LONDON, Dec 15 (AFP) – Disgraced former Marseille chairman Bernard Tapie told AFP on Monday allegations made by Tony Cascarino that he and his team-mates were injected with an unknown substance while he was a player with the French side were utter nonsense.
In a column for The Times, the 88-times capped former Republic of Ireland striker, who scored 61 goals in his two seasons for Marseille after joining the club in 1994, said the doping took place at the behest of Tapie.
However Tapie reacted angrily to the 41-year-old’s allegations, saying Cascarino had barely joined the club before the flamboyant former government minister was removed and sent to prison for fixing a league match days before the club won the 1993 European Cup.
“This makes no sense at all,” Tapie told AFP.
“I perhaps came across Cascarino once or twice in my life at the club,” added Tapie, who left in December 1994.
Cascarino wrote in his column that he received regular injections during his spell there and he suspected they were illegal substances.
“I was repeatedly injected with a substance during my time at Marseille,” said Cascarino, who also played in France for Nancy.
“I cling to the sliver of hope that it was legal, though in reality I’m 99 percent sure it wasn’t,” said the ex-forward, a member of the Republic 1990 and 1994 World Cup squads.
Cascarino, who said that Tapie could act like a “complete lunatic” at times, added that the then Marseille chief enjoyed seeing players injected.
“He (Tapie) revelled in the initiation ceremony when a new player was to have his first jab, lifting up the back of his shirt and waiting for a staple-gun, laden with 20 needles, to be injected into his lower back.
“He stretched his arms, clenched his fists and roared with approval… With Tapie making it clear my place in the team rested upon me partaking, I chose to have a go.
“I already felt self-conscious and vulnerable, exposed to a new dressing room and unable to speak the language.”
Tapie, though, said Cascarino was impugning the character of the club doctor.
“Dr Joel Costes is still at the club and is incapable of such practices,” he said.
Subject: France news