Tested positive at the EPO in June 2019, the French cyclist Marion Sicot admits having administered the prohibited substance. However, she explains, in an interview with Francetv sport, that she took this risk because of the psychological pressure inflicted by her sports director. She notably accuses the latter of having regularly asked her for photos of her in underwear.
A “cry for help” to get out of a toxic environment. In a testimony unveiled this Saturday evening by francetv sport, the French professional cyclist Marion Sicot admits to having doped at the EPO. Which earned him the threat of four years of suspension. Tested positive during the French time trial championship last June, it has denied any responsibility so far.
The 27-year-old young woman, who was playing with the Belgian Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport team, says, however, that she was driven to fault by unethical or even unlawful behavior that she says she suffered within her team: “There is everything a process that made me get there, on a psychological level, and that made me slip. (…) I was so lost that I was ready to take the risk. ”
Her choice to dope aimed, she explains, to get out of the toxic grip of her sports director. A decision taken alone, while having “hesitated a lot”, using a simple search on the Internet to obtain the prohibited substance and learn to inject it. “I said to myself that (…) maybe if I manage to get a performance, my sports director will give me as much importance as the other girls, that he will keep me on the team and will leave alone with this relentlessness “, she confides.
“He asked me for more daring pictures, in thongs”
This “descent into hell” began at the end of 2018, when she found herself forced to “sell bikes” to have the right to stay on the team. Only, she was then forced by her sports director to pay her travel expenses, in violation of the regulations of the International Cycling Union. “In the end, cycling costs me money. (…) It is illegal. I accepted because I wanted to race UCI”.
Relations with his manager deteriorate “month by month”, first with “increasingly hurtful messages” about his weight and tasks that were not his responsibility, then with facts relating to sexual harassment, says she. “He asked me for photos from November 2018, where I have to take my underwear in front and behind every Monday morning, according to him to control my weight. (…) If I do not provide him with the photos, I can’t do the shopping, “explains Marion Sicot, adding that he was not interested in a photo of his balance. The requests then get worse: “He asks me for a little more daring pictures, in a thong. It really exceeds the limits. (…) I refuse and the relationships are getting worse.”
With the “proofs” she has, Marion Sicot hopes for a certain leniency to avoid the maximum sentence. But she also wishes to prevent the actions of her sports director, by alerting not only the sports authorities but also the justice system: “I have contact with the AFLD (French anti-doping agency, editor’s note) to make a denunciation to the UCI against my sports director. And I see with my lawyer at the criminal level, so that it does not happen to other girls. ”