Patrice Ciprelli, the husband and coach of Jeannie Longo, has been taken into custody by French police following a raid on the apartment the couple own at Alpe d’Huez on Wednesday morning. A simultaneous search was also carried out at the couple's home in Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux, Isère.
According to a report on lequipe.fr, ten officers from OCLAESP (the French central office for public health and the prevention of environmental damage) searched the residences as part of an investigation launched on September 14 last by prosecutors in Grenoble.
That inquiry began after it emerged that Longo had missed three out-of-competition anti-doping tests within an 18-month period, although the French Cycling Federation later dismissed its charges on the basis that Longo was no longer on the list of athletes subject to testing by the French anti-doping agency, AFLD.
In September, it was also alleged in L’Équipe that Ciprelli had purchased EPO from former American rider Joe Papp in April 2007. A series of email exchanges between the pair and a Chinese contact were published.
According to a new report from lequipe.fr on Wednesday, police have uncovered five further transactions between Ciprelli and a foreign supplier in 2010 and 2011. The three transactions that took place in 2011 allegedly saw €500 transferred from an account in Jeannie Longo’s name for the purchase of Eprex, first generation EPO.
It is understood that Longo was being questioned as a witness by police on Wednesday morning.
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