Nice: Former world athletics champion Stephane Diagana of France suffered serious head injuries in a road accident on Friday, police confirmed.
The 41-year-old, the first French male athlete to become world champion when he won the 400m hurdles title in Athens in 1997, was riding his bicycle when he was involved in a collision with a car at Vence in southern France.
He was airlifted to hospital in nearby Nice and was reported to be suffering from head injuries.
"He is in a serious condition but he is conscious," a police source said.
"He has hurt his head and body but is conscious," said French Athletics Federation chairman Bernard Amsalem, after talking to close associates of Diagana, adding the former athlete had undergone a scan.
Diagana, who has held the European 400m hurdles record since 1995, retired from athletics in 2004 but has acted in an advisory capacity to the FFA.