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Where is the disciplinary procedure initiated following your positive EPO test, at the end of the time trial of the 2019 French championships?

The French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) has just appealed against my two-year suspension, pronounced in December 2020 by its own independent sanctions commission. I deduce from this that she considers the sanction insufficient and does not want my case to set a precedent, even though she had requested a four-year suspension. Which means that I still have this Damocles sword above my head, and that all my results, like my second place in the Ironman of Embrun on August 15, can be crossed off the shelves.

To justify its decision, the committee had rightly underlined that we could not ignore “the particularly difficult context” in which you had resorted to doping …

I injected myself, three days before the French championships, a single dose of EPO, ordered on a Chinese website, while I was psychologically at the bottom of the hole. I was exhausted from the overtraining I forced myself to lose weight and under the influence of the manager of the Belgian team Doltcini-Van Eyck, for which I was racing for the second season without being paid. I had even agreed to pay for my trips to join this international team, while the French Bio Frais team wanted to extend me and I had had a difficult first experience within the Italian Servetto-Footon team.

You then filed a complaint, in June 2020, for sexual harassment against your former manager Marc Bracke, who denies the facts with which he is accused.

He has asked me many times to send him pictures of myself in my underwear, officially to control my weight remotely. When I refused, I found myself even more isolated within the team, which accelerated my fall and led me to make the biggest mistake of my life. An investigation was opened by the prosecutor’s office in Montargis (Loiret), which can also sue me for having imported EPO into France. The International Cycling Union (UCI) took up the case a year ago and its disciplinary commission suspended Marc Bracke for three years. I was heard last August by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in Lausanne (Switzerland), but I have no information on the rest of the procedure and I do not know if Mr. Bracke intends to appeal. decision.

Why did you decide to write this book?

At first I denied the facts, I was ashamed and I walled myself in silence, as I had always done throughout my career. I am rather shy and reserved by nature, I have trouble confiding in myself and reaching out to others. It was Vincent Martins, my friend and trainer, who convinced me to put my story into words. I started writing in January 2020. This book worked on me like therapy. It allowed me to rebuild myself and move forward. I also hope that it will make move the federal authorities, which must not abandon the sportsmen tested positive as I was.

Your testimony gives a raw look at the precariousness of certain athletes and the conditions that can lead them to dope.

In my case, there is psychological suffering and discomfort that goes back to childhood. I have always had eating disorders, phases of anorexia and bulimia, which I have always tried to hide from my relatives and my various trainers. I arrived at the start of each season with a few extra pounds, which I had more and more difficulty in losing, despite a drastic diet and more and more training alongside my part-time job as head of the team. cycling section of the Lycée Pasteur-Le Blanc (Indre).

Is the weight of cyclists so central to the attention of professional teams?

Not so far as to require photos of them in their underwear to monitor them, which is absolutely not a widespread or accepted practice in the community! But since I’m a good climber and you have to reach a certain healthy weight to perform well on a hill, I put the pressure on myself. Especially since I did not have the profile of a born climber: I was rather plump as a child and I did not pay any attention to my diet in my young years of cycling.

If you had to do it again, what would you change?

I should have refused the conditions, otherwise illegal, of the Doltcini-Van Eyck team, and satisfied myself with playing in the National Division. But I had the level of an international team, which allowed me to compete in the big races of my dreams. For the rest, I have no regrets, except for not being able to ask for help with my eating problems. And I never lost my love for cycling.

How do you see the rest of your career?

I have two goals for the end of the season: the world record for positive elevation in 24 hours, which I will try to beat on September 18 and 19 at Alpe d’Huez (Isère), and the French duathlon championship long distance, October 17, in Douai (North). I would also like to do one last road season in 2022, if I find a team. I created my coaching company to offer personalized sports support and organize cycling courses. I would also like to share my story with young people.

Landmarks

June 24, 1992

Born in Orléans (Loiret)

2014 and 2015

Second in the French Road Cycling Cup

June 27, 2019

Tested positive for EPO after the time trial of the French championships

June 2020

She files a complaint for sexual harassment against Belgian manager Marc Bracke

September 9, 2021

Release of the book “Harassed, doped, but back! »From Blacklephant editions

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