Canadian cyclist Geneviève Jeanson has released the following statement in order to clear up some confusion surrounding the fact that her racing license this year was issued by USA Cycling. The statement was issued from Team Rona HQ in Montreal, Canada on 12th March 2004.

On October 11, 2003, Geneviève Jeanson was declared “unfit to race” by the International Cycling Union (UCI) for having posted a hematocrit level above the threshold value in a blood test. A urine test conducted the same day turned out negative. On November 24, as provided by its regulations, the UCI reinstated her license after another blood test showed a hematocrit level below the threshold limit. Under UCI regulations, Jeanson was readmitted to competition.

On December 19, Geneviève Jeanson voluntarily met with a panel set up by the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA), in which the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes (FQSC) was invited to participate. The meeting was not for disciplinary purposes. “I offered to provide the results of the blood profiles in my medical records since 1999 to a doctor on the panel,” Jeanson explained. He agreed to handle her records in strict confidence, in accordance with the medical code of ethics, and to share his conclusions with the rest of the panel. After the meeting, Jeanson asked third parties that held her medical information to forward it to the doctor on the panel.  

“I also explained to the panel all the steps I had taken to avoid another incident like the one in Hamilton, and to make sure I wouldn’t have any health problems. I had already consulted with a number of specialists, who reassured me on that angle.”

On January 4, 2004, Geneviève Jeanson applied to renew her FQSC license. After some time, when she had still not received her license, she tried to reach the general director of the FQSC, Louis Barbeau, by phone, but he did not return her calls. “It wasn’t until February 6 that I received a letter stating that the medical information I had promised had not been received,” Jeanson went on to say. “I immediately called the person who had my records and repeated my request.” On February 10, 2004, the doctor from the CCA panel received all the promised blood profiles, and his subsequent report stated, in substance, that he was unable to draw a meaningful conclusion.   

On February 5, 2004, the board of directors of the FQSC decided not to issue Geneviève Jeanson her license for 2004. The FQSC invoked no rulings or regulations to support its decision, citing only “an incomplete file,” despite the fact that the requested information had been supplied as promised. 

On February 19, when Ms Jeanson withdrew her application, her license had not been issued. She applied to USA Cycling for a license, which was granted on February 27. 

“In terms of cycling regulations, Geneviève Jeanson was in full compliance, but it’s the CCA’s practice to let the provinces issue licenses to their members,” confirmed Pierre Hutsebault, executive director of the Canadian Cycling Association. Her request to obtain a license from the US is also in compliance with UCI regulations. There, as in Canada, she will be subject to anti-doping programs and controls, which will be reinforced in 2004, following the adoption of the World Anti-Doping Agency Code.

“A racing license is like a driver’s license,” Hutsebault explained. “You apply for a license where you live, but that doesn’t change your nationality. And Geneviève happens to live in the US for most of the year. Her license allows her to race all over the world. She’s still a member of the Canadian national team, and she’ll still wear Canada’s colors when she competes in the world championships or the Olympics.” 

Team RONA (www.equiperona.ca) is one of only two Canadian women’s cycling teams in the Elite Category recognized by the International Cycling Union. The team is made up of four Canadian racers (Geneviève Jeanson, Andrea Hannos, Émilie Roy and Erinne Willock), three Americans (Kathryn Curi, Katrina Grove and Anna Milkowski), Israeli Shani Bloch and Australian Helen Kelly. The team has exercised a policy of zero tolerance for banned substances since it was founded in 2000. This policy is explicitly stated in all its contracts.

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