French cyclists 'were addicted to amphetamines'

21st June 2006, Comments 0 comments

BORDEAUX, France, June 20, 2006 (AFP) - French amateur cyclists became addicted to performance-enhancing drugs after trying a cocktail of amphetamines, a court heard here Tuesday.

BORDEAUX, France, June 20, 2006 (AFP) - French amateur cyclists became addicted to performance-enhancing drugs after trying a cocktail of amphetamines, a court heard here Tuesday.

The trial into the trafficking of a cocktail of drugs known as the Belgian Pot heard testimonies from riders among the 23 people charged with involvement in the scandal.

And all the riders related the same story of drug-dependency.

"It happened progressively," said Christian Gerard, a 43-year-old who never cracked the professional ranks in the 1980s who said there was an outbreak of usage of the Belgian Pot in 1985 when riders could not get their hands on pharmaceutical amphetamines.

"I was taking whatever we could get our hands on," he added.

But his addiction turned him to trafficking to fund his own habit and landed him with family problems he said.

His was just one of a number of testimonies heard in court.

Another was that of Laurent Scarano, 40, who admitted to becoming aggressive and violent while losing 15kg from taking the cocktail. He eventually started taking the drugs socially as well as to boost his performance.

"Without doping, it's not possible (to be a cyclist)," he said.

The case into the scandal involving amateur French cyclists is due to end on Thursday with former professional rider Laurent Roux of France, whose testimony was heard on Monday, one of the principal defendants in the accusations of trafficking the cocktail of drugs from Belgium into France.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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