PtG Article 14.05.2007

Play the Game apologises to Jean-François Lamour, Vice-President of WADA

In the Play the Game newsletter for Tuesday 8 May we brought a story about the French Sports Minister and WADA Vice-President, Mr. Jean-François Lamour, who allegedly had been tested positive for doping substances twice in his career as an international fencer.

We built the story on sources that are usually reliable and on apparently solid documentation. Nevertheless, the documentation was misinterpreted and the story untrue, and Play the Game deeply regrets that it was published.

As Mr. Lamour correctly states in a message Saturday 12 May, a positive A-sample in 1987 was annulled after a counter-analysis. According to our information, there was even a third analysis of the sample that resulted negative.

Another alleged case in 1989 was in fact no case at all as the substance in question was never banned by the List of Prohibited Substances.

Over the past 10 years, Play the Game has brought hundreds of stories into the public domain, many of them conflict-ridden or controversial. We take pride in ensuring that the information we spread is correct and true.

In this case we failed.

Play the Game has always enjoyed a constructive working relationship with WADA in the spirit of mutual respect for our different roles in sport. WADA has a leading position in international sport with regard to appreciating the positive value of open dialogue and independent public debate.

We are therefore sorry for the damage this erroneous story may have caused to the reputation of the anti-doping work in general, and of WADA and Mr. Lamour in particular.

We also encourage all media that have passed our story on to their audiences, feeling confident that Play the Game had ensured an adequate control, to pass this correction and our apologies on to the public.

Last but not least, we kindly ask Mr. Jean-François Lamour, WADA and all other persons affected by the story to accept our sincere apologies.

Director, Play the Game