tried to have the case dismissed but this was thrown out by the courts in October 2012. Ciprelli’s laywers appealed against this decision but last month judges ruled that the case should go ahead.

Longo’s own case against the AFLD is separate to the process involving her husband.


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