By VeloNews Interactive, With wire services
Canadian cyclist Geneviève Jeanson is facing a possible suspension after failing to turn up for an April 21 drug test after the finish of the women’s edition of Flèche Wallonne in Belgium. Jeanson has reportedly explained that she missed the test because of an oversight.
Jeanson told the French language Canadian newspaper La Presse that she had a blood and urine test before the race.
“I’m not saying that’s the reason but subconsciously I no doubt told myself that I had already had all the necessary tests for the day,” Jeanson was quoted in the paper’s Wednesday edition.
Jeanson risks a one- to six-month suspension, which could prevent her from participating in the Olympic Games in Athens in August and the world championships this fall.
Jeanson took out a U.S. racing license earlier this year after encountering difficulty getting a license in Quebec. According to the newspaper, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has given the cyclist until June 4 to explain again what happened. She should find out her fate between June 5 and 10.
The World Anti-Doping Agency referred queries to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which, in turn, referred calls to the UCI. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that UCI referred all queries on the matter to its spokesman at the world track cycling championships in Melbourne, Australia. The spokesman was not immediately available and UCI declined further comment.
The U.S. agency is involved because Jeanson is licensed by USA Cycling. In Canada, cyclists have to be licensed by their provincial governing body but Quebec officials refused to issue the licence for Jeanson because they wanted more answers from her in the wake of being excluded from the world championships last year in Hamilton for having an elevated red blood cell count.
“Genevieve felt that she had answered all the questions that were necessary and still wasn’t getting any movement with the Quebec Cycling Association and as such she began to explore other opportunities for her to obtain a license for this season,” Sean O’Donnell, high performance coordinator with the Canadian Cycling Association, said Wednesday. “She went and contacted USA Cycling and they, well within their power, issued her a license for this year.”
O’Donnell declined further comment on the matter.
Jeanson, ranked 16th in the world, said she has been on the anti-doping testing list since being tossed out of the world road cycling championships in Hamilton on October 11 when blood samples taken hours before the women’s road race showed a red blood cell count above the limit allowed by the UCI.
A urine sample taken the same day from Jeanson was flown to a lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, to be tested for EPO, or erythropoietin. Those tests showed no trace of performance-enhancing substances.
Until the USADA ruling, Jeanson will continue her bid to qualify for the Athens Games. She will need to finish in the top eight in the World Cup event this Saturday in Montreal. Jeanson finished 30th in the Flèche Wallonne World Cup event.