Équipe, Saturday July 27
Case: Coach Antignac Arrested
Important turning point in the case that has shaken our
junior athletic community in the last few weeks.
Yesterday morning in Brest police has arrested Marie
Henno and her coach, Samuel Antignac following the
positive results to chlorine-testosterone of counter
blood test analysis.
Samuel Antignac could face eighteen months of prison.
Marie Henno, underage, won’t probably face any charges
being the victim of Antignac who gave her illegal
substances without her knowledge.
A month ago, Marie Henno, 17, won the 200-meter race at
the youth national championship. At the end of the
competition she was tested for the usual anti-doping
examinations and resulted positive to
chlorine-testosterone. Henno, shocked and in tears,
declared her innocence stating she never took
performance-enhancing drugs. Police searched Antignac’s
house and found several banned substances, among which
oxandrolone and nandrolone. Samuel Antignac, son of a
police agent and not a well-known coach (he coaches and
teaches Art History in a high school in Brest) could not
explain their presence in his wardrobe.
Not matter the final sentence, the gold medal will be
given to second place Miranda Villain. In the meantime,
Henno has stated that after this shocking news, she will
take some time off to decide if she wants to continue
with athletics or not.
In his office
in Marseille, Philippe Dillemann was reading the
newspaper article. He was smiling. He knew Samuel
Antignac well. He had been his classmate in high school,
attending Art History and Gym classes together with
Samuel. They had often talked about their ideas on
sports and about how Samuel never learnt to foresee
events thus getting into troubles all the time without
realizing it. Samuel was now in prison. But he would get
out soon. His father was a policeman. He had to get in
touch with him as soon as possible.
Philippe drank some of the iced tea that his faithful
Luis had brought him. He then took a newspaper clip a
few days old and read it once more.
Matin, Wednesday July 24
robbed in Côte d’Azur
last night in a villa in Antibes. This is the third
robbery since the beginning of the month. The alarm
system did not go off because it was disarmed before the
burglary. Two valuable paintings and some silverware
were stolen. The thief, known now as the Smurf of
Jewellery because of his short stature, hasn’t been
identified yet. The investigation goes on.
He had thought
about it for a long time. It certainly was François
Bergeret. He was the only one who matched the
description. Very good with electrical systems and less
than five feet tall. He knew where to find him.
He was limping now, thanks to the policeman who shot him
during the last job he did (he fired back though) so he
had to find accomplices, clever and fit. Those were the
kind of people he was looking for.
He would return to Brest, he had been gone for too long
anyway. There, he would meet face to face with his old
dear friend, Samuel. He had not seen him in ten years.
He sneered happily. Then, with his powerful voice he
happened more or less three years before Mauro and I
were involved in The Mystery of Luxembourg. We
found out all about this only at the end of the entire
adventure. Had we known it before, we could probably
have avoided a lot of troubles. Or nothing at all would
have changed anyway.
The adventure begins
Who would have
thought that I would get myself into all sorts of
troubles when I decided to leave for Luxembourg with my
brother? I thought I was getting some days off just
before Christmas, before studying for my university
exams. Instead and because I am so good at getting into
troubles (as my brother would say) I almost fell into a
gorge, almost 100 feet deep.
Everything began last December 15th. I was
reading one of my favourite adventure books, under a
cosy blanket on my bed, in our small apartment in Rome.
I was totally immersed in a dangerous chase in the
Amazon forest, when my brother Mauro Cavallieri came
home and straight into my bedroom. His hair was messy
and his tie undone. Mauro is ten years older than I am
and to me he is more a father/tutor figure than a
brother. He has always looked after me (even too much
some time) since our parents died in a car accident
‘What happened?’, I asked surprised. He was frowning and
looked tired as if he were carrying a heavy weight on
Mauro sat next to me on the bed. He went straight to the
issue at hand. ‘Lisi, I am leaving tomorrow and I am not
sure when I will be back. I hope to make it for
Christmas’ Eve, but I can’t promised that right now’, he
was touching his neck while he said that. Our
personalities are different (he is wise and intelligent,
I am impulsive and a bit of a rebel), but everyone can
see that our physical appearance is similar, even though
I don’t see as many similarities as other people do. I
am shorter than Mauro is, barely reaching his shoulders.
We have the same black hair and brown eyes.
‘Oh, but…why…I mean, it never happened before that you
had to leave so suddenly’, I babbled, putting the book
down with a perplexed look on my face.
‘True, but since UNESCO promoted me Inspector last
September, we both knew they could send me around the
world anytime. That day has come. See for yourself’. He
handed me a newspaper folded on page 16. A small piece
of news was circled in red.
night the XVII century statue of archangel Saint Michel
was stolen from its church in Luxembourg. There was only
a witness, a priest that was woken up by the noise. The
thieves drove away on a laundry truck leaving no trace
‘Is it under
‘And the reporters devoted only five sentences to the
case in a newspaper!’ I tossed the newspaper on the bed.
