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Jacques Villeneuve linked to drug money and no Canadian loyalty

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by 62 250 GTO, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
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    Neil
    Bedard bombshell
    Ex-Olympian tells hearing $12m paid to racer; ad firm in drug trade
    By JIM BROWN / The Canadian Press

    OTTAWA - Former Olympian Myriam Bedard dropped a bombshell Wednesday, telling MPs about rumours of drug trafficking by a Montreal ad firm involved in the sponsorship scandal and $12 million US in payments to race car driver Jacques Villeneuve to wear the Canada logo on his uniform.

    Bedard cited her agent, Jean-Marc St-Pierre, as the source of her "top secret" information about Villeneuve and admitted she couldn't confirm if it was true.

    Groupaction president Jean Brault denied late Wednesday his company had any involvement in drug dealing. St-Pierre said he had never told her anything about Villeneuve's financial dealings.

    Brault described the allegations of drug trafficking made by Bedard as "outrageous."

    "This allegation is completely false and was made without one element of proof, without one iota of truth," he said in a statement, indicating he may sue.

    Bedard told the Commons public accounts committee the report of drug trafficking at Groupaction came from Marc LeFrancois, former president of Via Rail.

    She later added, however, that LeFrancois backtracked a few days later and told her to "forget what I said."

    LeFrancois could not immediately be reached for comment. Nor could Villeneuve or his spokesmen.

    But St-Pierre told RDS, Quebec's French-language TV all-sports network, he was "very surprised to hear Myriam say today that I had said that."

    "I never, never said to Myriam Bedard that Jacques Villeneuve had a $12 million US sponsorship. I don't know anything about Jacques Villeneuve's sponsorships."

    He said he and Bedard might have discussed the monetary differences in sponsorship contracts won by amateur and professional athletes and idly speculated what one athlete or another might be worth.

    "I also don't remember seeing any Canada logos on Jacques Villeneuve," he said.

    "I think Myriam's memory is somewhat vague or imprecise. We might have talked about sponsorships but certainly not Jacque Villeneuve's because I don't know anything about them."

    Some photos taken at time show that Villeneuve's uniform had a small Canadian flag on the right thigh.

    Bedard, a two-time gold medallist in the biathlon, sparked a political storm in February when she said she had been forced from her marketing job at Via Rail after raising questions about inflated payments to Quebec ad firms under the sponsorship program.

    She testified Wednesday that she was too fearful to go public at the time - in January 2002 - because of the circumstances surrounding her departure.

    "I didn't understand it, I was in shock," she told the committee.

    Bedard said LeFrancois phoned her one morning to say she had to quit.

    If she didn't, she was told, board chairman Jean Pelletier, who had been a top aide to then-prime minister Jean Chretien, would see to it that she was transferred to a job at Groupaction, which had close links to Via.

    Bedard said she didn't want to go to the ad firm because LeFrancois had told her a few months earlier that Groupaction "was implicated in drug trafficking.

    "I was afraid, I was psychologically paralysed."

    Under questioning by committee members, Bedard could provide no other evidence of the alleged drug dealing.

    And she said LeFrancois, who made the remarks in the fall of 2001, later retracted his words and told her: "I think I said too much. You've got to forget what I said."

    As for the supposed $12 million payment to Villeneuve, Bedard said her agent told her the figure during a conversation at the 1997 or 1998 Montreal Grand Prix.

    "I was told this was top secret."

    But again, she could provide no further information and said she didn't know if the money was paid under the sponsorship program.

    Conservative MP John Williams, chairman of the public accounts committee, said after the hearing he considered Bedard an "extremely credible witness."

    He acknowledged the Villeneuve allegations would require further checking, but said "Canadians will be outraged" if it's true he was paid millions just to wear the country's logo.

    Williams said it's beyond the mandate of the committee to look into the drug dealing allegations but suggested the RCMP may want to do so.

    LeFrancois was fired as Via president earlier this month after being fingered by Auditor General Sheila Fraser for his role in several questionable deals under the sponsorship program.

    Pelletier was also fired as Via chairman after he belittled Bedard, suggesting she was a "poor woman in a pitiful state" who was feeling the pressure of being a single mother.

    Pelletier apologized, but Prime Minister Paul Martin gave him the boot anyway.

    Bedard had written personally to Martin after he issued a public call in mid-February for whistleblowers to help the government get to the bottom of the scandal.
     
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  3. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
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    Is she the Canadian version of William Clarke? Sour grapes EX-employee?
     
  4. 96impalaSS

    96impalaSS F1 Rookie

    Dec 8, 2003
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    What is sour grapes. My friend works somewhere and the company that owns it is called sour grapes. Everytiem I see it I laugh till I cant breath because it's such a funny name for a company.
     
  5. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
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    She is an Ex jock athlete with a bad case of verbal diarrhea.

    This is crap and even the article seems to waffle around how stupid the words are.

    She was pissed because the Canadian Government put her in a position at VIA rail (Amtrak Eh) and I guess all that winter skiing she did in the biathlon froze her brain.
    She did the unthinkable in Canada, Questioned giving a multimillion dollar ad contract to a Quebec based company, it wasn't a drug connection but a political connection that this is about. She just repeated something someone else made up...
     
  6. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
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    ImpalaSS, If your mom had read to you at bedtime, you would know of the fox who tried and tried unsuccesfully to reach a ripe cluster of hanging grapes.

    Leaving unfullfilled, he consoled himself by assuring that had he reached them, they would have proved sour, making the lack of success less painfull!!

    Now go to sleep little one, sweet dreams!

    You know I love ya man, you got the sweet fruit later in life!!! ;)
     
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  8. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Really, there's snow, and then there's snow! LOL

    The Delorean school of business management!
     
  9. Fan512bbi

    Fan512bbi Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 25, 2004
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    How could you even think of the name and drugs in the same breathe.
     
  10. 512tr

    512tr Formula Junior

    Feb 6, 2004
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    The only word that comes to mind when I hear Jacques Villineuve is
    ARROGANCE!!!!!!!!!

    JMO
     
  11. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
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    Dec 14, 2003
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    Bernie
    I never liked the guy and I never will. F-1's saving grace is that during his stay in the series, J.V. managed to sh*t on every team manager/owner. To the extent that when BAR booted him, Bernie E. was pleading with the teams to give him a drive, only to have all the managers give him a collective F*CK OFF!!

    One final thought on JV, anyone remember 1997? The guy fought Schumy until the last race. And keep in mind that the Williams was far better than the Ferrari. Had MS been driving JV's car, he would have won the championship in 10 races!!!!

    As for Button getting third place in Malaysia...he should have gotten a hold of JV by cell phone while he was on the podium and given him the finger on TV. Shows what can happen when you put 16 million dollars into R & D, instead of wasting it on a whiny no-talent sh*t.

    If I hate JV so much, it's because I've had his mug shoved into my face for the longest time by the Quebec-Francophone press and all these peppers in my province that try to pass themselves off as F-1 fans. When JV won the title in 97, the whole province smelled of his (and his fan's) farts. Most (so called) F-1 fans in Quebec now only watch F-1 in order to see MS lose.

    There...I said it!!!!!
     
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  13. Ferrari_co_uk

    Ferrari_co_uk Karting

    Apr 16, 2003
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    Mark Langfield
    Why? JV had already scored podiums for BAR in far inferior cars than their current one. Maybe if Button ever wins a race he can do this.

    Best
    Mark
     
  14. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
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    It amazes me how every one is so willing to jump on JV READ the Freeking article and realize that it is a dumbass ex jock running her mouth about things she heard from someone who denies saying it..

    Couple of things re JV on his resume that is not on very many other racers

    1 Formula 1 Multiple Race winner
    2 Formula 1 WORLD CHAMPION
    3 CART Multiple race winner
    4 INDY 500 WINNER
    5 CART CHAMPION

    As a person question his personal dealings with all the "Experts" out there but never doubt that he is a good Racer.
    The Bar thing was a disaster with too many cooks a fledgling team engine and many other things that were a little out of his control
    Frustrated you bet
     
  15. Ferrari_co_uk

    Ferrari_co_uk Karting

    Apr 16, 2003
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    Good post!
     
