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Zidane admits doping and vitamine jabs

TURIN, Italy, Jan 26 (AFP) – Real Madrid star Zinedine Zidane admitted at the Juventus doping trial here Monday he took the muscle growth supplement creatine while he played in Italy.

“I took creatine, only when I played for Juventus. It was never the case when I played in France and hasn’t happened since I’ve been playing in Spain,” the FIFA World Player of the Year told the court.

“It’s useful and I need it to play 70 matches a season,” he added.

The France playmaker also said he was given vitamin injections at Juventus.Zidane played for Juventus from 1996 to 2001.

The 31-year-old joined Real Madrid for a world record EUR 75 million (USD 90 million) from Juventus in 2001.

Two Juve officials are on trial over charges relating to the doping of players from the club over a four-year period in the 1990s.

The prosecution alleges that Juventus managing director Antonio Giraudo and club doctor Riccardo Agricola supplied pharmaceutical products to several of the club’s players between July 1994 and September 1998.

It is charged that, while the drugs in question were legal, they had been used in such a manner that essentially produced the same effects as illicit substances.

Over that period, Juventus won three Italian league titles and the European Cup.

Zidane, former France captain Didier Deschamps and Italian star Alessandro Del Piero are all under suspicion of being given illegal substances by club doctors.

Two weeks ago Juventus defender Paolo Montero, who joined the club in 1996, admitted to having been given creatine, soon after arriving in Turin.

Agricola has insisted many other clubs have also given their players substances such as creatine.

The scandal broke in 1998 when Czech coach Zdenek Zeman, then in charge of Roma, called on the authorities to clean drug cheats out of Italian soccer, aiming his accusations at Juventus.

Vialli has already admitted Agricola regularly administered substances for which there was no justification.


                                Subject: France news