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

Paris.

”(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

athlete.”

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

2004.

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.