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Deschamps gives doping testimony

France coach Didier Deschamps has testified before a French Senate committee investigating the effectiveness of the fight against doping in sport.

Deschamps, 44, answered questions behind closed doors for an hour at the Luxembourg Palace, in central Paris, on Wednesday. He emerged to a barrage of media questions, but refused to divulge what he had said.

"You know full well that I don't have the right to tell you what went on," the ex-France captain said. "It went well, and was held in a convivial atmosphere.

"Different people asked me multiple questions with the aim of making the fight against doping as effective as possible in the months and years to come."

He added: "I was asked to come, but it wasn't the obligatory nature of it that made me come. I am, above all, just a regular citizen, and it's my duty to respond to the Senate, which represents the French Republic."

Earlier this month,L'Equipe that Deschamps, who won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 as a player with Les Bleus, would be quizzed mainly on his five-year spell at Juventus between 1994 and 1999 and the practices of the Italian club's doctor, Riccardo Agricola.

Agricola was given a ten-month sentence for 'sporting fraud and the administration of medicines dangerous to the health' after a trial in November 2004, but was acquitted on appeal the following year.

The Senate hearing began in March and will hear from a number of prominent sporting and medical figures, including Travis Tygart, the president of the US Anti-Doping Agency, before issuing a report in mid-July.

That document will form the basis of a legislative reform to be drawn up by Valerie Fourneyron, the French Sports Minister.


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