23 Nov 2011

French cycling great avoids ban

7:29 am on 23 November 2011

The French cycling legend Jeannie Longo has avoided disciplinary proceedings despite missing three random drug tests.

Longo, a 59-time national and former Olympic champion, would normally have been banned, but the French Cycling Federation has ruled that the 53-year-old was no longer on the list of top-ranked cyclists who have to make their whereabouts constantly available, so she hadn't violated anti-doping rules.

Longo, one of France's most revered athletes, is now free to continue with plans to cap her stunning career with a possible final Olympic appearance in London next year.

Last month a French court annulled a drugs ban on Longo's husband and coach Patrice Ciprelli.