L’Equipe News Explains French Doping Affair

July 26, 2013–By Jen Benepe–New York

The article we are sharing with you today is translated from French. The original article entitled, “Jalabert rattrapé par son ombre,” published at L’Equipe 21 online, an online news company owned by the Amaury Sports Organization that runs the Tour de France, and many other big European races–has mysteriously disappeared from the Internet since its publication last week.

Since then other publications like the one right, have published their own headlines using the same language, adding to the confusion–why did l’Equipe 21 remove the story?

Therefore we are publishing an English based version in part, as well as the original article in French, with the actual notations related to its original publication. Below is the first half of the translation. The second will be published this afternoon.

Jalabert has been captured by his shadow

The French Senate investigative commission has uncovered facts that prove that the French champion Jalabert has tested positive for EPO since the 1998 Tour de France.

EPO is a banned substance in all professional cycling under the auspices of the International Cycling Union, or UCI which is based in Aigle, Switzerland.


Traces of EPO were found in the urine samples of Laurent Jalabert taken on the 22nd of July 1998, at the 11th stage of the Tour de France at Luchon, Plateau de Beille (which was won by Marco Pantani.)

The analytic information, which the team is preparing to divulge today, is from the same type of tests which had been made on Lance Armstrong on August 23, 2005.  They were analyses conducted by the de Châtenay-Malabry Laboratories (LNDD), which have now come under the administration of the French Analysis Agency against Doping (in French, département Analyses de l’Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD)) with the goal of assuring the robustness and accuracy of the detection of EPO in urine samples.

During the time period in question, work was carried out under strict anonymity (thus the urine samples were not associated with the specific rideres.) Since then, the French Senate investigation committee put in place last March 14 as part of its audit of the efficaciousness of the fight against doping, has recently received from the minister of sports and other concerned authorities nominal verbal authority which will allow them to identify the riders who were tested.

Thus, with this ability to look back into the past, and the quasi-totality of the samples uncovered from 1998 and reanalyzed by the French laboratory were found to be positive for EPO in 2004, which explains why the riders didn’t risk anything at the time because the substance (EPO) was not detectable at the time.

Among the dirty discoveries was one sample that belonged to Laurent Jalabert who rode under the colors and direction of the ONCE Team and under the sulphurous Spanish Team Manager Manolo Saiz, who have been implicated then [literally] bleached under the recent Puerto incident.

According to our information, detection of 94.8 percent of the basic isoforms (no translation) had been saved for the time of the French analysis, because the detection (seuil) of positives required under the standards of the Agency of World Antidoping (here they say the AMA, though we know it was WADA, World Anti-Doping Agency,) was at 85 percent during reanalysis.

The positive finding for the native of Mazamet is thus indisputable. Nevertheless, it’s not about anti-doping control. Therefore in the instance of the revelations of Lance Armstrong, this analysis doesn’t have any disciplinary implications because, a fortiori fifteen years after the fact, Jalabert doesn’t risk any retroactive sanction.