Moscow: The Russian Davis Cup team doctor has accused French customs officials of confiscating all his medical supplies upon arrival in Paris on Sunday.
“I don’t know why, but customs confiscated all of my medical supplies, down to the very last pill,” Valery Okhapkin was quoted as saying in Tuesday’s Sport-Express.
The Russian team, including Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin, arrived in the French capital on Sunday evening from Monte Carlo, where they had been making final preparations for the Davis Cup final against France. The five-day tie begins at Bercy sports hall on Friday.
“I showed them an official letter from the Russian Olympic Committee which stated that I’m not carrying any (forbidden) drugs, narcotics, anabolic steroids or any other criminal stuff,” Okhapkin said.
“But they just told us they don’t understand Russian, held me up for 2-1/2 hours, wrote thousands of reports and, in the end, confiscated all my medical supplies. “They told us that we now have to translate everything into French and ask French tennis officials to act on our behalf.”
The French are meticulous in pursuing all issues related to performance-enhancing drugs following a doping scandal in the 1998 Tour de France.
This year, French officials arrested the wife of Lithuanian rider Raimondas Rumsas after they found a large quantity of doping substances in her car at the border.
n The French team spirit on Page 26