Ravanelli denies doping claims

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Italian coach Fabrizio Ravanelli has strenuously denied claims he encouraged his players to use performance enhancing drugs at Ajaccio.

Former Juventus striker Fabrizio Ravanelli has angrily rejected claims that he encouraged doping at Ligue 1 side AC Ajaccio days after his sacking.

Ravanelli was axed after a 3-1 defeat to Valenciennes, which left the Corsican side with just seven points from 12 games.

And things went from bad to worse for Ravanelli as Ajaccio defender Cedric Hengbart publicly accused his former boss and fitness coach Giampiero Venrone of advising players to take drugs during his tenure.

"They advised us to take things and I was one of the few to say no," Hengbart claimed. "I am 33 and have 10 years behind me - I'm not going to take drugs."

Facing serious questions about his coaching future, Ravanelli has hit back, denying any claims of wrongdoing, insisting that the accusations are a misunderstanding.

"The things that have been reported are absolutely false," the ex-Perugia hero told Sky Sport. "The French player never spoke of doping, he was just talking about supplements. 

"At Ajaccio there are medical staff, coaching staff and nutritionists. The roles are very much separate. The head of the nutritionists is Fabrizio Angelini, who has also worked for Roma. 

"In France there are very strict tests and they tested everyone after the Rennes game and nothing happened. I don't know where these voices have come from." 

Ravanelli may face a significant wait to clear his name as the incident is likely to prompt a thorough investigation into training methods at Ajaccio.

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