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Geneviève Jeanson gets U.S. racing license

After Canadian refused a race license in Quebec, Jeanson gets a USA Cycling license.

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USA Cycling officials have confirmed that Geneviève Jeanson has received an American racing license after her earlier request to re-license in Canada was stalled.

Jeanson has been surrounded by controversy since she was not permitted to start the world championships road race due to a high hematocrit. The Canadian cycling star’s problems only intensified when a Montreal doctor, on trial for drug charges, said he had given EPO to Jeanson, a statement he later recanted.

Jeanson encountered problems this winter when the Quebec cycling federation refused to issue her a racing license until she presents medical records explaining why she had an elevated hematocrit level before world’s.

Since Canadian racing licenses are issued through provincial federations and not the Canadian Cycling Association, Jeanson’s season was essentially on hold until she complied with the request. Louis Barbeau, director general of the Quebec federation, told VeloNews that Jeanson has yet to supply the records.

“It’s not that we don’t want to issue a license; at this point,” said Barbeau, “we can’t.”

Jeanson sought help from her national federation and officials there recommended that since she now resides in Arizona, she would be eligible for a U.S. license.

According to USA Cycling chief of staff Sean Petty, Jeanson made a formal request for an American license in late February.

“Obviously, we knew of the case up there and an application from any athlete at that elite level raised some flags,” Petty said. “The first thing we did was contact the Canadian Cycling Association. Their position was that there was no reason we shouldn’t issue her a license…”

Petty said that UCI rule directs a rider to take out a license “where, according to the legislation of that country, the applicant has his main residence at the time of application.”

In a note to Petty, CCA Director General Pierre Hutsebaut said he had no objection to USA Cycling issuing an American license to Jeanson.

“Thank you for consulting with us,” Hutsebaut wrote. “Yes, USA Cycling can issue a license to Genevieve Jeanson as she is residing on a permanent basis in Arizona. This is consistent with rule 1.1.011. She will remain eligible for representing Canada at Games or World Championships.”

Petty noted that as long as Jeanson meets U.S. immigration requirements as a permanent resident, she will be eligible for an American license. While that license will still list her as a Canadian citizen, she will be subject to the same reporting and drug testing requirements applied to other elite-level athletes training and competing in the U.S.

Petty dismissed any suggestion that Jeanson was taking an “end-run” around the controversy in Canada by licensing in the U.S.

“We’re all subject to the same rules and regulations,” said Petty. “That’s why we checked with the CCA before we did anything in this case. That’s also why we’ve copied the UCI on everything and involved them throughout the process.”

Petty noted that if Jeanson were to be subject to suspension as a result of any ongoing investigation in Canada, the U.S. would immediately revoke the license it issued.