View Full Version : Father jailed over tennis player's death

03-09-2006, 08:09 PM
Father jailed over tennis player's death

CHRISTOPHE Fauviau, the father who drugged his children's tennis rivals to improve their chances of winning, was yesterday sentenced to eight years in jail by a French court, after being convicted over the accidental death of one of the players.

Serge Mackowiack, prosecuting, described Fauviau as "an adult who turned his children into objects of his own fantasies of success" and whose actions were premeditated.

"Nothing stopped you: Players collapsing on the court, the sight of stretchers, of an 11-year-old girl, a young woman who collapses against a fence. Nothing stopped you," Mr Mackowiack said. "It's normal to want your children to succeed, but there are limits," he added.

Fauviau had confessed to the crime during his trial in Mont-de-Marsan in south-western France.

The former military pilot was accused of spiking the water bottles of his children's opponents 27 times in tournaments across France from 2000 to 2003, using the anti-anxiety drug Temesta, which can cause drowsiness and loss of balance.

In July 2003, Fauviau's son Maxime, now 19, beat Alexandre Lagardere, a 25-year-old teacher, who complained of fatigue after the match and slept for two hours.

While driving home, Lagardere crashed his car and died. Police believe he fell asleep at the wheel. Toxicology tests showed traces of Temesta in his system.

Fauviau, 46, a former helicopter pilot, had admitted drugging six boys and 23 girls, none of whom was aged under 15, over a three-year period between 2000 and 2003 by slipping Temesta into their water bottles during amateur tournaments.

The court at Mont-de-Marsan in south-west France heard that Fauviau had devoted himself exclusively to his children's tennis careers between 2000 and 2003, escorting Maxime and his daughter Valentine, now 16, to matches.

Neither child was aware that their father was giving them a helping hand by spiking their adversaries' water bottles with a drug which made them too drowsy to play well.

Fauviau did not deny tampering with the drinks, but said that watching his children playing tennis was so stressful that he had to do something.

In a tearful testimony, he had asked the Mr Lagardere's parents for forgiveness. "It's something that completely took me over and I couldn't imagine that I would be responsible for the death of your son. I never wanted things to come out like this," he told the court.

"I completely lost reason. I took Temesta myself. To put it in the bottles became a habit that I wasn't aware of. I never considered that in doing this I could hurt someone."

Both Valentine and Maxime spoke affectionately of their father in court, pleading with the judge and prosecutor to return him to them.

Valentine, one of France's most promising young players who is in the country's top ten for her age group, asked the court to show mercy, saying he had done what he did out of love.

She had also cast doubt on the allegations against her father. "Tired girls yes, I saw them. But nothing more than that," she told Le Parisien. "I never needed anyone to help me win."

03-09-2006, 09:48 PM
He didn't even try to sleep with any of them after he drugged them? Loser.

03-09-2006, 10:02 PM
"Valentine, one of France's most promising young players who is in the country's top ten for her age group, asked the court to show mercy, saying he had done what he did out of love."

Here all along I had thought that love meant nothing to a tennis player.