JaJa Tests Positive for EPO
Doped for 1998 Tour de France
Samples taken from former French pro cyclist Laurent Jalabert during the 1998 Tour de France have tested positive for EPO. While the tests were carried out in 2004, they were done on anonyous samples. Now, the French Senate has authorized that the names of the cyclists be released to the public.
Jalabert’s doping history comes as no surprise. He was part of the ONCE team, led by Manolo Saiz, recently involved in the Operación Puerto investigation. Last year, the rider affectionately known as JaJa said he couldn’t firmly deny doping while testifying before the French Senate.
“I can’t firmly say that I’ve never taken anything illegal. I’ve effectively used products when it was necessary, in case of lesions or other injuries,” Jalabert testified. “At ONCE, in the evening after the stages, the doctor took care of us, for our recovery, but we didn’t really know what it was. A relationship with doctors based on mutual trust was established, so we didn’t ask questions. We were treated, I’ve never said otherwise. Were we doped? I believe we weren’t … ”
During his career, Jalabert won the Vuelta a Espana as well as the pints classification in all three grand tours.