Le Monde article alleges amphetamine use
By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2004
FDJeux.com’s Baden Cooke said Monday that he is about to file suit against a French newspaper over an article suggesting that he had injected himself with a banned stimulant.
Tuesday’s edition of Le Monde includes extracts from a telephone conversation recorded by the police in September 2001. In it French cyclist Philippe Boyer, who was handed a one year prison sentence last year for drug trafficking, is claimed to be talking to a supposed friend of Cooke’s, a woman called Sandrine.
She tells Boyer that Cooke, who won the Tour de France green points jersey last year, had felt ill after injecting himself with amphetamines.
“He had flashes in his eyes and he was trembling like mad,” she is reported to have told Boyer.
Against Boyer’s advice the article says she called a doctor and told him that she and her friend “had taken amphetamines to go out.”
Cooke refuted the allegations.
“I absolutely deny the alleged facts and the insinuations which suggest I’m a drug addict,” Cooke said in a statement released by his lawyer, Jean-Marc Allery.
“I am forced to start immediate legal proceedings against the paper,” added the Fdjeux.com rider.
Boyer for his part is quoted by Le Monde as saying that he was introduced to Cooke by way of the woman on the telephone.
“I met Baden Cooke through a mutual acquaintance, Sandrine, who was at that time his friend,” Boyer said. “He wanted amphetamines and Sandrine told him that I could get hold of them.”
The conversation was recorded as part of a French police investigation into the death of a young amateur cyclist in 1998 after post-mortem results revealed a significant presence of pain killers.