French anti-doping chiefs have confirmed that national cycling icon Jeannie Longo will face no charges despite missing three random doping tests in the space of 18 months.
Last month, the French cycling federation (FFC) cleared Longo of any wrongdoing despite the offense, which is normally synonymous with a doping ban.
France’s national anti-doping agency (AFLD) confirmed Thursday that Longo was cleared to continue her stunning career because she had not been notified after April 2010 that she was still among a group of targeted athletes.
Such athletes are required to inform the anti-doping authorities of their whereabouts on a daily basis, thus facilitating their location for the administration of random doping tests.
However, a change in the AFLD regulations in April 2010 meant athletes who were included in the target group were no longer included after a year.
Longo’s lawyer had successfully argued to the FFC that, as her “offenses” took place after April 2011 — when she was no longer one of the targeted athletes — she could not be pursued.
Longo thus will be able to pursue her dream of representing France for a final time at the 2012 London Olympics.
The 53-year-old already has 59 national titles,13 world titles and an Olympic gold medal to her credit.