French politician and retired judoka apologizes to world champion podium athletes

Former French Minister of Sports and double Olympic gold medalist in judo David Douillet apologized on Monday to Loïc Bruni, Amaury Pierron and Loris Vergier for comments he made on the French podcast “Grandes Gueules du Sport” who insinuated that the three French riders were the only ones took the podium of the World Championships thanks to a home advantage.

“The strange thing is three French people on the podium and there I say to myself, we are in Les Gets, in France and there I say to myself, well, what are the chances? Isn’t the course great known to our friends? Isn’t that what tipped the balance?” he said, translated via Google from French. “So I don’t take back all the glory and the effort and everything that has been done, but when I see three French people in a French downhill, in Les Gets on the podium of the world championships, I say to myself, maybe they had a little advantage over the others.”

The athletes countered that they had been just as dominant in the world:

“Mr. Douillet, when you don’t know anything about a sport or any subject, you refrain from judging,” Bruni wrote on his Instagram. “I’m a yellow belt in judo but I don’t think Teddy Riner has been lucky all these years. With your career and experience, it saddens me to hear you disrespect our performances. Please stay tuned. difference of our sport. The world of downhill was dominated by France for 4 years. You surely have the Olympic Games in your sights. But other sports are also exceptional and do not need your gratitude, fortunately .”

“We did almost the same thing last year. If you ever need any info, don’t hesitate… And it was in Switzerland… But there may have been an alliance with the Swiss, you’re going to tell me? 23 World Cup victories between us 3, but yes it’s really suspicious these 3 guys on the podium I admit it”, echoed Pierron.

On Monday, Douillet went back on his remarks and apologized to the three athletes and to all of mountain biking:

“I would like to apologize to our three world medalists: Loïc Bruni, Amaury Pierron and Loris Vergier,” he wrote on Instagram. “As well as to all the enthusiasts of this discipline which is downhill mountain biking, which I respect. For lack of knowledge, my questioning remarks on the radio on the descent of Les Gets had no basis… I was wrong. Like many French admirers of the great champions: I congratulate you on your extraordinary performance.”

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