FFC President: Longo will not be removed from worlds’ team until AFLD complaint is made
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

FFC President: Longo will not be removed from worlds’ team until AFLD complaint is made

by Shane Stokes at 2:07 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Papp says US Government has verified EPO emails are genuine

Jeannie LongoSpeaking at a press conference this afternoon after l’Equipe printed emails which appear to show that Jeannie Longo’s husband and coach Patrice Ciprelli bought EPO, French cycling federation (FFC) president David Lappartient has said that at this point in time, the rider will not be blocked from going to the world championships.

However he added that once the AFLD makes official its complaint, she will be prevented from competing in Copenhagen.

The FFC suspended Ciprelli earlier today and said that a disciplinary procedure would be opened against him. Last week it emerged that the French anti-doping agency AFLD had asked the FFC to open a procedure against Longo for three violations of the whereabouts’ rule, but Lappartient has stressed that he considers the two cases to be separate ones. “This is completely independent of the Longo case,” he said, according to l’Equipe, adding that her husband and coach would himself be blocked from going to the worlds.

"Regarding the three stated no-shows, I have not received any formal complaint. She therefore remains selected. As soon as I receive the notification, the FCC will notify the Disciplinary Commission, which will make her immediately non-selectable.”

The national technical director of the FFC, Isabelle Gautheron, confirmed this today. “I can exclude her right up to the start of the race,” she said. “I don’t see the AFLD delaying the referral. One can reasonably expect that it will arrive this week.”

L’Equipe printed an interview with the former US Pro Joe Papp earlier today, as well as emails which appeared to show that Papp sold EPO on behalf of a Chinese company to Ciprelli. The American told the newspaper that the Frenchman said the product was for his wife’s use.

Ciprelli’s lawyer Bruno Ravaz today strongly denied the claims. “He [Ciprelli] says the documents are fake and reserved the right to sue for defamation,” he told Reuters. “It is easy to usurp one's identity on the internet.” He then repeated the denials to RTL radio. “It's crazy. Patrice Ciprelli totally denies any implication (in the affair), for him it's all a bunch of lies. Jeannie Longo has never had anything to do with doping, so I can imagine how stunned she was when she heard this.”

Since then, Papp has responded to the allegations of false documentation. He said that claims of falsified correspondence are wide off the mark. “Heard Ciprelli/Longo/lawyers try to claim emails are false?” he said via Twitter. “Unfortunately for them, that response overlooks the fact that the US Government already certified the emails are authentic - in order that they could use them as evidence in the criminal case against me.

“So Ciprelli will need to try to come up with a more plausible denial - except there isn't one to be made. He bought the EPO from China and it was delivered via UPS to France. He should just admit it and say he made a mistake and everyone can move on.”

Papp was banned from racing after failing tests in 2006. He later admitted selling doping products, and is facing a possible prison sentence in connection with that. He has been cooperating with the US Anti Doping Agency for several years, and helped secure several doping sentences involving other riders who purchased banned substances from him. Papp strongly hinted to VeloNation last week that Longo or someone close to her purchased EPO from him.

Longo herself is yet to comment on the latest developments, but she told AFP last week that there was no cause to suspect her of anything. “I've been tested more than any other athlete in the world and not once has there been cause for any suspicion on my sporting integrity,” she insisted then. “I'm confident the French cycling federation will treat this matter in an impartial and objective manner.”


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