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Geneviève Jeanson: my EPO test was the best thing that ever happened to me

The former world champion spoke at a webinar about doping

Photo by: Genevieve Jeanson

Former Canadian pro cyclist Geneviève Jeanson gave a powerful speech as part of a webinar to the The International Testing Agency on Tuesday. “I swear, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” she said to LaPresse. “Failing this doping test relieved me. It meant I could finally stop cycling and leave my coach. My life was so difficult at the time that it was only a small inconvenience in comparison. I was ready to see my name sullied forever rather than continue living with it. »

The webinar was about doping and mental health. “The majority of people think that doping is a bit like the Lance Armstrong model,” Jeanson said. “That there is always someone in charge of the whole group, the leader of the gang, and that these are all personal decisions. It’s not always like that. There are other examples, but no one is talking about them. So I gave another point of view on how an athlete can get caught up in this.”

Jeanson also opened up about her abusive former coach, André Aubut. The disgraced trainer not only supplied the teenager with drugs, but was violent with her as well. When she as only 14, he hit her on the head during a session, she admitted, the first time of many abusive incidents.

When she was 15, the verbal and physical abuse got even worse, eventually becoming sexual assault and rape. During the webinar, she said that after he began abusing her, she was never was the same person again.

A year later, at 16, she consulted an orthopedist, Doctor Maurice Duquette to get treatment for iron deficiency. Instead of legal supplements or nutritional advice, the physician gave her EPO.

In 2005, tested positive for the drug and was banned for two years. Aubut and doctor Maurice Duquette were banned for life by the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport in 2009. Aubut was arrested in 2016 for violently assaulting his wife.

Jeanson is now happily married, living in Quebec. She recently started bike racing again for Floyd’s of Leadville.