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Jeannie Longo has responded to reports that she faces disciplinary procedures for missing doping controls by claiming that she has been tested “more often than any other athlete in the world.”
L’Équipe reported on Friday that Longo missed a USADA test on June 20 while training in the United States, having already been warned by the French Anti-Doping Authority (AFLD) on two other occasions for failing to provide adequate whereabouts information in the past 18 months.
According to L’Équipe, the AFLD will ask the French Cycling Federation to open disciplinary proceedings against the 52-year-old Longo. If found guilty, Longo could face a suspension of up to two years.
In a statement issued to AFP, Longo’s lawyer Bruno Ravaz said that his client has not yet received an official communication on the matter.
“Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli has been notified by the press that the AFLD’s commission of experts have issued a third warning for the failure to divulge her whereabouts,” Ravaz said. “If this information is confirmed, she will give all necessary explanations to the FFC when she is invited to do so.
“Right now, she is surprised to be considered still part of the target group of high-level athletes obliged to give their whereabouts given that in principle, this designation, which was given to her in 2008, was limited to a duration of one year.”
The statement concluded by insisting that Longo had been tested more often than any other athlete in the world over the course of her lengthy career. The Frenchwoman made her first appearance in the world championships in 1979.
“Since the beginning of her career, Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli has been tested more often than any other athlete in the world without the results ever leaving the slightest doubt over her sporting exemplarity,” Ravaz said. “She is confident that the FFC will consider her situation in an impartial and objective manner.”
FFC president David Lappartient told Infosport+ that Longo’s case will be treated like any other and that the FFC’s disciplinary committee will deliberate on the matter when it receives the dossier from the AFLD.
“When you make three mistakes concerning your whereabouts you are eligible to be sanctioned the same way as someone who has tested positive for banned substances," Lappartient said.
“We are likely to be informed by the AFLD and when that happens the dossier will go to out disciplinary committee. They will decide whether to sanction Jeannie Longo or not, I can't predict what they will do.”