Jeanson as Victim Part Deux

The second part to Alain Gravel’s excellent report on EnquĂȘte (Radio Canada) was aired yesterday. Some absolutely fantastic reporting by Mr Gravel. The two part series which included the confession by Miss Jeanson as having been doped on EPO since the age of 16, was gripping reporting.

Yesterday’s reportage attempted to explain who was to blame for all of this. How could it be that a 16 year old girl was introduced to EPO ?

We learnt that it all stemmed from Jeanson becoming anaemic from too much training. It was her coach, Andre Aubut who clearly over-trained her causing this anaemia. The choice was to take the year off, or to dope. They chose to dope. The other revelation, was that her father, Yves Jeanson, was present when Dr Duquette administered the EPO to his 16yr old daughter. To Mr Jeanson, this appeared normal.

As we go through the entire sordid tale, we realize that Jeanson had a series of enablers. People who looked the other way in regards to her coach Andre Aubut, and how he abused her both mentally and physically (she alleges he beat her so bad as to cause a black eye so swollen that she was unable to put her glasses on.

One could even argue, her biggest fan, Pierre Foglia of La Presse was also an enabler by refusing to believe for years and years that she was doped.

The whole affair is tragic. It breaks my heart to see what Andre Aubut did to Jeanson and Emilie Roy (another Quebec cyclist) not to mention all the other Rona riders who were terrorized by this guy.

When you are a professional cyclist, it’s a job. You have your role and you must follow it. Your boss is the directeur sportif. In the case of Rona, this was Andre Aubut. When your dream is to race and ride for a living, and your opportunities to do so are slim, you generally don’t want to rock the boat too much for fear of losing your job, and your dream.

With this in mind, it becomes easier to understand how so many teammates looked the other way in regards to Aubut’s abuses.

The sport which I practise, that I continue to race for over 10 years now is broken at the professional level. The money has ruined it all. My teammates and friends no longer look to see who’s won what at the top levels. It doesn’t matter anymore. It’s boring.

But I tell you what, real sport isn’t what you watch on TV or read about on the Web. Real sport is what you do yourself.

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