November 17/03 6:35 am - Jeanson Press Conference: Story and Photos
Posted by Editor on 11/17/03
After months of legal maneuvering and veiled references in the Quebec press, the lid has cracked open very slightly in an ongoing investigation by the Quebec College of Physicians regarding inappropriate use of EPO by a Montreal orthopedic surgeon. Among the fourteen charges brought against Doctor Duquette were two names under the publication ban that caught the attention of the cycling world, because they concerned an "international female cyclist and her coach". For the first time, today, Genevieve Jeanson admitted in a press conference that she is elite cyclist mentioned in the charges.
Jeanson issued a statement (see previous posting), and then submitted to a lengthy grilling by the Quebec press. While most of her responses were monosyllabic, or were answered by her lawyer and reiterated the contents of the release, Jeanson did shed some light on the situation, and said she will be moving forward with her cycling career.
"I came out today to say that I have never taken any drugs in my life, and I never will ... I practice sport for health, to be fit, and I would never take any drugs. This (situation) hasn't affected my plans for next season - I am going full speed ahead for the Olympics."photo
She also said that she will meet with the CCA (Canadian Cycling Association) and Quebec Federation (FQSC) to discuss the charges. Both federations were involved in the media legal battle to get the publication ban lifted, and both have a strong interest in determining whether sanctions can and should be applied to Jeanson.
"I will meet with them in the very near future", stated Jeanson, but at this time there appears to be little to discuss. On the one hand, the College of Physicians have what they want - the doctor pled guilty and took his punishment (two month removal of licence to practice, and agreement to abid by accepted practices (as they pertain to prescribing accepted medications during major orthopedic surgery), in Quebec). The College has no desire or interest in releasing patient medical records, so the CCA and FQSC do not have access to Jeanson's records, to satisfy themselves that she did not take Eprex (EPO).
On the other hand, we have the statement of the College that one of the charges related to "neglected to write into the medical file of Ms Genevieve Jeanson (...) medications that were administered to her, notably Marcaine and Eprex..." This seems to indicate that Jeanson was administered EPO, however, the doctor subsequently submitted a letter to Jeanson's lawyer stating that he had "never prescribed or given Eprex to Genevieve Jeanson". The cycling federations want to clear this matter up, as does Jeanson.
The situation was exacerbated in October at the Road Worlds, when Jeanson was not allowed to start the women's road race after registering a hematocrit level (high red blood cell count) above the allowable UCI limit (47). She subsequently passed the urine test for banned substances, but it added more fuel to the fire.
For now, Jeanson says that her sponsors are "100% behind me", although she has recently lost key team members Catherine Marsal and Melissa Holt. She also confirmed that she will stay with her current coach, Andre Aubut - "Yes, I am (staying with him), and yes I will for next season."
One of Jeanson's spokespersons said that they hope to have meetings with the cycling federations "in the next few weeks".