who knew tennis was THIS cut-throat???
Bad Dad’s drugging investigation widens
Some of you may be wondering what has become of the strange case of Christophe Fauviau. Fauviau is the former French army colonel who was charged in August with involuntary manslaughter for drugging Alexandre Lagardère, an opponent of his 16-year-old son Maxime in a French regional tournament. Allegedly, this led to Lagardère’s falling asleep at the wheel, and subsequent death in an automobile accident.
According to reports from France this week, the authorities feel that papa Fauviau’s misdeeds went far beyond this one case. They are gathering testimony and evidence from a number of players who say they felt drowsy or nauseous when playing Maxime Fauviau and his 13-year-old sister Valentine. Investigators say there volume of suspicious cases means the gathering of evidence may take several more months.
Christophe Fauviau, according to the allegations, made a horrible habit of slipping an anti-stress drug named Temesta into the water bottles of his children’s opponents. His son Maxime was apparently a player of modest talent who had no realistic hope of a pro career. But the same was not true of young Valentine. The young girl was the top-ranked French player in her age group this summer. Valentine was already playing junior events internationally, and reportedly is more than talented enough to win matches without her father’s “help”. Now her hopes of forging a professional career may be totally destroyed by the notoriety surrounding her family..
A recent article in the French daily Le Parisien cited a police report indicating that 24 of Valentine‘s past opponents testified to feeling unusual physical symptoms during their matches. But Fauviau‘s lawyer, sensing a witch-hunt, affirmed, “There is no evidence to corroborate this testimony,” adding that some of the unusual sensations described by the girls were incompatible with the known side effects of Temesta.
It is easy to draw a lesson here about the bad parents who will stoop to any depths to push their children ahead in the increasingly cut-throat world of junior tennis. Too easy, we think. If the allegations are true, this man was probably sick enough to drug children at a checkers tournament or a spelling bee. The tragedy lies in the death of a young man, and in the future of a young girl who, through no fault of her own, will likely never live down the shame.
"For now, Roddick seems to play with the intelligence of a fence post."
Greg Couch, Chicago Sun Times