By Rob Jones
Canadian cyclist Genevieve Jeanson has received a lifetime ban from the US Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for EPO at the prologue of the Tour de Toona in July 2005, according to reports from Montreal's La Presse newspaper.
The positive result from Toona would officially be her second, after Jeanson failed to report for a doping test at the Fleche Wallonne World Cup in 2004. While she did not test positive there, failure to appear counts as a positive.
Jeanson denied doping, but told La Presse that she was retiring from cycling, even though she plans to fight to clear her name. "It's over," she said. "I don't want anything to do with cycling. I'm tired of fighting and repeating that I have never taken EPO or any banned substance."
Jeanson and her lawyer suggested that she had produced a rare 'false positive', like recently vindicated Belgian triathlete Rutger Beke (see Serious concerns over urinary EPO test). Jeanson's defence also drew attention to the negative result of a test 60 hours after the Toona prologue. The first test (both A and B samples) showed extremely high levels of EPO and the second none, which Jeanson's lawyer argued was impossible.
The US Anti-Doping Agency has jurisdiction over Jeanson's case because she holds a US license following a battle with the Quebec federation (FQSC) after the 2003 Worlds in Hamilton, when she was not allowed to start the road race due to an elevated haematocrit level (she passed subsequent doping tests).