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Report: French Olympic Team Had Drugs

August 1, 2001

PARIS (AP) _ Almost 10 percent of the medicine that the French Olympic team took to last year’s Sydney Games reportedly were products banned for use by athletes.

Of the 580 types of pharmaceuticals the French team brought with it to the Olympics, 57 are prohibited by the International Olympic Committee and are considered doping products, the Liberation newspaper said Wednesday.

The banned substances were mostly corticoids, diuretics, anesthetics and antihistamines, according to the newspaper.

Maurice Vrillac, the French team’s head doctor, denied wrongdoing, saying the medicine was not intended for athletes, who made up only 341 members of the 602-person French delegation.

``The personnel can also get sick at the games,″ Vrillac told Liberation.

The medicines in question include 18 products that are banned for use by Olympic athletes, 36 that can only be used with special permission from the IOC and three that can be used within limited doses, the newspaper reported.

Liberation published excerpts of the list that it said was submitted by the French Olympic committee five months prior to the games and received clearance from the Australian Health Ministry. It did not say how it obtained the list.

France’s sports ministry immediately distanced itself from the issue.

``The Ministry of Youth and Sports was at no time involved in the creation of this list or with the importation request addressed to Australian authorities,″ the ministry said in a statement.

The matter ``comes under the sole authority of the (French Olympic committee), and notably of its medical commission,″ the statement added.

France placed sixth at the Sydney Games with 38 medals, behind countries like the United States, Russia and China.

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