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French federation criticises Noah over doping remarks

Former French tennis star Yannick Noah attends a news conference at the Paris Open tennis tournament
Former French tennis star Yannick Noah attends a news conference at the Paris Open tennis tournament

PARIS (Reuters) - Yannick Noah's remarks about doping were "baseless" and "provocative", the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said on Tuesday, joining a chorus of protest against the former tennis hero.

Noah, the 1983 French Open champion, said in Le Monde last week that the best way to combat doping was to legalize the use of drugs in sport and he also appeared to accuse Spanish sport in particular of using "magic potions".

"The French Tennis Federation wishes to express its disagreement with Yannick Noah's comments made in Le Monde newspaper," the FFT said in a statement.

"Against the plague of doping in sport, baseless accusations and provocative comments are inappropriate, and the worst attitude would be to give up."

Ten-times grand-slam champion Rafa Nadal of Spain dismissed Noah's comments as "stupid" on Monday, adding to criticism by French Sports Minister David Douillet and Spanish Olympic committee president Alejandro Blanco.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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