Jeannie Longo has announced she will not take part in the UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen next week after becoming embroiled in two investigations: one caused by her missing three out of competition anti-doping tests and the other concerning accusations that her husband and coach Patrice bought EPO from China via the Internet.
Longo’s lawyers Bruno Ravaz and Pierre Alberto said in a statement issued to news agencies that she “has been very affected by the unjust accusations.”
The press release said that the 52-year-old multiple world and national champion was “not in the right physical or mental state to defend her chances or hold her own at the highest level of international competition.”
Longo thanked the many people who have warmly supported her but will now not compete in the women’s time trial on Tuesday or road race on Saturday.
She faces an investigation and possible disciplinary action by the French cycling federation once it receives formal notification from the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) that she failed to provide her testing whereabouts to the competent authorities on three different occasions. She claims the missed tests occurred because of her little understanding or use of computers and the Internet.
Her long-time husband and coach was provisionally suspended by the FFC on Wednesday after the L’Equipe newspaper claimed that he bought EPO in China via US elite-level cyclist Joe Papp. A detailed report published emails sent by Patrice Ciprelli to Papp that revealed how the drugs were sent to a separate address in France and payment was made by the internet. Ciprelli has denied the accusations via his lawyer.