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Longo’s husband made ’15 EPO purchases’

GRENOBLE, France (AFP) – Police in Grenoble discovered that Patrice Ciprelli, husband and coach of French cyclist Jeannie Longo, spent 19,800 dollars on 15 purchases of the banned performance-booster EPO (erythropoietin) since 2007, a source close to the investigation told AFP on Friday.

Prosecutors in Grenoble had stated Thursday that only two purchases were made in May and June 2011 respectively, both for less than 500 euros apiece.

However, while in custody, police found a document in Ciprelli’s bag that contained a password through which they were able to access an online account used to make EPO orders and track his recent transactions.

The orders would then be passed to a Turkish pharmacy through companies based in Mauritius, the source close to the enquiry indicated. “Since 2007, it’s a permanent doping,” the source added.

On Thursday, Ciprelli had acknowledged that he bought EPO “for his personal usage”, according to his lawyer Pierre Albert.

In custody since Wednesday morning, Ciprelli was freed Friday morning under judicial supervision. He is barred from his role as a professional coach and must ask the country’s authorities for permission before leaving France.

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