Sunday, June 28, 2009

Le Parisien says Mathieu Bastareaud 'punched by teammate'

L'affair Bastareaud keeps getting better - the gift that keeps on giving.

See earlier background post "Inglourious Bastareaud, Pulp Fiction" click here.

Paper claims Bastareaud 'punched by teammate'

French rugby international Mathieu Bastareaud was reportedly punched by one of his teammates, according to a Paris newspaper. ...

The French press are now airing another scenario.

How he sustained a cut cheek and facial bruising is the big question.

Two fellow players - named as Louis Picamoles and Fulgence Ouedraogo - may have played a part in the bizarre episode, newspapers suggest.

According to an internal investigation by the team, Picamoles and Ouedraogo came back to the Holiday Inn at 5.22am on June 21 in a taxi with two women, while Bastareaud arrived at the same time in a second taxi, news agency Agence France Presse reported.

"Drunk and aggressive, Bastareaud was reportedly calmed down by a fist from one of his teammates," according to an account sketched by the daily Le Parisien. It also quoted Picamoles and Ouedraogo as denying this.

Picamoles, Bastareaud, Yannick Jauzion and Thomas Domingo, on the injury list, flew back from the tour last Monday, while Ouedraogo stayed on to play against the Wallabies. ...

Team bosses face tough questions about their handling of the scandal.

One is why Pierre Camou, president of the French Rugby Federation, and Jo Maso, the Bleus' manager, leapt to defend Bastareaud.

They insist they were duped by the player. Le Parisien said acidly: "Taking a bit of distance in handling this affair would have helped to avoid a diplomatic incident and prevented French rugby from looking ridiculous." Le Monde described the incident as a "torment" for les Bleus.

And sports daily L'Equipe said: "The Bastareaud affair is far from over."



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