Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Tragique Bastareaud jumped in a river

The Times (UK) reports:

A France rugby international who sparked a diplomatic incident when he falsely claimed that he had been assaulted by New Zealand fans has been admitted to psychiatric care after reportedly throwing himself into the Seine.

Mathieu Bastareaud, 20, is said to have attempted suicide after telling friends he could not cope with the scandal that erupted when his lies were uncovered by police in New Zealand. The incident has become an embarrassment to French rugby authorities amid claims that they helped to cover up a hotel room fight between players and left Bastareaud to face the controversy on his own.

Bastareaud is a rare representative of France’s troubled suburban estates in a sport dominated by players from a white provincial background. This, his friends say, has exacerbated his mental fragility. “He sent me a text saying he couldn’t stand this harassment,” said Mathieu Blin, a team-mate at the club Stade Français. “Now he’s completely gone off the rails.”

French media reports said the rugby player told friends that he was suicidal after being sent home from France’s tour to New Zealand and Australia. LÉquipe, the sporting daily, said he jumped into the Seine at the weekend.

Complete coverage of L'Affaire Bastareaud, click here.


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