SPORTS

French cycling suspends husband of French champion Longo for reportedly buying EPO

09/13/2011 08:40 EDT | Updated 11/13/2011 05:12 EST
PARIS - The husband of former Olympic champion Jeannie Longo was suspended Tuesday pending disciplinary action by the French Cycling Federation after sports daily L'Equipe reported that he bought the performance-enhancing substance EPO.

In an interview published Tuesday, American cyclist Joe Papp said Longo's husband, Patrice Ciprelli, bought EPO in 2007. Papp said Ciprelli "indicated it was for his wife."

In a statement, the federation said that if proven true, the allegations in the report would constitute "particularly serious behaviour contrary to the values of cycling."

Longo's attorney, Bruno Ravaz, told RTL radio that Ciprelli denies all involvement.

"For him, they're terrible lies and under such circumstances, well, he reserved the right to take legal action on the matter," Ravaz said, adding that the L'Equipe report was "crazy."

Ciprelli's suspension comes days after Longo's lawyer said she'll face a disciplinary hearing for allegedly breaking anti-doping rules that require athletes to disclose where they can be located for testing.

Longo, a 52-year-old Frenchwoman, won the road race gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

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