There has been more sorrow than anger in the reactions of significant figures in Canadian cycling to the news of Genevieve Jeanson's lifetime ban. The 24-year-old from Quebec returned a positive test for EPO at the Tour de Toona in July 2005 and on Thursday announced she was retiring from cycling after the USADA handed her a lifetime ban.
Ion a statement from the Canadian Cycling Association, its High Performance Director Kris Westwood said, "It is of course profoundly disappointing on many levels that Geneviève Jeanson's career has ended in this way. She had the potential for a brilliant career, and it's a terrible waste of talent that these repeated scandals are all we're left with."
Westwood was referring to Jeanson's previous brushes with anti-doping authorities. In 2004 she failed to report for a doping test at the Fleche Wallonne World Cup, and in 2003 she was prevented from starting in the world championship road race in Hamilton, Canada because her haematocrit was too high.
Jeanson was also a client of Dr. Maurice Duquette who in 2003 pleaded guilty to charges brought against him by the Collège des médecins du Québec (Quebec College of Physicians), many of them dealing with the improper administration of EPO. Dr. Duquette admitted - then denied - giving EPO to an "international level Quebec cyclist and coach" who his files revealed to be Jeanson. Jeanson subsequently denied ever having used or even seen EPO.
"It's just a shame because I think she is a real talent and could have gone a long ways in cycling and done a lot for Canada and for herself," veteran Canadian cyclist Anne Samplonius told the Toronto Star. "I think she's been led down a wrong path."