13 Jun 2013

Ex-France coach denies doping allegations

5:54 am on 13 June 2013

The former France rugby coach Pierre Berbizier has denied any involvement in the doping of players, following controversial claims made by former international prop Laurent Benezech.

Berbizier told the French Senate there was no truth in claims he and former French Rugby Federation president Bernard Lapasset knowingly authorised doping by players.

Last month Benezech told the Senate he thought he'd been given cortisone injections during the 1995 World Cup, when Berbizier was national team boss, and that it could only have taken place with the management's blessing.

But Berbizier says they are surreal and misplaced claims which he completely denies.

The 54-year-old former international halfback says he only came across drugs twice during his career, suggesting that it related to recreational use of cannabis by players rather than performance-enhancing doping.

However, he did admit to feeling troubled by the morphological development of certain players, especially from the southern hemisphere, and to having had to fight against the use of creatine by other players.