Toulon respond to doping accusations

Date published: September 8 2015

Mourad Boudjellal has reacted angrily to accusations of organised doping at Toulon which were reported on Tuesday morning.

The outspoken Toulon president called a press conference following reports that the AFLD (French anti-doping agency) was in the middle of a major investigation of local pharmacists, with French radio station RTL reporting that 'antibiotics, analgesics, but also anabolic steroids' had been given to the players.

These are obviously serious allegations against the triple European champions, but according to Boudjellal it is not a case of doping, but instead a fraud investigation into a local pharmacist who had previously worked with the club.

And the president believes that the reports have emerged in an attempt to smear the club, and more particularly FFR presidency candidate Bernard Laporte.

"We've undergone a number of anti-doping tests," Boudjellal explained. 

"We have had two players who were under investigation, who were Steffon Armitage and (Eifion) Lewis-Roberts (in 2012) and the two were cleared.

"At the beginning of last season we had an anti-doping test of every single player of the RCT two days before the start of the season. And there was no doping and there is no doping.

"This is a case of fraud with regards to social security, using fake prescriptions. There are no players involved in the AFLD investigation and by the courts. The club has not been questioned and is not concerned.

"There is a pharmacist who had worked with us since 2006. When we heard about what he was doing, we stopped working with him. We have a doctor who for a number of years always unfortunately leaves two or three empty prescriptions in case of emergencies… and the details of the social security cards of the players.

"How can RTL publish information on organised doping? It's extremely serious. When you want to buy doping products, you don't take your social security card and go to a chemist, it would be stupid to do that. The journalist didn't do a proper investigation."

According to Boudjellal there is "a desire to smear the RCT, and maybe a desire to smear someone." Bernard Laporte, who is currently campaigning to be the next president of the FFR could be that individiual.

"I think the campaign will be very difficult," added Boudjellal.

The Toulon president added that he was considering taking legal action against both RTL and the chemist in question, but was not planning to do so just yet.