Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli calls for investigation into conduct of French anti-doping agency
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli calls for investigation into conduct of French anti-doping agency

by Ben Atkins at 2:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
52-year-old multiple champion claims that she was informed after l’Equipe was; was not part of random testing pool anyway

jeannie longo-ciprelliJeannie Longo-Ciprelli has called for an investigation into the conduct and behaviour of the Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD), the French anti-doping agency, which has lodged a complaint against the 52-year-old, according to RMC Sport. The AFLD has claimed that Longo-Ciprelli missed three random anti-doping tests in the previous eighteen-month period and so, under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations, she should be in line for a ban of between three months and two years.

While Longo-Ciprelli does not deny missing the three tests, she is bitter about the fact that, she claims, French sportspaper l’Equipe was informed of the missed tests before she was. Her other complaint, and more pertinent to the actual case, is that she had not made herself available for testing because she had not been required to.

“Her lawyers protest that their client and the [French Cycling] Federation [FFC] were informed of the infractions on dates after the revelations of the newspaper l’Equipe in its September 13th edition,” said Pierre Albert, one of Longo-Ciprelli’s lawyers. “We want the AFLD to live up to its responsibilities.”

The central part of Longo-Ciprelli’s defence though, it seems, is that the AFLD did not act in accordance with the WADA code, and the corresponding French law of 2006. In an article of the French law, an athlete is only required to be a part of the AFLD random testing pool for a maximum period of one year. During the time that the multiple French, World and Olympic champion is alleged ot have missed the three tests, her legal team claims, she was not part of that pool.

“Jeannie was notified of her membership [of the testing pool] in May 2008,” said Albert. “In 2010 and 2011, the period of charges against our client, she was not in the target group, if one refers to the legislation.”

Since the announcement of her missed tests though, there have been further revelations appearing, including the former US pro Joe Papp hinting to VeloNation, then detailing to l’Equipe, that he had, in the past, sold EPO to Longo-Ciprelli’s husband and coach Patrice Ciprelli; Ciprelli has since been provisionally suspended by the FFC.

Longo-Ciprelli herself is currently not directed affected by these allegations however, although this may change in time. The 52-year-old – whose 93-year-old father passed away last week – withdrew from the French team for the recent World championships, but intends to be on the start line for next year’s Olympics in London next summer, which would be her eighth appearance at the Games.


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