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Patrice Ciprelli and Jeannie Longo in Grenoble
Doping controversy hasn't prevented pre-selection
Legendary French rider Jeannie Longo has been included in the France pre-selection squad for the London 2012 Olympics, despite her advancing years and the doping controversies that have plagued her and her husband over the last few months.
53-year-old Longo, winner of 13 world titles and 59 French national championships, was controversially cleared of doping violations in November 2011 despite missing three out-of-competition tests in an 18-month period. In February her husband and coach Patrice Ciprelli was arrested following a raid on their apartment and subsequently admitted to purchasing EPO for personal use.
"I asked for the paperwork for Longo's accreditation for London. For me it was just a test: would she answer or not?" Isabelle Gautheron of the French Cycling Federation told L'Equipe.
"There was no penalty for her. The other problem is different: it is the problem of her husband. Her husband was indicted for the purchase of drugs, for personal use from what I read in the press. (Longo) needs to try to go the Olympics. She is a competitor and will fight."