What, you've never heard this accusation of Jeannie Longo before? Well, let's just examine the facts:
1. Jeannie Longo is clearly the most dominant cyclist of all time (57 time French champion in various disciplines, the most recent was won this year at age 51).
2. She has competed during the "golden age" (meaning everybody's doing it) of bicycle doping.
3. She has never failed a drug test.
Well, if her name was Lance Armstrong it'd be enough to throw the book at her now wouldn't it?
Actually I don't believe that Jeannie Longo is a doper, just as I don't believe that Armstrong is. I'm only writing this article to point out how absurd it is that people make up their minds based on perception rather than fact.
I firmly believe that the thing that's saved Jeannie Longo from falling under this kind of awful accusation is that she's FRENCH! I believe that if Jeannie Longo had been American she would have suffered from the same kind of ridiculous smear campaign that's gone on in France against Armstrong since his first TDF victory.
It's constantly mind boggling to me how willing people are to listen to the opinions of losers and cheats. The main issue is that I think a lot of Americans, even those with a huge cycling pedigree, kind of look up to the French as the "true patrons" of the sport of cycling (the same way we look up to the Brazilians as "true patrons" of soccer, and the Norwegians as "true patrons" of XC skiing). If a French guy says it, and it's about cycling, then we're prone to give his words a bit more weight.
Folks, this is absurd!
Look, it may still come to pass that someday somebody will do a SCIENTIFIC inquiry and find that Lance is guilty (at this point, I don't think anybody's willing to accept that he might be PROVEN innocent...nice smear campaign French periodicals). As long as this inquiry is based on HARD EVIDENCE then I won't have any problem with it.
But if we're going to live in a society of scumball smear campaigns, then the only way to make it more or less fair is to smear EVERYONE, not just the AMERICAN riders (and this two days before the 4th of July...shameful).
Honestly, I don't think Jeannie Longo deserves to be spoken of this way...but neither does Lance.
Gather your evidence, make your case...but don't waste my time with your lazy suspicions or the word of Floyd Landis.