Longo’s husband Patrice Ciprelli suspended by French federation as doping investigation begins
  June 07, 2023 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Longo’s husband Patrice Ciprelli suspended by French federation as doping investigation begins

by Shane Stokes at 7:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
L’Equipe prints emails suggesting he purchased EPO

Jeannie LongoFollowing last week’s revelations that Jeannie Longo was in violation of cycling’s whereabouts regulations plus former US Pro Joe Papp’s suggestion to VeloNation that he provided EPO which may be linked to her case, the story has continued to develop today.

L’Equipe spoke at length to Papp who confirmed that her husband Patrice Ciprelli had ordered EPO from him in 2007, saying that it was for his wife. It also printed email records which appear to show the banned substance was purchased, and that Ciprelli made the payment in question.

As a result the French cycling federation (FFC) has suspected Ciprelli’s licence and is opening disciplinary proceedings against him.

“Following allegations claiming that Mr Patrice Ciprelli bought Chinese EPO, the FFC has decided to open disciplinary proceedings towards Mr Patrice Ciprelli,” said the FFC in a statement. “

“A deeper investigation will be conducted in relation to this, in accordance with French regulatory and legal disciplinary procedures.”

Its president David Lappartient will speak this afternoon at a press conference.

On several instances this summer, Papp stated on his Twitter account that Longo was a customer of his when he was selling banned products on behalf of a Chinese company. Last Friday l’Equipe said that the French anti doping agency AFLD had requested that the FFC open proceeding against her on the basis of three violations of cycling’s whereabouts system.

Under UCI and national federation rules, designated riders have to provide complete details of their locations in order to make random controls possible. Longo twice failed to do so, receiving warnings by registered mail from the French anti doping agency AFLD, and then on a third occasion was not present at the stated location when doping officers from USADA tried to test her during a training block in the USA.

When contacted by VeloNation, Papp indicated that he couldn’t go into detail on the issue, but hinted heavily that he had supplied EPO to either Longo or someone close to her.

“At this time I have not been called to testify in the case of Jeannie Longo, though it would not surprise me if based on my activities as an intermediary between various professional and amateur athletes and the Chinese sellers of the Eposino-brand of EPO and Jintropin HGH, I was asked to recount my dealings with a certain client in France who purchased EPO,” he told VeloNation.

He has now elaborated on that to l’Equipe, who acquired and published an email exchange between Papp and someone who appears to be Ciprelli. The latter, using a non-personalised gmail email address, confirmed payment of 500 US dollars made out to Shuxia Jiang in China. The sender’s location was indicated as being St Martin le Vinoux in France, with a partially-obscured shipping address to Fontaine in France. The recipient is listed as being a Yolanda Ciprelli, understood to be a close relation of Longo’s husband.

When asked about these emails, Papp confirmed the details. “It is you who has given me his name. Yes, I confirm it: I sold EPO to [Patrice] Ciprelli at this time.”

He then went on to give further information. “He specifically and directly asked on our site what it would cost to have 80,000 IU of EPO delivered to France. He also said it was for his wife.

“In this message he wrote about wanting EPO for his wife, specifying that he himself would pay for it and that he wished it to be sent to a third party.”

French federation president had appeared to defend Longo :

Speaking in recent days, FFC President Lappartient had expressed what appeared to be a supportive view towards Longo.

“I understand she challenges one or two “no show” (missed tests- ed.),” he told Reuters. “And when we will be heard by a disciplinary body, it will be for her to produce arguments for it is quite possible that those it is admissible and she has experienced a case of force majeure,” he said, referring to an outside force that may have prevented her from meeting her obligations.

"Jeannie Longo is one of the most controlled athletes in France (...)" This was her third ‘no show’ in a two year period, which…isn’t huge!”

He added that she couldn’t be suspended at this point in time as she “is not suspected of a positive control.”

Speaking to l’Equipe, he also indicated that he didn’t consider her to be suspicious. “When you have three whereabouts errors, you can be punished the same as those who have taken performance enhancing drugs. This is an embarrassing matter, embarrassing for Jeannie Longo herself, because it may tarnish her image and she does not deserve that at all."

AFLD stresses importance of following the rules:

Although it stated that it didn’t want to take a position on one or more procedures which could be in process as it didn’t want to give the impression that it was prejudging them, the AFLD issued a statement yesterday reminding people of certain points of the WADA Code.

It noted that proceedings can be taken against those who either refuse to take controls or who, in an 18 month period, have three whereabouts violations.

That may or may not be a reminder to Lappartient that very specific rules exist and must be followed.

Longo has had a long and successful career, winning 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. Her palmares also includes 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, plus multiple French national titles.

She tested positive for ephedrine in 1987, but denied she deliberately took the substance. In recent days, the 52 year old French TT champion denied doing anything wrong and said that she was the most tested athlete in the world.

With the suspension of her husband, though, plus the news of her missed tests, it appears her goal of competing in this year’s world championship time trial is now an impossible one.


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC