Sleep on it.
The Minister Delegate for Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, will finally give her opinion this Friday morning on the report of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) following the health crisis of the XV of France.
It will be supported by its supervising minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer.
Both will receive Bernard Laporte, president of the FFR, at 8 hours before speaking to the press to, perhaps, draw the conclusions of this dark affair.
Because for the moment, the official thesis is that this brilliant XV of France, slowed down in the middle of the race towards the Grand Slam by a series of 17 contaminations with Covid (12 players and five members of the staff) and the postponement of the match against Scotland , was contaminated by a member of the France Sevens rugby team.
“Fabien Galthié is not patient zero,” repeated professors Roger Salamon and Eric Caumes, co-authors of the FFR report.
But there seem to be gray areas in their work, which should not fail to be highlighted by ministers.
Who is patient zero?
“It's a primarily medical report.
We had to answer three questions: who is patient zero?
Could we have avoided it?
And what are our recommendations to avoid it in the future?
»Summarizes Roger Salamon, whom we contacted.
In other words, as he himself admits, "we did not monitor each other's comings and goings".
Once patient zero had been identified, the report therefore did not ask doctors to investigate compliance with the bubble, which was nevertheless the subject of all attention.
Roger Salamon thus says not to be aware of a possible other exit (in addition to that to go to see his son play in Paris, on February 7) of Fabien Galthié.
An exit however mentioned by the coach in front of some members of the group, according to L'Equipe.
Not a word either on the now “famous” waffle exit of the players in Rome.
XV of France: tensions in all lines
Roger Salamon also ensures that the contamination was unpredictable, the VII player having tested negative before entering the bubble, as the protocol requires.
His first recommendation, which he himself considers unrealistic, is to impose a week of isolation in addition to the negative test on any training partners who enter the bubble.
Or, to rely only on "Covid immunity", that is to say to enter only people who have had the virus in the last three months.
"We cannot prevent them from taking the air"
But in the meantime, the bubble as it was set up seems to be enough for the epidemiologist.
Who seems more inclined to leave freedom to the players and their coach: "we can not prevent them from taking the air," he says.
Passionate about the game and the players, could Roger Salamon forget his scientific objectivity?
“It's totally ridiculous, he defends himself.
I like rugby.
I am there on a voluntary basis.
But I have proven myself, I have done benchmark work.
I think I can say that I am unassailable ”, assures the president of the Medical Commission of the FFR.
At 73, this epidemiologist who was also president of the High Council for Public Health and researcher at Inserm, is a guarantee for Bernard Laporte, even if he is not unanimous among his peers.
Scandal of the XV of France: sanitary bubbles that do not explode, it exists
Just like his colleague Eric Caumes, 63, co-author of the FFR report.
Since the start of the health crisis, this head of the infectious disease department at Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris has not only made friends.
With a shattering declaration, on France as a “underdeveloped country” or on this virus “too intelligent for us”, it has often delighted the media… and made the government cringe.
Contacted, he did not follow up.
"Impossible" to impose a fortnight
A fervent defender also of the innocence of Fabien Galthié, Eric Caumes had even bluntly judged the report commissioned by the ministry as useless… while he participated in it.
“We do not see what could happen, he wondered about RMC.
I even wonder why this report was commissioned.
There was no investigation to find out how Emmanuel Macron caught the Covid.
This is one of the infallible things, very difficult to control.
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According to him, the only solution is also to impose a strict fortnight before any entry into the bubble.
A solution adopted during the Australian Open tennis tournament but impossible to apply to the XV of France, still according to him.
“The tournament lasts two months.
If you impose a quarantine on them before entering the bubble, that means that they are two and a half months without leaving, it is almost impossible ”, judge Eric Caumes.
It remains to be seen whether the ministers will agree with him not to change anything to the current protocol.