Rugby News

Rugby-French federation head Laporte held for questioning - judicial source

PARIS, Sept 22 (Reuters) - French Rugby Federation President Bernard Laporte is being held for questioning over his ties with Montpellier owner Mohamed Altrad amid an investigation into influence-peddling and illegal acquiring of assets, a judicial source said on Tuesday.

Four other people have also been detained for questioning - Altrad, 2023 World Cup chief organiser Claude Atcher, and FFR officials Serge Simon and Nicolas Hourquet.

The preliminary probe focuses on suspicions that Laporte pressuring the French League’s appeal committee into softening a sanction against Top 14 team Montpellier as a company he owns signed an image rights deal with the Altrad Group in 2017.

Altrad now sponsors the French national team.

Laporte, a former coach of the French national team, pulled out of the deal but it was already being investigated by the French sports ministry.

Laporte is standing for re-election as FFR president in early October.

The FFR did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters.

Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Angus MacSwan