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The French rugby team of the 80s ran on amphetamines according to a new book

“They each had their little pill in front of their plates for the meal before the match,” according to the French team doctor of the time.

New allegations cast doubt on French rugby in the 80s.
New allegations cast doubt on French rugby in the 80s.

THE FRENCH RUGBY union team was a vast consumer of amphetamines in the 1980s — including in a famous win over the All Blacks  – according to a new book.

“They each had their little pill in front of their plates for the meal before the match,” French team doctor of the time, Jacques Mombet, is quoted as saying in the book.

Mombet said the drug taking was most obvious when France played New Zealand at Nantes in 1986, in a match called ‘the battle of Nantes’ for its ferocity which resulted in All Black legend Wayne Shelford being knocked out and losing several teeth in the process, and beat the All Blacks 16-3.

“The Blacks realised that their opponents, unrecognisable from the previous week, were loaded,” Mombet said in the book by investigative journalist Pierre Ballester.

France’s rugby establishment did not immediately react to the allegations.

Ballester wrote a 2004 book on disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong in which he was among the first to publicly make drug allegations against the seven-time Tour de France champion.

His rugby book, “Rugby a Charges, l’enquete choc” (The case against rugby) is released in France on 5 March.

 - © AFP, 2015

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