A new book claims that that 1986 French side that defeated the All Blacks were “loaded” on stimulants during their 16-3 victory reports Planet Rugby


Investigative journalist Pierre Ballester, who has previously worked on books uncovering the truth about shamed Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong, quotes the French doctor Jacques Mombet as saying that France used amphetamines during what became known as the “Battle de Nantes”.

“They each had their little pill in front of their plates for the meal before the match,” Mombet is quoted as saying in the book. “The Blacks realised that their opponents, unrecognisable from the previous week, were loaded.”

Former New Zealand number eight Buck Shelford, who suffered a torn scrotum in the same game, revealed that he had suspicions about the French performance for years.

“I always believed they were high on uppers or something during that Test,” said Shelford.

“I don’t think any team can come out to play like that after being beaten the way they were the week before. When they left their room you could see their eyes were all glazed. It was a brutal match.”

Shelford additionally told TVNZ: “It’s one of those things that I’ve always believed when I look back to 1986. I always believed they were on something. Just the way they played that particular day, it’s a little bit like Lance Armstrong, he denied it for so long and basically it finally got caught up with him.”

Claims that drug taking was rife in 1980s French rugby haven’t been in short supply over the years, with Bernard Laporte suggesting players took some drugs without knowing they were illegal when talking to French parliament hearing in 2013.

The FFR is yet to comment on the book.

Facebook Comments


  1. I read the article yesterday in french – he also claims that the 1997 Boks were full of drugs when we beat them 52-10 at Parc des Princes.

    Apparently the team doctor had the ‘medical prescriptions’ for almost every player.


  2. If these allegations are true I will not disagree at all. The dark world of professional rugby have been revealed to me over the years. Juice as it’s known is like mill and supplements. This guy got it spot on to an extent.

    Rugby World UK also had a anonymous interview with a player on how they would add water to their drug tests.

  3. Well seeing how we are investigating drugs in rugby, I call for a high profile investigation into the Bulls performances these last couple of weeks. In true SA style, I propose we set up a committee to investigate the silent drop of sleeping tablets mixed in their vitamins on game day. I would appoint Ameticano the lead the enquiry, but he’d spend half the time in SA lurking the streets of Bloem to find Willie. So I appoint BC and Bunny. They can then appoint a crack team to investigate the rumors I am starting now. Davids should be on the team, boertjie as well, Fly in Duiwel so that he can once again share in the joy’s of a sa braai and beer. Failing to do so, will lead me to investigate this myself and then the result is a positive

  4. Agreed Aldo.
    However I’d think BC & Bunny’s investigative talents would be better served by figuring out what ever happened to that commentor that went by the name…..
    ( I think he may have actually been Harry Viljoen but no proof)

  5. I can categorically state that donner is not Harry Viljoen and that after moving to australia, donner resumed posting under the name Deon, but not on here much anymore. Having met both donner and his wife,I can also vouch that both are much friendlier than Harry Viljoen.

  6. Pierre Ballester is a scumbag…

    His Lance Armstrong book was a hatchett job in 2004 that saw him nailed in courts for lying. It was also co-written.

    There may be something about drugs in rugby but seriously in 1986???

    It sounds like he used the same source the Kiwis did to dig up “Suzie”

Comments are closed.