France international commits suicide
NEWS: French international Christophe Dominici has been found dead at the age of 48 in a park near Paris, police said Tuesday.
Dominici, who played 67 times for France, was seen by a witness jumping from the roof of a disused building in the Saint-Cloud park, police said.
The diminutive Dominici – he was 1.72 metres and 82 kilogrammes – scored 25 tries in 67 Tests for France, including eight tries across three World Cups.
He had a deceptive change of pace and a shimmy that could lose and confuse defenders.
His most celebrated moment came in the 1999 World Cup semifinal against New Zealand when his second-half try, grabbing a bouncing ball one-handed and then skating down the left touchline, put the French ahead as they reached the final with a remarkable comeback.
Dominici enjoyed a glittering club career, first with Toulon in southeast France, where he was born, and then at Paris-based Stade Francais with whom he won the French championship five times.
After he retired, then-national coach Bernard Laporte gave Dominici a coaching role. He also worked as a media pundit.
Off the field, Dominici suffered bouts of depression. In his 2007 autobiography, he admitted a personal loss had triggered depression and that he had been abused as a child.
He returned to the public eye this year when he fronted a bid to take over Beziers club, which petered out when a financial investigation into its viability.
The French Rugby Federation said Dominici had “left his imprint on an entire generation of rugby”.
“Today [Tuesday], the rugby family has lost a legend and an emblematic player,” it added in a statement.