‘I am not surprised about that. Some newspapers ignored
the news altogether.’
‘But it is absurd! I mean, if UNESCO has this church on
its World Heritage List, it means that its historical
significance is important!’.
‘If news reporters should follow every single one of the
800 sites we look after they wouldn’t have any room left
to write about anything else’.
‘Mauro, come on! How is it that this isn’t bothering
you! You are always going about UNESCO here and UNESCO
there, how important it is to protect and preserve our
cultural and natural heritage for future generations and
how your values are reflected in UNESCO’s! Then a moron
comes along who decides to steal a statue that you
protect and they put the news next to a fight between
puppeteers! Of course, you should speak up about it!’.
‘There is nothing to speak up about; we need actions.
And it is for this very reason that to bring some money
at home I am not a journalist but an UNESCO inspector.
And for the same reason I am leaving tomorrow’.
‘Ok, maybe you are right. If you were impulsive as I am,
they would never have promoted you Inspector after only
five years and you would still be making photocopies
despite your brilliant thesis on UNESCO’s World
Heritage. Sometimes your wisdom drives me crazy. I would
be more direct, to the point, you know? I would rebel…’.
‘Yes, you would do the wrong thing at the wrong time. As
‘You are being silly!’ and I threw my pillow at him.
‘Silly, eh? You have just said a lot of stupid things
but you didn’t ask me the only logic question you should
have thought of. Do you think I care about what the
newspapers say? Don’t you think that what Belardino
tells me if far more important?’.
‘Right, your boss. I didn’t think about him’.
I had never met Augusto Belardino but Mauro had often
spoken about him, his words filled with enthusiasm,
constantly pointing out how much Belardino reminded him
of our father. I do not know why I remember him only
vaguely; a memory that fades in with the photos that are
in our living room and with the stories that our uncle
Antonio and aunt Susanna Pedron told us. They took care
of us until they returned to Padua, leaving me with
Mauro who had come then of age.
‘This is my first official assignment and the fact that
they have given it to me is a sign of great trust. When
they told me, I felt my legs shaking’.
‘Your legs shaking? You? I can’t believe it!’.
‘ I am a human being too, you know?’.
‘Really? I never knew. I always thought you were a
strict custodian and that was it’.
‘I am not going to answer you today because I have other
things on my mind, but stop it, ok?’.
‘Ok, go on’.
‘The truth is that they thought about me and I am very
proud of it and also a bit scared’.
‘And why is that? You are the best they have and they
have chosen you because they know you are going to find
‘So, I am not only a strict custodian…’ he teased me
while getting up.
‘That is something different. I mean, yes, you are, but
you are very good at your job’.
‘Wait, I need to write this down. December 15, 7:03pm,
Lisi praised me’.
‘That isn’t fair! My friends are always telling me how
charming and reassuring you are!’.
‘I will tell you something, Lisi. You and your friends
are separate people, individuals, even if you don’t seem
to realize that.’
‘This is not what I wanted to say!’.
‘All right, that is enough for now. I need to get my
stuff ready. My plane is leaving tomorrow morning at
9:00 and I still have tons of things to do’.
I followed him in the hall. ‘Ok, but I don’t like the
way you talk about my friends, Rebecca and Agla. It
isn’t true that we do everything together all the time.
For example, right now, they are playing volleyball’.
‘And that is only because you are too short and they
don’t want you in the team’. Mauro opened a drawer and
began sorting through his shirts.
‘And they are right. I make a poor impression next to
them. But this is not the point. What I meant is that we
are not the same. They are more trendy than I am in the
way they dress, for example’.
‘This is because you are too involved in reading your
adventure novels and in volunteering and you don’t have
any time to go shopping’.
‘And also, they do not have the chance to leave for
Luxembourg just like that’, I said without listening to
him, hugging the door.
Mauro froze with his ties in his hand and turned towards
‘What did you say?’.
‘Do you think I could come with you?’.
‘Please, pretty please. I promise I won’t bother you. I
will leave you alone when you are busy. I would tour the
city and I would be by myself’.
‘And that is the problem! I can already picture myself
coming to the rescue because you got yourself into some
troubles. No, I don’t want you to make my life more
difficult’, and he tossed a couple of engine magazines
that always found a spot in his suitcase.
‘Come on, it is a great idea. So you won’t be worried
about me being all by myself during the holidays and I
will have the chance to see a European capital! If there
are monuments you protect, it means that it is worth a
‘Well, there are monuments we protect all over the
world. Even here, the city centre of Rome, or the
Vatican City, you don’t need to go far’, Mauro teased
me, but I understood from his tone of voice that he was
giving up and I ran to hug him.
‘Thank you, thank you, my big brother. I swear you won’t
‘Already am’, he said, trying to free himself from my
hug. ‘At least I will be far less worried knowing I will
be able to check on you closely’.
And so began
our very first adventure that took us through the twists
and turns of old Luxembourg, following a mysterious
Irish man, listening to conversations taking place too
early in the morning and trying to solve unsolvable