Deschamps faces senate questions at doping hearing
France coach Didier Deschamps spoke to a senate-led inquiry into
the fight against doping on Wednesday and afterwards said it is
vital for leading figures in sport to increase awareness about the
dangers of drugs in sport.
The 44-year-old Deschamps spent a little under two hours
answering questions in a closed-doors hearing at the senate in
”(I answered) many questions. You know I don’t have the right
to reveal the content of my hearing, and that applies to the
committee members as well,” Deschamps told reporters afterward.
”The goal of this committee is to make the fight against doping as
efficient as possible in the months and years to come. My role as
national team coach, obviously, and as a former high-level athlete
(is to explain) what setting an example means when you are an
Deschamps, who played for Italian giant Juventus from 1994-99,
was asked if any of the questions related to his time as France
captain of the 1998 World Cup-winning team or his successful spell
as a combative midfielder with Juve.
”I’m sorry, I can’t,” answer, he said. ”There is the issue of
confidentiality. I had many questions, but I can’t reveal the
nature of these questions.”
The hearings are aimed at looking into ways of improving the
fight against doping. Travis Tygart, the head of the U.S.
Anti-Doping Agency, the body which produced a scathing report
detailing systematic doping by Lance Armstrong and his teams, was
scheduled to attend on Thursday.
The USADA report led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven
Tour titles and banned from elite sport for life.
”It’s everyone’s duty to make sure that everything goes as well
as possible and that the biggest funds possible are made available
to those who fight against doping,” Deschamps said.
”The important thing is to have as clean a sport as possible,”
he added. ”To do that you need significant funding. But not just
in terms of testing but also in terms of awareness, which must be
done not only in the professional world (of sport) but also in the
amateur world so that from a young age (athletes) are aware of the
dangers of doping in sport.”
Former Juventus physician Riccardo Agricola was convicted of
administering banned substances to Juventus players from 1994-98.
He was given a suspended sentence of 22 months in November
Three years ago, two doctors for the Juventus team were banned
60 days for doping offenses. Bartolomeo Goitre and Luca Stefanini
were accused of administering cortisone to Juventus captain Fabio
Cannavaro and originally faced three-month bans.
Cannavaro tested positive after an August game between Juventus
and AS Roma. He said the cortisone was for a bee sting.