Doctor says 1998 France squad blood samples were suspicious

French football came under attack yesterday when a former doctor to the national side claimed there were "anomalies" in blood tests carried out on members of the World Cup-winning squad of 1998.

In a book published today and serialised in the French press, Jean-Pierre Paclet, the team medic from 2004 to 2008 and doctor to the youth team in 1998, alleges: "There were anomalies that prompted questions, but they were not explored... Of course, it's not certain they would have found proof at the time if they had pressed on with the analysis."

Several players, Jean-Marcel Ferret, who was the team doctor in 1998, and the current coach have responded angrily to the allegations. "We found nothing," Ferret told Le Parisien. "There were two slight anomalies concerning the level of red blood cells. But they were linked to tiredness from the league. My conscience is clear." New Les Bleus coach Laurent Blanc has called the allegations fantasies.

Paclet says his motivation for writing the book was annoyance at the way the French football team has been run for the last two years. "[Former coach Raymond] Domenech is very manipulative and played a lot of psychological games," he says, recounting a boot-room quarrel between the former French captain Thierry Henry and Domenech. The coach called the whole team useless, whereupon Henry told him he was a useless coach who provided no guidance.

And the doctor recalls the build-up to Zinedine Zidane's famous World Cup final headbutt in 2006. Zidane was on the ground being treated for a shoulder injury when Marco Materazzi came up behind Paclet to say: "You won't do any good, docteur de merde. He's dead, the old man. Get it? He's dead."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy