Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tennis Dad Drugged Kids' Opponents.

This story comes courtesy of the bastion of competitive sports fire that is France. Really. I'm not kidding.

A French man has been accused of "drugging" his children's tennis opponents. The man's daughter is apparently a "rising star" in French tennis. So to give his daughter (and his son, as well) a "competitive advantage," the man took to "spiking the water bottles of his children's opponents 27 times in tournaments from 2000 to 2003, using Temesta [an anxiety drug], which can cause drowsiness." Several of the victims had to be hospitalized. Unfortunately, that's not where the story ends.

In July 2003 the man's son defeated an opponent, who complained of fatigue after the match and slept for two hours -- apparently because this man had drugged the opponent. While the opponent was driving home later, he crashed his car and was killed. Police believe he fell asleep at the wheel -- also, apparently because of the drugs. Toxicology results showed traces of Temesta in the victim's system.

Now th eman is arguing that he was "gripped by panic and anguish as his desire to see his son and daughter succeed spun out of control." He's facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted of unintentionally caused the death. The man testified:

It's something that completely took me over, and I couldn't imagine that I could be responsible for the death of your son," Fauviau, a former military pilot, told the court last week. "I never wanted things to come out like this.

Judges are expected to reach a verdict today (Thursday) in the case. I'll update this as soon as I hear whether they let him off the hook because of his "panic and anguish" or whether they send him away.

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