  16. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
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    Whether or not the guy has social issues dealing with "Experts" should never detract from the fact he can drive the wheels off a car.

    Can you imagine living in his (size 6) shoes?

    As you are carving you own path up you have dumbasses like the Idiots on ABC and ESPN "so What would your father....." then you go out and beat everyone in the series and the first thing the guy with the microphone asks is deep "So what would your father...." THEN you get to the pinnacle of motorsports and the ITV guys are "Right. well What would your father...."
    So you get a little terse with the stupid reporter and you get labeled
    The label begets the reporters to not be so nice any more which gets you Labeled as ARROGANT.

    HE IS A FREEKING DRIVER not a Public relations puppet.
     
  17. ross

    ross Three Time F1 World Champ
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    personally i love the guy. he is a great driver and brought some refreshing candor and frankness to pitlane. some people didn't like him - well thats life.
    the current grid is the poorer for his absence. in his place we have such luminaries as klien, baumgartner, pantona blahblahblahblah
     
  18. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
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    Dec 14, 2003
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    Bernie
    Allow me to continue his resume:

    from 1998 to 2003

    39 DNF's
    4 3rd places.

    I'm not dumping on JV as a driver. I absolutely loved the guy when he was up and coming. What a lot of folks don't realize is that JV has gotten so much press in Quebec, that it's absolutely annoying. And a lot of us just don't digest him anymore.

    But getting back to the essence of this thread (I do tend to ramble on...) which is Bedard having a case of verbal poo poo. You can put her in the same category of people (or vermin) as Linda Tripp or Sal Gravano. Basically she got tired of participating in an illicit game and rather than going away quietly, she figured that she'll take a few people down with her. And she's trying to hook JV and anyone else. Ultimately, this scandal with is going to open up not a can, but rather a whole crate of worms.
     
  19. BartonWorkman

    BartonWorkman F1 Veteran
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    Let us go back to when JV was up and coming. While in Japan running the Japanese Group C series for Toyota, JV was regularly third fastest among his co-drivers Tom Kristensen and Eddie Irvine.

    It was Villeneuve who kept Kristensen out of a ride a BAR despite Honda's
    top brass in Europe and Japan backing Kristensen for the seat.

    It was Irvine who kept Kristensen out of a ride at Ferrari when Schumacher
    broke his leg and Kristensen was on top of Todt's list to sit in while Schumacher recovered, the team opting for Salo instead.

    In both instances, the political clout Villeneuve and Irvine had (for whatever reason) kept Kristensen out of the top rides of F-1 as they were threatened
    by his speed and race craft.

    It is okay though, Kristensen will go on to break Jacky Ickx's record at the 24
    Hours of Le Mans (the most important race in the world), a race which neither
    Villeneuve or Irvine will ever win.

    BHW
     
  20. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
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    I did not know that about Kristinsen

    Could it be that it was not the drivers but their backers who were doing the silly buggers behind the scenes?

    Sponsors and others have a "Way" of doing things.
     
  21. Ferrari_co_uk

    Ferrari_co_uk Karting

    Apr 16, 2003
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    Of which, how many were engine failures alone?
     
  22. Ferrari_co_uk

    Ferrari_co_uk Karting

    Apr 16, 2003
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    Mark Langfield
    BHW, I am puzzled by this. Why would Todt seek someone who, although had tested F1 cars, had not raced in F1? Regardless of how talented Todt thinks he is, surely he would have preferred someone with experience (which is what he eventually got with Salo) when you want a driver to come into a team mid-season?

    Best
    Mark
     
  23. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
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    Al-Al Cool J
    That's funny! LOL
     
  24. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
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    Al-Al Cool J
    Well, Irvine provides hookers to the FIA, or so I hear! LOL
     
  25. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
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    ya see that is how crap like the first article in this thread starts... Soon someone will say IRVINE DOES..... and then all hell brakes loose....
     

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