Jeannie Longo sues France's anti-doping agency for €1.1 million

55-year-old claims inclusion in testing pool unconstitutional and violates her privacy and also says her character has been sullied

by Simon_MacMichael   December 4, 2013  

Jeannie_Longo_Fra_51yrs_cj_© Photosport International.jpg

Multiple world and and French national champion Jeannie Longo is claiming more than €1.1 million in damages and interest from France’s national anti doping agency, the Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD).

The 55-year-old appeared on Monday before the Conseil d’État, France’s supreme administrative court, which also provides advice on legal issues to the government, to put forward her case, reports the Midi Libre.

Longo, winner of the road race at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and three other Olympic medals, was not selected for London 2012, with suspicion falling on her a year earlier after it transpired she had committed three ‘whereabouts’ violations in relation to random anti-doping tests.

She evaded sanction for that offence after it transpired that the AFLD had not notified her that she was on a list of athletes targeted for testing that year.

She is claiming damages and interest for the harm to her reputation due both to those missed tests being made public, and in relation to a separate case involving the online purchase of EPO by her husband and trainer, Patrice Ciprelli.

Her claim is also partly based on what she sees as the unconstitutionality of her continued inclusion in the testing pool for 2012 and 2013.

Rapporteur public Xavier Domino – whose role involves submitting an opinion that may influence the judges’ decision, but isn’t binding on them – acknowledged that her inclusion could infringe her privacy as well as her personal data.

Longo also said that the fact the AFLD both carries out anti-doping controls and applies sanctions is incompatible with rules regarding the separation of powers required by equitable justice.

But Domino insisted the measures were “necessary and proportionate” given the agency’s mission, part of which was to protect the health of athletes.

He added that since Longo is an athlete “who practises a discipline affected by doping and is pursuing a high-level career at an unusual age” was not incompatible with her being designated a member of AFLD’s testing pool.

He asked the judges to reject her argument, and that the financial aspect of the case be referred back to a lower court in Grenoble.

The Conseil d’État said that it would announce its decision in the coming weeks.

Longo won the first of 59 French national titles at the age of 21 after her coach Ciprelli, whom she would later marry, persuaded her to switch to cycling from skiing. She also has 19 world titles on the road and track.

Besides those missed tests in 2011, her reputation has been further sullied by her husband’s admission, when questioned by police, that he had ordered EPO online from former professional cyclist, Joe Papp.

He insists, however, that it was for his own personal usage, and not for his wife.

Ciprelli has attempted to have the action against him dismissed, but last month an appeal court ruled that it could proceed.

14 user comments

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In general I really dislike the argument "if you've got nothing to hide then you've got nothing to fear" but it seems entirely fitting in relation to her trying to argue against being targeted for testing.

posted by dp24 [196 posts]
4th December 2013 - 13:53

13 Likes

pmr wrote:
Hang on her HUSBAND and TRAINER purchased EPO and she's trying to say she's been unfairly treated? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor

This, pretty much.

Tirez l'autre, Jeannie. Y a des cloches rattachées.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [1086 posts]
4th December 2013 - 15:03

7 Likes

Hang on her HUSBAND and TRAINER purchased EPO and she's trying to say she's been unfairly treated? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor

posted by pmr [180 posts]
4th December 2013 - 15:04

21 Likes

Good working definition of chutzpah.

posted by Geoffroid [17 posts]
4th December 2013 - 15:19

4 Likes

Good god. She's got more balls than most, hasn't she? I hope she gets laughed out of court.

posted by bashthebox [736 posts]
4th December 2013 - 21:58

5 Likes

bashthebox wrote:
Good god. She's got more balls than most, hasn't she?

If she has, then any testing should be relatively straightforward. Time to cough up Wink

Bobbinogs's picture

posted by Bobbinogs [74 posts]
4th December 2013 - 22:08

3 Likes

pmr wrote:
Hang on her HUSBAND and TRAINER purchased EPO and she's trying to say she's been unfairly treated? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor

But does your missus know exactly how many times you toss off to porn on the internet? It's just an example, but just because he bought EPO it doesn't mean she therefore must have known about it.

That said she probably was a doper. In my eyes, if you ride a road bike at a pro level you're pretty much likely to be/have/once been/involved in doping...(unless you are currently racing in the U12's)

William Black's picture

posted by William Black [196 posts]
4th December 2013 - 22:21

2 Likes

She should dump her EPO-ordering hubby and take up with a vigorous young toyboy. What's Chris Horner up to these days? Cool

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
4th December 2013 - 23:10

2 Likes

Fairly predictable process of denial and further denial, before final acceptance. Hamilton talks about this. But again, a doper caught, not because of failing a test (blood passports anyone?), but because of circumstance. A 55 year old cycling supremo? Pull the other one.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1379 posts]
5th December 2013 - 0:21

1 Like

You can buy EPO online Big Grin
Obviously not for me of course.... for a friend..... or for if I am late for work..... possibly
Do they do drug tests on sportives?
How much is it?

posted by SideBurn [898 posts]
5th December 2013 - 10:20

0 Likes

If you're running late for work the EPO wouldn't be much use, it'd take too long to kick in.
You'd be far better off leaving a little bag of "Pot Belge" in your saddle bag for those situations. Quick toot and smash it to work in record time.

Oh, you weren't being serious?

Oh, erm, yeah, erm, me neither...officer...

posted by farrell [1663 posts]
5th December 2013 - 10:36

3 Likes

Drat, more sporting cuttings to burn!

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1064 posts]
5th December 2013 - 13:23

1 Like

bizarre! she is claiming for damages because her missed tests were made public knowledge! whilst there may be valid reasons for missing tests, surely she accepts the need for transparency?? as for the fact her husband peddles epo, it is her choice to suffer the damage by association of remaining with him. this court case can only further her reputation, but may be she just wants a pay off???

posted by philtregear [84 posts]
5th December 2013 - 21:03

1 Like

allez neg wrote:
She should dump her EPO-ordering hubby and take up with a vigorous young toyboy. What's Chris Horner up to these days? Cool

brilliant!!

posted by philtregear [84 posts]
5th December 2013 - 21:04

1 Like