Jeannie Longo is Back

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I saw a short article yesterday at Cyclingnews saying that Jeannie Longo was going to be racing this weekend in the French National Championships. I guess she has won 59 French title in her career. Anyway, I’m sort of surprised about this. I wrote this post a year and a half ago about hoping the whole thing was bogus. It wasn’t.

Like I wrote in the original post, I’ve known Jeannie for a long time. Back over 30 years. She was riding incredibly good before EPO and such came around. But, her husband confessing to purchasing EPO is more than enough in this day and age of the sport to condemn her and her results. Her husband knew what the repercussions of buying EPO would be on Jeannie’s career, and he went ahead and purchased them. So, there is a real problem there.

Jeannie probably should have won the MTB World Championships in 1993. It might have been the first time she rode a MTB, it wouldn’t surprise me. She lost the race because she got chain suck on the last lap, while in the lead, and didn’t know how to fix the problem. At the time, I thought that she didn’t deserve to win the Worlds if she can’t fix chain suck. She didn’t pay her dues. She was that talented. But, the drug issue thing still over rides all of her past results.

I’m afraid that I’d have to vote no that Jeannie decided to return to racing. It is wrong. She should have just stayed retired and disappeared into the history books. She wasn’t directly “caught” using drugs, but it was the next best thing. Her husband was caught and the guy that sold the drugs said that he was buying them for his wife, Jeannie. Pretty damning evidence.

I don’t understand why there isn’t an on going case going against her. I guess in France they don’t like to destroy their sporting stars as much as we do here in the US. But, we do value fair play. At least some of us do. Jeannie should note what happened to greedy Lance when he wanted to come back and play. It didn’t work out very well for him and I doubt it will work out better for Jeannie.

I'm pretty sure Jeannie isn't taking into consideration the risk she is exposing herself to get her 60th French National Gold medal.

I’m pretty sure Jeannie isn’t taking into consideration the risk she is exposing herself to get her 60th French National Gold medal.

16 thoughts on “Jeannie Longo is Back

  1. Bill K

    It’s a good thing she isn’t Dutch, or we would know for sure.
    Those Frenchies are a lot “cleaner” than those damn Dutchmen (and women)

  2. Skippy

    Relying on the word of ” whoseishe crapp “, saying the hubbie bought for wifey , would be disappointing ? crapp , is no longer posting his vitritude on the Clinic of CyNews , so , at least there are some that doubt the value of his assertions .

    Jeannie has been an inspiration to many , over the years , but has also caused many French Women Cycling Stars to quit early due to failing to unseat her and get the Sponsorships they needed to continue with their Career .

    These past few years , she has won the ITT but failed to top 10 on the road , seems she is not too popular in the Peloton ?

  3. SalRuibal

    Jeannie Longo (and her mother) and I were guests in the same house at El Tour de Tucson one year, where she was being honored. She was very meticulous about everything she ate and drank. Her mother prepared all of her food. I didn’t see her husband there. I do remember she thought it was ridiculous to give out Krispy Kreme donuts to riders in El Tour’s hike-a-bike section through the arroyo. I hope that she wasn’t doping, but these days anyone with a hard-to-believe palmares is, well, hard-to-believe. When at the Tour de France a few years later I heard from Euro reporters that she was dirty. It is hard to find real heroes in the sport. But I just finished reading the new VeloPress 100-year Tour book and there are many tales of cheating of all types in the history of that race, going back to the earliest races. Perhaps it is just the cruel nature of the sport and the very direct connection of rider and bike that makes it susceptible to cheating.

  4. Kate Ross

    If I’m still racing at that age, can someone please pop my tires and hand me a scotch?!!! 🙂

  5. Inga Thompson

    I can’t go here……The only thing I can comfortably say is that she tested positive when she tried her World Record attempt in Colorado Springs for the Hour Record. It was up to her Federation to sanction her. Gossip had it that she wasn’t. What I do know is she was racing the next year, looking more fit and trim than ever. I used to be able to beat her in the time trials consistently. After the Spring of 1987, she was pretty soundly beating me by 2 minutes or more in the time trials.

  6. Niki

    At the bottom of that article, it sounds an awfully lot like Lance. “I am the most tested athlete in the world”

  7. chris

    The first images of pro-level cycling I ever saw were from a recording of a PBS broadcast of the 1986 Coors Classic. I watched it over and over until the tape broke. You are pure class, Inga.
    I never could get over how smug Jeannie Longo seemed even in translation.

  8. Daniel Russell

    Sad, she seemed like a big talent back in the 80’s, now all of that has to be questioned. I got to see her win the pursuit gold in ’86 and the hour attempt later that year. I bet someone else deserved to win those races.

  9. Doug

    Inga, I’m glad that statements like yours are no longer sour grapes, but basically confirmation of what has been suspect all along. You were a class act on 2 wheels.

  10. Inga Thompson

    This have been a tough one for me because I try to balance that line between ‘sour grapes’ and pointing out the obvious. The Lance debacle, I feel has been good for the sport, because doping has been going on for a long time. His exposure has given the rest of us the opportunity to speak up. We couldn’t speak up before because it was just in bad taste. Now, we can speak up because of the revelations. Many of us are still hesitant, yet I feel strongly about taking the lead in combating something that needs to stop, I feel it is the right thing to do. I know I’m hanging myself out there, but there are times that test your moral courage. Testing your moral courage doesn’t happen when things are safe. It happens when we are at risk for getting the backlash of people who disagree, yet we still toe the line.

  11. Cary W

    It’s a shame to hear about this. If there ever was a female cyclist that had the talent to win many races clean it was her.


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