Accused of having tested positive for EPO during the 1998 Tour de France, Laurent Jalabert saw this shadow reappear as the start of the Grande Boucle approached.
Among the favorite sporting events of the French, the Tour de France is about to make the event for three weeks. On Monday, France 2 even broadcast a prime-time program on the Tour saga. Almost no subject was avoided. A fifteen-minute report thus evoked the scandals of the Tour among which the Festina affair, the Armstrong deception, the death of Tom Simpson or the exclusion of Michel Polentier.
“Having a clean Tour de France is one of the priorities”, struck Laurent Ruquier, who officiated at the presentation of the show. Seeing France Télévisons discuss the doping scandals made some viewers wince. And not only because of a certain complacency displayed by some commentators in the past. The presence of Laurent Jalabert within the team of consultants of France TV is also likely to challenge.
2013: L’Equipe’s accusations
” Doubled over with laughter watching the passage on doping while Laurent Jalabert is still a consultant for France Television”, “Superb CSC the Laurent sequence Jalabert not happy with the police checks and the “relentlessness” on the Tour 98″, “ Jalabert is a high profile crook gorging himself on public money now…”, could we read on Twitter.
During his long career, Laurent Jalabert has certainly never suffered the slightest positive control. But in 2013, The Teamwhich was based on retroactive tests carried out in 2004 by the Anti-Doping Agency, revealed that the former time trial world champion had tested positive for EPO on the 1998 Grande Boucle A Tour de France of sinister memory since marked by the Festina affair.
The freshly champion of France had been one of the spokespersons for the riders after the strike called to protest against the police raids and the media harassment. “It’s fed up, that’s all. There was the Festina affair, now the runners are dragged through the mud. If no one is interested in doing the Tour, we go home and you continue on your own”, he had launched in front of the press. However, the Mazamétain himself had recourse to EPO.
I can’t say it’s fake
While he said he was surprised by the revelations of The TeamLaurent Jalabert, who already officiated at France Televisions had denied any desire to dope. “I can’t say it’s wrong, I can’t say it’s right”, he confided, adding on RTL: “ I have always trusted the team doctors, I had no reason to think that we had to be suspicious. We were treated but it was difficult to know the drugs that were administered to us. »
I did not spend a franc at the time to buy prohibited products
Questioned a few months earlier by the Senate commission of inquiry set up in the wake of the Lance Armstrong affair, the former ONCE rider had just acknowledged having received corticosteroid injections, justified by TUEs (authorizations for therapeutic use). “At no time did I seek to meet doctors in any way to improve my performance. I did not spend a franc at the time to buy prohibited products,” he pleaded.
However, twenty years after his retirement, the one who now devotes himself to (very) long distance triathlons is still perceived by some as one of the faces of doping.