Zidane dismisses drug claims


PARIS, September 22- Zinedine Zidane hit out Wednesday at the author of a book which suggested he and several other members of France's 1998 World Cup winning squad may have been involved in doping practices.Former France team doctor Jean-Pierre Paclet published ‘Implosion’ in August, in which he claimed that "blood sample tests on several France players just before the 1998 World Cup revealed anomalies".

Paclet added: "There is room for suspicion, given the clubs where some of the players are employed, notably the Italian league."

In an interview on TV5 Monde Wednesday former Juventus midfielder Zidane played down the claims, suggesting Paclet was simply trying to shock to sell more copies.

"It’s not nice to hear, and it’s unfortunate, but that’s life. People like that are just looking to boost their book sales by adding some shocking content. It’s not new."

Zidane played for Juventus from 1996-2001.

The Italian giants won three Serie A titles and one European Cup in the 1990s, when the club was also embroiled in a drugs affair which led to a trial for Juventus chief executive Antonio Giraudo and team doctor Riccardo Agricola.

At a 2004 trial Italian prosecutors charged that, while the drugs in question were legal, they were employed in such a way that they produced the same effects as performance-enhancing substances

Zidane admitted at the trial to being given drugs at Juventus but claimed to court officials that he was told they were vitamins.