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banner Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 19:36 GMT
Zidane: I took creatine
The long-term effects of taking creatine are unknown
Zidane scored twice in the 1998 World Cup final
Zinedine Zidane has told a French newspaper that he took a muscle-building supplement while playing for Juventus, but stopped taking it after his transfer to Real Madrid last summer.

Zidane told Le Monde: "I took creatine at Juventus. But it is not forbidden. Creatine is not a doping product."

The former World Player of the Year, who joined Real Madrid for $65m, was quick to point out that he does not use the supplement at his current club.

Creatine is naturally present in the body and works by increasing muscles' ability to refuel quickly.

Banned list

A food safety agency in France has said supplementing at this level could have serious long-term effects and that further study is needed.

French sports minister Marie-George Buffet has recently indicated it may be included on the list of banned substances.

But Zidane is not the first sports star to have used the supplement.

Baseball's Mark McGwire and French tennis player Mary Pierce are among those who have admitted to using creatine.

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